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What's the Best Tape to Use?

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 @ 12:56

There are so many different types of tapes on the market. No wonder customers ask us all the time- 



  • What is the best tape for sealing plastic sheeting?
  • What's the best over-all tape?
  • What's the best tape if the plastic will be outside in the sun?
  • What tape should be used on a vapor retarder?
  • What's the best tape to seal plastic sheeting that is put in a crawl space?
  • What's the best waterproof tape?
  • Is there a fish safe tape?
  • Is there a tape that adheres to steel?

What is the best tape for sealing plastic sheeting?

When looking to seal plastic sheeting, the environment that it is being used in is what will dictate the best tape to select. Is there moisture, high humidity, sunshine, or water? Is the tape sealing two over-lapping sheet's of a crawl space liner in a moist basement? Or are we talking about sealing a tear in a slip and slide tarp. Is the tape going to be in the sun? For this post, we are going to introduce the films that Global Plastic Sheeting favors.

The best Over-All Tape:

Our most versatile tape, that is water-proof, fish safe, and has UV to protect from the sun's rays, Ultra Perm is the best selection. This tape is EXCEPTIONALLY STICKY. When it is put down, it's not coming up.  If you have a tug of war with two sheets of plastic, the plastic will break before the tape let's go (in most cases).

The Best Tape for a Crawl Space Liner or Vapor Barrier:

If you are sealing a crawl space liner or vapor barrier, Vapor Seaming Tape is a great choice. it is chemical resistant- not that you have chemicals in your basement- and has a nice strong hold. It will resist the moisture coming up from the ground.  If you want a double sided (two-sided) tape for this application, the Butyl Seal Tape is a great choice. It is waterproof, aggressive, flexible and non-hardening.

The Best Tape That is Fire Retardant:

There are two choices when it comes to the tape being flame retardant. Polyken 225 FR  meets FAR 25.853 (a)  and is used in the aerospace industry. It is used in areas where flame retardancy is required.  225 FR seals duct work, fiberglass insulation and more.

Global CFRP Tape is also fire retardant, and virtually leaves no adhesive residue on applications lasting up to 60 days.

The Best Waterproof and/or Fish Safe Tape?

Ultra Perm is the clear cut choice here. It can be used in your pond, slip and slide tarp, and anywhere there is water.  This beast of a tape grabs on, and doesn't let go!

If you really want to be sure and select the best most cost effective tape for your project, just give up a call. If we can't help you, we will attempt to direct you to someone who can. We want to help, and don't want you to get stuck!

Tags: Adhesive Tape

Synthetic Turf Fields Drainage Systems

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Wed, Sep 07, 2016 @ 04:40

Synthetic tur drainage becomes a big deal with rain hits the field. The volume of rainfall plays a factor in how much water must be removed. How well and quickly the water drains from the turf will determine how quickly the game can go on.  When it comes to subsurface synthetic turf drainage there are 3 products that significantly stand out. Below is a brief description of each product with links to the full specification pages.

  • Enkaturf Drain 9320
  • Enkamat Plus 7420
  • Enkadrain Shockpad


Enkaturf Drain 9320

Enkaturf Drain 9320 is a subsurface drainage system that is used beneath natural and synthetic turf fields. It  is a 6 inch wide strip drain product consisting of a 1 inch thick nylon core of fused, entangled filaments completely encased in a nonwoven heat-bonded geotextile fabric.

What Sets Enkaturf Drain 9320 Apart?

Enkaturf Drain strips eliminate the need for perforated drainage pipe and the associated ordeal of installing a larger diameter drain with surrounding aggregate.

The flexible, lightweight characteristics of Enkaturf Drain make it much easier to install than hard, plastic drainage pipes.

  • Multiple contact points between core and fabric eliminate fabric stretching into the core
  • Core is resilient and will not crack – even under construction vehicles
  • Crushed stone can be placed directly on top
  • No special couplings or fittings needed at junctions
  • Can be installed vertically or horizontally for complete design flexibility

Why Use This Synthetic Turf Drainage Product?

  •  Excellent durability
  • Thin profile significantly reduces turf trauma during installation
  • Conforms to irregular surfaces and corners with complete and effective coverage
  • Geometric structure creates safe flow path even during backfill
  • Continuous flow even under high loads
  • Long rolls reduce installation costs by eliminating interlocking and excessive seams

Enkamat Plus 7420

EnkamatPlus 7420 is a 3-dimensional heavy duty Enkamat core heatbonded to an eight ounce polyester geotextile fabric. The Enkamat core is produced from nylon monofilaments fused together at their intersections.

