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Plastic Sheeting is known by many names...

Posted by Nana Hinsley on Fri, May 31, 2013 @ 09:07

Plastic sheeting is a general term that is a catch all phrase for many terms in the industry.  Plastic sheeting's other names are: liners, vapor barriers, vapor retarders, films, polyethylene sheeting. poly sheeting, visqueen, plastic film, reinforced plastic, self-adhesive films, tarps, root barriers, underlayments, greenhouse films, plastic covering, and so on. Plastic sheeting is often made from polyethylene film as its main ingredient.  Other additives can be added to it.

The beauty of plastic sheeting is the various ways it can be manufactured to best serve the application it is intended for. Below are some examples of the varieties of plastic sheeting. The highlighted terms will link you to the website with these products.

Fire retardant plasticFire Retardant: Plastic sheeting can be made to be fire retardant.  Fire retardant additives are added to the plastic so that it does not burn when it is exposed to flames.  That is not to say the plastic sheeting won't melt, but it won't add to the fire source. Fire retardant plastic is very popular in aerospace, maritime, museums, haunted houses, and events that need plastic sheeting where people will be involved. Most often the fire marshal will require proof in the way of documentation that the plastic sheeting is indeed fire retardant when it comes to using it for public events.

Sticky Plastic self adhesiveSelf Adhesive:  When construction work is being done, it is very efficient to have self-adhesive plastic sheeting covering a variety of surfaces. Carpeting, counters, windows, flooring, doors and more can be covered with self-adhesive plastic sheeting to protect the surface from damage.  These surface protection films have a self adhesive coating on one side, and not on the other.  The film sticks to the surface and holds it in place until it is time to remove it. A 3 mil film will very successfully protect the surfaces.  With carpeting, a woman can wear high stilleto heels and not puncture the plastic.  Carpet plastic