What Sets Enkamat Plus 7420 Apart?

The 95% open structure of the nylon core allows water and other liquids to drain through to the turf below while providing a tough, walkable surface for players and coaches. Enkamat Plus has a Class A Flame Spread rating per ASTM E84.

Why Select This Synthetic Turf Drainage Product?

  •  Rolls out and rolls up in no time flat
  • Reusable time and again
  • Protects natural turf from being destroyed during games
  • Water flows through and does not build up on the surface
  • Provides air space between the turf and foot traffic
  • Easy to store

Enkadrain ShockPad

Just like the name describes, Enkadrain ShockPad is a full-field drain designed for synthetic turf playing fields and playgrounds that also offers a shockpad layer for player safety. Player safety guidelines for shock absorption has increased over the years. Enkadrain ShockPad comes in full-length rolls for easy installation and quick coverage of the entire field. Other subsurface drain materials, such as aggregate, are reduced because of Enkadrain's characteristic open, entangled filament design and flow rate.

Enkadrain® ShockPad is made of a proprietary polypropylene blend that gives the product exceptional resiliency properties. This drainage composite consists of a polypropylene drainage core of fused, entangled filaments and a geocomposite fabric bonded to each side. The entangled filaments are molded into a pyramid pattern that maintains the flexible design of other Enkadrain products. The second fabric eliminates the need for a filter fabric and stops penetration and migration of soil fines.

Why Select Enkadrain ShockPad?

  • It double as the drainage layer and shock absorbing layerProprietary polymer formulation significantly improves energy restitution and shock absorption (Gmax) 
  • Reduces infill amounts
  • Excellent durability
  • Second fabric eliminates need for filter fabric
  • Continuous flow even under high loads
  • Increased flow rates over same thickness nylon and HDPE drains
  • 3” fabric overlap flap on both sides

When synthetic turf drainage is your priority, please consider looking into these established products.


Tags: polypropylene

Enkadrain Products- What are the Differences?

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Mon, Aug 08, 2016 @ 01:44

Enkadrain Family of Drainage Products

Enkadrain is a proven drainage products that has been used worldwide for over 25 years in a myriad of applications. It got its first job in Europe More than 25 years ago successfully draining soil and offering hydrostatic pressure relief.

Over the years, the Enkadrain product line has grown to meet the demands of the rapidly changing construction market. As building designs have become more complex, architects and engineers have been called upon to work more creatively with materials that add value and save resources. Always innovative and on the cutting edge of technology, Colbond Building Products has now added a complete line of geocomposite drains made from recycled polymers that contribute to the LEED program.

Let's explore some of the areas that Enkadrain excels.

Enkadrain for Planters and Plaza Decks


Enkadrain offers excellent drainage for planters and plaza decks. By replacing gravel, it reduces weight and increases soil area for a healthier root mass.

Enkadrain 3000R Series products are a new generation of the Enkadrain family. These new drainage composites are made of a post-industrial recycled polypropylene drainage core of fused, entangled filaments and a geocomposite fabric bonded to one or two sides. These products can contribute up to 2 LEED points when used in conjunction with other recycled content products.



A family of three-dimensional, multilayer drainage products consisting of a core of fused, entangled filaments and one or two nonwoven geotextile fabrics attached. Designed to relieve hydrostatic pressure from soils abutting below grade structures, Enkadrain provides a lightweight alternative to traditional sand and gravel drains. The geotextile filter fabric allows water to pass through to the polymeric core as it retains the surrounding soil. Ground water is then channeled through the Enkadrain core to a perforated pipe, weep hole or other discharge system before it ever reaches subsurface walls - keeping the structure dry.

Where Will You Find Enkadrain Products?

  • Foundations & Retaining Walls
  • Commercial Building
  • Insulated Concrete Forms
  • Planters Plaza Deck
  • Beneath Slabs
  • Underground Parking
  • Lagging Walls
  • Blind Forms
  • Roof Gardens
  • Wood Structures

Why Do Architects and Engineers Trust Enkadain Products on Their Projects?

• highly flexible - conforms to all surface shapes

• proven and predictable flow rates

• longer and wider rolls reduce installation costs

• no core overlap required - fabric overlap for easier seaming

• protects waterproofing during and after backfill

• continuous flow even under high loads

• fabric provides excellent bonding surface for shotcrete


Is Enkadrain Environmentally Friendly?

Enkadrain 3000R Series products are a new generation of the Enkadrain family. These new drainage composites are made of a post-industrial recycled polypropylene drainage core of fused, entangled filaments and a geocomposite fabric bonded to one or two sides. These products can contribute up to 2 LEED points when used in conjunction with other recycled content products.

A family of three-dimensional, multilayer drainage products consisting of a core of fused, entangled filaments and one or two nonwoven geotextile fabrics attached. Designed to relieve hydrostatic pressure from soils abutting below grade structures, Enkadrain provides a lightweight alternative to traditional sand and gravel drains. The geotextile filter fabric allows water to pass through to the polymeric core as it retains the surrounding soil. Ground water is then channeled through the Enkadrain core to a perforated pipe, weep hole or other discharge system before it ever reaches subsurface walls - keeping the structure dry.

What Are The Differences Between The Enkadrain Products?

Drain Flow (gal.min/ft):

When comparing Enkadrain 3611R, 3615R, and 3811R, regardless of the soil seepage (gal.min/ft)  or the backfill depth (10 ft to 40 ft), Enkadrain 3611R has the largest drain flow (gal.min/ft) value whether it's silty sand with a K value of .33, Clayey San K value of .42, or Sandy Clay K value of .56.  Enkadrain 3811R has the least amount of drain flow.

Sloped Green Roof Gradients:

For a Flat <1° (<2%) roof gradient, Enkadrain 90118, 9120, and 9125 are recommended.

For a Low 1-5° (2-9% ) roof gradient, Enkadrain 9010, 3611, 3615, 3811 and EnkaRetain&Drain 3111 and EnkaRetain&Drain 3211 are recommended.

For a Steep 5-20° (9-36%) roof gradient, Enkadrain 3610, 3801, 7910,  EnkaRetain&Drain 3111 and EnkaRetain&Drain 3211 are recommended.

For a Very Steep >20° (>36%) roof gradient, Enkadrain 3601, 3801 and 7910 are recommended.

Profile Heights of Enkadrain Drainage Products

Various green roof scenerios call for different Enkadrain products. Enkadrain comes in a thin, regular and high profile format.

Profile Height  
High Profile Enkadrain- Height- (0.6") 

Enkadrain 9118

Enkadrain 9120

Enkadrain 9125
Regular Profile Enkadrains (0.4")

Enkadrain 9010

Enkadrain 3611

Enkadrain 3615

Enkadrain 3811

EnkaRetain&Drain 3111

EnkaRetain&Drain 3211
Thin Profile Enkadrains (0.25”)

Enkadrain 3601

Enkadrain 3801

Enkadrain 7910

EnkaRetain&Drain 3111

EnkaRetain&Drain 3211

Common Questions and Solutions:

Question:  For roofs that have ponding water which can cause plant distress, which Enkadrain should be used?

Answer: Enkadrain 9118, Enkadrain 9120, and Enkadrain 9125 will lift the growing plants above the ponding water.

Question:  The roof has sufficient fall to the drain, but we need drainage to convey rounoff to roof drains. What do you recommend?

Answer:  Enkadrain 9010, Enkadrain 3611, Enkadrain 3615, Enkadrain 3811 or Enkadrain 3811 will move the water.  If you need the drains to offer high water storage capacity, EnkaRetain&Drain 3111, or EnkaRetain&Drain 3211 will do the job.

Question:  The water on the roof runs off too quickly on steep slope, thus the growing substrate can become dry especially near the top of the roof.

Answer:  If you need to slow down the runoff and allow time for the rain to saok into the grwoing substrate, use Enkadrain 3601, Enkadrain 3801, or Enkadrain 7910.  If you need to retain the water and compensate for the higher runoff, then use either EnkaRetain&Drain 3111, or EnkaRetain&Drain 3211.

Question:  The roof has and exceedingly steep gradient and thus a very high runoff. We risk the green roof materials sliding off.

Answer:  Enkadrain 3601, Enkadrain 3801, or Enkadrain 7910.

To learn more about these high quality products or request a sample, please click here


Tags: green roof

Erosion Control and Turf Reinforcement Mats

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Thu, Aug 04, 2016 @ 10:03

Turf Reinforcement Mats

Turf reinforcement mats offer erosion protection and control to hill sides.  They help the newly planted vegetation take root in the presence of flowing water. Water exerts extreme force on plants and can thus up-root them in its path.  

When it comes to tensile strength, how much is considered enough? The lack of standardized test protocol and lack of standardized specifications for Turf Reinforcement Mats (TRM’s) have led to much confusion in the marketplace. One particular point of confusion lies in the question of how much tensile strength is required of a turf reinforcement mat to provide satisfactory performance? 

Channel Linings:

For Channel Linings, there are two widely accepted methodologies that allow the designer to examine the permissible velocity or permissible tractive (shear) force to determine the suitability of a given lining. For slope design, some form of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) is commonly used. It is important to point out that Tensile Strength is not used in any of these design methods.

A secondary consideration of tensile requirement of TRM’s depends on the severity of the exposure, primarily related to the depth of flow and the topography, as well as on how frequently the TRM is anchored to the ground surface. The most severe case would involve deep flow within a steep channel with infrequent anchoring of the TRM. Conversely, TRM installations exposed only to rainfall impact and sheet runoff on slopes of modest steepness would require minimal tensile strength.

Turf Reinforcement Mats Installation Stresses:

But what about installation stresses? Generally the greatest tensile stresses that TRM’s are exposed to occur during installation. The deployment, edge burial, pinning or stapling, and soil covering (if required) of the TRM may involve pulling on it, walking on it, pounding on it, driving on it, dumping on it, and/or compacting on it. These imposed forces are usually nominal, but they may be important to consider if the installer is inexperienced or careless.

Tension Resulting from Anchorage

The imposed shear will be resisted either by anchorage at points (i.e. pins or staples) or by anchorage in trenches. [The general usage of anchoring devices such as pins or staples is intended as a temporary means of securely fastening the TRM to the soil to ensure intimate contact between the TRM and the soil until vegetation is established. While anchor trenches are permanent and the pins or staples are temporary, it is prudent to assume these devices will contribute some tensile resistance.] These anchorages prevent the TRM from moving with the flow through developing tension in the TRM. The magnitude of the tension can be determined using Equation 1 and multiplying by the contributory area.


Tension Resulting from Anchorage

Calculation of tension resulting from point anchorage. The total required tension to be resisted by each anchorage point can be determined by multiplying the required tension by the contributory area for each anchorage. The contributory area is determined by anchorage spacing. Calculation of tension resulting from trench anchorage. The total required tension to be resisted by an anchor trench can be determined by multiplying the required tension by the contributory area. The contributory area is the unanchored length of TRM below the trench.

For a more in-depth look at this subject, complete with diagrams, please click here.

Haunted House Black Plastic- What's Best?

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Wed, Aug 03, 2016 @ 04:14

Black Plastic For Halloween- What's the best choice? 

OK, so you need some black plastic to make your haunted house in your garage, or at your school. The first thought might be to run to a big box store and grab the cheapest black plastic they have.  That black plastic will create the effect you want and darken the room or space you plan to use for your haunted house. really want to get fire retardant/ fire resistant black plastic for a little bit more.  Now I know nothing will probably not happen in terms of a fire, BUT if a spark or flame should hit that regular black plastic, in seconds that stuff will go up in flames, and put off so much smoke! Watch this video (click here) and see what happens when a flame is put under regular plastic versus fire retardant plastic.Fire_Retardant_plastic_protects.png

This is a question that pops up every year as the witching hour approaches, and all the little ghosts and goblins will be running about. The answer is NO. For Halloween Haunts you want to use a Fire Retardant plastic. You see, in most jurisdictions the fire marshals are now making haunted houses use fire retardant products, like drywall, or plastic sheeting (polyethylene) that is Fire Retardant.  Many haunted houses have been made to install basic walls in recent years, because their fire marshals insisted they were necessary for meeting the fire safety requirements, and did not know there were far less expensive options available. 

 haunted house black plastic fire retardant

Global Plastic Sheeting supplies Black FR Polyethylene that  fire marshal's approves for this application. It is used in large amusement parks as well as for school and home owners. This polyethylene has been chemically altered when it was extruded, so it can no longer contribute significantly as a fuel source in the event of a fire.  This product provides a very low cost option for making your haunted attractions meet the local codes. Best of all we will provide you with the certifications to prove you are using FR Plastic.

Don't let those precious little "monsters" burn your house down by using plastic sheeting that is not fire retardant!

Most fire marshals are looking for products that pass the NFPA 701-15 Test 1, and/or the CA Fire Marshal Title 19 fire standards.  One should always check with fire authorities in their jurisdiction before erecting any haunted attraction.

Plastic Sheeting 101

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Mon, Aug 01, 2016 @ 02:00

Plastic Sheeting 101 - 4 Main Types of Polyethylene (Plastic Used For Flexible Sheeting)

In its simplest terms, the main difference between the different types of plastic is the way their cellular structure, or molecules bond with each other, and how tightly they are formed.

1) Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), most common type of plastic sheeting, very flexible, most often from 0.5 mil thick to about 40 mil in flexible sheeting forms. Good conformability to surfaces. Because the cell structure is not as strong or dense as some other types of plastic sheeting, it is not typically as strong or puncture resistant as other forms or blends, but has thousands of common uses. Widely used for everything from construction and agricultural sheeting (often called Visqueen), Engineered Plastic Sheeting of countless types for such things as Vapor Retarders (also called Vapor Barriers by many), Surface Protection films, Pond and Canal Liners, Covers, Tarps, Abatement Plastic, Containment, packaging, and the list goes on.

2) Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), blended form of LDPE where the film has much more flexibility, tensile strength, and more conformability. LLDPE is "softer" and more pliable, so is an excellent choice for such things as pond liners, or blended into other films to give them extra strength and flexibility. This is perfect for an application like a self-adhesive carpet protection film, where the film needs to have an amazing amount of strength in a very thin film to absorb impacts, but not tear or puncture. In this form of poly, the molecules all line up and strongly hold together as the film is stretched to give the structure much more strength and elongation than LDPE. Most common in thicknesses ranging from 0.5 mil to 40 mil in flexible plastic sheeting.

3) Medium Density Polyethylene (MDPE), the least commonly used form of polyethylene for flexible plastic sheeting. Has more strength than LDPE, a little more chemical resistance, tighter cell structure, more puncture and tear resistance. Often blended with LDPE and or LLDPE to give the attributes one is looking for in a particular type of film. For instance, many pond liners have MDPE to add some strength and toughness, without adding too much stiffness.

4) High Density Polyethylene (HDPE, aka HD), widely used for many applications. HDPE is the strongest, toughest, most chemical resistant, and least flexible of these four types of polyethylene. It also has the most UV resistance of the bunch without additive packages to increase this attribute. HDPE has a very tight cell structure, making it very difficult for other molecules to pass through its structure on a microscopic level. HDPE is the most easily field seamed of these products, and is generally used on an industrial level in thicknesses from about 12 mil to 100 mil thick. Most golf course ponds are lined with HDPE, most industrial ponds and canal liners, secondary containment liners, root barriers, many applications where chemical resistance is needed. This is also used in thousands or maybe millions of applications in thinner forms, especially in blends with the other types of polyethylene, because the HDPE adds much strength and toughness with its very tight bonds with other molecules.

The density of polyethylene is measured in a column of water, and they are all classified depending on ranges of density. LDPE (and LLDPE) are generally within the range of 0.919-0.924 g/cm³. MDPE are generally within the range of 0.926-0.940 g/cm³. HDPE are generally within the range of 0.941-0.965 g/cm³. These numbers can vary slightly depending on your source, and are not set in stone, just general guidelines.


Tags: Heavy Plastic

Does Hard Plastic Sheeting Mean Acrylic Sheets?

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 10:41

Like any industry, when you work in that industry you come to understand what is mean by varying terminologies.  Let's take a look at some common terms that are used in the plastic sheeting world to help clarify what is mean by each term.

Q:  What is considered Hard Plastic Sheeting?


A:    Hard plastic sheeting is plastic that for the most part won't bend. For example, corrugated plastic sheets, polycarbonate plastic, Acrylic sheets, UHMW-PE plastic boards (Ultra High Molecular Weight- Polyethylene, PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) to name a few.

Q:  Is 80 mil HDPE hard plastic?

A:  HDPE as it get thick seems hard, but a better term would be rigid.  It is surprising just how rigid thick HDPE actually is when you get it in your hands.

Q:  What is meant by "plastic panels"?


A:  Plastic panels are boards or panels made from plastic, and various types of plastic. Examples of plastic panels include- Plexiglas sheets, polycarbonate sheets, corrugated panels, etc. 

Q:  What is 6 mil plastic sheeting?

A: 6 mil plastic sheeting is referring to the thickness of generally flexible polyethylene film. 6 mil plastic sheeting can come in a wide variety of colors- for example- 6 mil black plastic sheeting, 6 mil white plastic sheeting and so on.  It someone wants a film that is thicker and a bit stronger than 6 mil, they would ask for 8 mil plastic sheeting or 10 mil and so on.

Q:  When is plastic sheeting for greenhouses used?

A:  Plastic sheeting for greenhouses is used most of the time. It is the most economical way to create a roof of a greenhouse.  Alternatives to plastic film for a greenhouse is making a Plexiglas greenhouse, or a glass greenhouse.  While 6 mil plastic sheeting is used for greenhouses, today there are much stronger forms of plastic sheeting such as Solawrap greenhouse plastic. It too is a polyethylene film, but it has a layer of bubbles in the middle which vastly strengthen the film.

Q:  What are acrylic sheets?


 A:  Acrylic sheets are hard plastic sheets that are used for a variety of things.  What is referred to as "Plexiglas" and "Perspex" are  brands of acrylic sheets. The subtle differences between acrylic and Plexiglas is that Plexiglas is harder than normal acrylic.  It is also more chemical resistant than traditional acrylic. There are colored acrylic sheets. acrylic sheets that are used in aquariums and so on.

Q;  Where can you buy plastic sheeting and hard plastic sheeting?

A:  Global Plastic Sheeting is a company that sells mostly flexible plastic sheeting- but they do have corrugated sheets which are hard plastic.  What differentiates Global Plastic Sheeting from big box stores is that they carry a very wide range of plastic sheeting in different mil thicknesses and made from different forms of polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, etc).  Plastic Sheeting from Home Depot is usually the thinner generic type of plastic sheeting.

Q:  White Plastic Sheeting is What?

A:  What is meant by white plastic sheeting is a polyethylene film that is white in color. It is also referred to as white poly sheeting. It comes in various mil thicknesses such as 10 mil white plastic sheeting.  White plastic sheeting comes in rolls  but can also come in white plastic panels. White plastic sheeting is quite common. You can find it on line at Global Plastic Sheeting, or big box stores such as Lowes.

 With so many types of plastic sheeting to chose from- thick, flexible, rigid, fire retardant, anti-static, string reinforced and more, ask lots of questions and get the best option for your project.

"Visqueen" Vapor Barrier  as a Vapor Retarder

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Wed, Jul 06, 2016 @ 04:49


So often people are looking for a  "Visqueen" vapor barrier.  What they are really asking for is some sort of plastic sheeting to use as a vapor barrier/retarder to slow water from coming up through the slab. The term "Visqueen" is actually a brand of plastic sheeting just like "Kleenex" is a brand of tissue. People will ask for a "Kleenex" when really they want a tissue. The same goes for "Visqueen".  It is a brand. 

Why are vapor barriers used under concrete you ask...Moisture that is in the ground slowly rises to the surface. This is problematic if you are putting tile or carpeting on top of the concrete in the way of flooring.  Vapor barriers AKA vapor retarders are a sheet of plastic that blocks the water from reaching the concrete slab. The key to selecting a vapor barrier is understanding the function of a well made vapor barrier. A vapor barrier designed specifically to slow moisture or act as a barrier from water rising up has to meet the ASTM E 1745 "Standard Specification for Plastic Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Soil or Granular Fill Under Concrete Slabs"  testing specifications. This test measures how pourous the plastic sheeting/ vapor barrier material is.  "Visqueen" type plastic as of this writing has not been tested to the specs that insure you can depend on the vapor barrier to slow water transmission.

Vapor barrier for concrete

"Visqueen" is also referred to as a "Construction and Agricultural" film C&A film.  It may contain up to 25% post consumer recycled content, and is made from the least expensive resins available at any given time. While it is excellent for use in many projects, it is not ideal for any use that requires sustained strength such as a tarp or for use as a vapor/moisture barrier or retarder. People will often do a search for "visqueen vapor retarder", or fire retardant visqueen" when they may be looking for an engineered plastic. An engineered plastic is one that is intentionally designed to meet certain measurable criteria to insure its suitability for the job it is intended for. 

When looking for a vapor retarder/barrier, we recommend  an engineered film. C&A films often completely breaks down within a couple of years. Have you ever dug up some old black plastic? Remember how torn and crusty it was? It's important that today's vapor/moisture barriers or retarders should pass the ASTM E 96 Class A, B and C (standard for under-slab vapor retarders in contact with soil or granular fill).  ASTM E 96 measures in part the "permeance" or how much water can pass through the vapor barrier.  You need a liner that is 0.3 perms or less. In terms of thickness, 10 mils and above will offer much better protection and resistance to moisture transmission.   If you need to over-lap the vapor retarder, 6 inches at the seams, taped and sealed around column and the like.

The bottom line is doing your due diligence regarding vapor barriers and selecting one that is not a "visqueen vapor barrier" and go with  liner that is engineered and tested to do the best job for the application. The last thing you want is to notice your carpeting is moist, or the laminent is coming un-glued from the floor!

Tags: film

Aquaponics is Thriving

Posted by Team SolaWrap and the Green Thumbs. on Tue, Jul 05, 2016 @ 05:02

Aquaponics is all the rage and its thriving! It is booming all over the world! People are creating aquaponics systems out of aquariums and making grow beds lined with fish-safe plastic sheeting. Some state of the art facilities are taking SolaWrap- the bubble film that allows plants to grow like no other and creating a green house for aquaponics. 

Aquaponics enthusiasts have also discovered a food grade, FDA compliant liner that is strong, 100% recyclable and much better for the environment.  It is called, Ultra FGC.  Growers that are looking for  organic certifications are drawn to this film.  It is used for not only aquaponics, but hydroponics and food facilities. 

SolaWrap with Aquaponics

Below is a picture of a grow beds.

Aquaponics trough ! resized 600

Where are some of the largest aquaponics farms you ask? One of the world's largest (reportedly) commercial aquaponics project is said to be in Abu Dhabi. The center produces 60,000 heads of lettuce in 21 days!  The image below is not from that farm, but from a farm in the United States. Check out that gorgeous lettuce!

aquaponics lettuce!

Aquaponics farms are cropping up in the most unusual places! Did you know the Hamm's Brewery building in St Paul MN utilized 6 floors to create a giant aquaponics facility?

According to Wikipedia, aquaponics has "ancient roots"...I don't think a pun was intended there...The Aztecs created and cultivated islands known as chinampas which some say was the first form of aquaponics for agricultural use. Plants were raised on islands in lade shallows and the waste material dredged from the Chinampa canals were used to manually irrigate the plants.

Thailand, South China and Indonesia cultivated and farmed rice in paddy fields along with fish to create early examples of aquaponics systems.

Schools are setting up systems to teach children about farming both fish and vegetables. It's a project that brings great pride and joy to school children. They can witness first hand what it takes to grow their own head of lettuce in water.

If you would like to know more about creating your own aquaponics system small or large, please call Ken Aguilar at Global Plastic Sheeting- 866 597 9298. He knows all about it, and he will be happy to help you.

Tags: aquaponics

12 Uses For Plastic Sheeting/ Visqueen

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 @ 03:37

There are so many varied uses for plastic sheeting which is often referred to interchangeably as "Visqueen."  Let's explore twelve of the common uses.                                                                                                                     

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  • Shelters or Temporary Protection

When hurricanes strike or disasters ensue, its plastic sheeting that is often used to create temporary shelters.  Often string reinforced plastic is used because it is stronger and will hold up to wind. 

  • Coverings for Outdoor Equipment, Wood Piles, Furniture

String Reinforced plastic sheeting is commonly used as well as non-reinforced plastic to make covers for a variety of items.  Grommets and hems can be added to the plastic so it can be held down in place.

  • Waterproofing Ponds, Lakes, Canals

Liners for ponds, lakes and canals use a variety of plastic sheeting called, High Density Polyethylene or HDPE to line their basins.  This virgin poly will hold up to the sun and elements. 

  • Recreational Uses such as Ice Skating Rinks, Slip and Slides

The beauty of plastic sheeting is it can be engineered for specific uses.  With the addition of special additives, plastic sheeting can work long and hard for the application it was designed for.  Ice skating rinks and slip and slides are an example of this.  Very large or long rolls of plastic can be ordered from a manufacturer to serve these purposes.

There is special plastic sheeting that does not harm fish or humans and can thus be used for rain collection or aquaponics.  Plastic can leach out chemical especially if it is construction and agricultural grade- as that plastic is mixed with regrind that is not pure virgin polyethylene.

  • Closing Off Rooms for Remodeling

With the help of an amazing product called ZipWall which will hold plastic sheeting up to the ceiling- you can close off a room where work is being done.  This is especially great if dust is flying around from workman activities.

  • Abatement work for Lead Paint

Lead paint abatement is a big deal.  It is very important that lead paint that is being scrapped off a surface does not contaminate other rooms in the house.  This is a great place to use plastic sheeting. Anti-static fire retardant plastic is a great choice for this application because the lead dust won't stick to the plastic sheeting. It can be swept up and removed.

There are full lines of plastic that have adhesive on one side so they can stick to the surface they are protecting!  Each type (Carpet Plastic, Tile Plastic, Countertop Plastic, etc) have specially formulated adhesive so it sticks just right to that surface.  For example, you need a stronger adhesive to stick the plastic to carpeting than you do for plastic being applied to counter.  Self-adhesive plastics are great for protecting surfaces from dogs, children's activities, adult parties and more!

  • Black Out Curtain for Halloween, Movie Sets, Museum Work

Black fire retardant plastic sheeting is used all the time by commercial haunted houses, movie sets, aerospace companies and museums to list a few.  This plastic is certified to be fire retardant- thus not contributing to a fire should one ensue.

Plastic polyethylene sheeting has been used for years and years to create greenhouses.  Today there are state of the art coverings for greenhouses that last a lot longer than the old school 6 mil plastics of yester-year.  This remarkable product is called, SolaWrap! It is plastic sheeting with bubbles in the layers.  The bubbles act to insulate the house from heat and cold, while adding strength. There are a lot more attributes that you can learn about by clicking on the link.

  • Aquaponic

Today there is a specialized type of plastic sheeting that has been created especially for aquaponics. It is called Ultra FGC. Ultra FGC is a food grade compliant liner that was engineered to be not only better for the environment, but better for your business.  When we speak of the environment we mean minimizing the raw material usage- thus leaving a smaller environmental footprint. It's better for your business because we reduced the weight of the liner while increasing the capabilities and strength of the plastic.

  • Under slab vapor barrier

Moisture resides in the earth and has a way of finding its way to the surface. This moisture is a problem for concrete slabs and the flooring that will be placed on the concrete. Under Slab vapor barriers are plastic sheeting barriers that are placed below the concrete to block the water from reaching the concrete.  Vapor barriers do have low levels of moisture permeance. Get a copy of the spec sheet for the vapor barrier to understand what grade of vapor barrier is being placed under the slab.

Back in the 1950's a 6 mil layer of plastic sheeting was used as a "vapor barrier". Unfortunately, 6 mil plastic still lets water pass through its cell allowing water to come through. 6 mil is so thin, that often it tears when it is put in place. A stronger less permeable is a much safer solution.

Plastic sheeting is a polyethylene film that comes in many different colors and thicknesses. It also comes in a variety of grades or qualities.

Grades of Plastic Sheeting

 "Virgin Polyethylene" is the highest form of plastic sheeting today.  This varies wildly from Visqueen. Visqueen has become one of the generic names for plastic sheeting, just as Kleenex has become the generic name for tissue. When someone asks for Visqueen, they are referring to a lesser grade of plastic sheeting. The plastic sheeting known as Visqueen has become a generic name for Construction and Agricultural Grade Polyethylene sheeting (C&A film). C&A film contains up to 25% post consumer recycled content, and is made from the least expensive resins available at any given time. While it is excellent for use in many projects, it is not ideal for any use that requires sustained strength such as a tarp or for use as a vapor/moisture barrier or retarder. People will often do a search for "visqueen vapor retarder", or fire retardant visqueen" when they may be looking for an engineered plastic. An engineered plastic is one that is intentionally designed to meet certain measurable criteria to insure its suitability for the job it is intended for.

Thickness/ Gauge

The thickness of polyethylene is measured in mils, which equals one-thousandth of an inch, or 0.001 inch. Many of the local hardware or box stores will carry very light duty plastic sheeting that could be 1 to 2 mils thick.  Depending on the application will dictate how thick the plastic needs to be.  6 mil is a very common thickness for plastic sheeting- but it can go all the way up to 100 mil! Some refer to the thickness of plastic as "gauge"- but a more precise term is "mil".  Plastic wrap, typically sold on rolls in boxes with a cutting edge, clings to many smooth surfaces and can thus remain tight over the opening of a container without adhesive or other devices. Common plastic wrap is roughly 0.5 mils, or 12.5 µm, thick.

Roll Sizes

There are so many different roll sizes, thicknesses, and colors on the market.  Here are a few examples:

Notice in the above examples that the last two examples have additives added to them.  An anti-static additive as well as a fire retardant additive can be added to make the plastic both anti-static and fire retardant. 

Plastic sheeting has come a long way with the applications and jobs it is able to assist. Bottom line is, plastic sheeting is a work horse for a variety of projects.

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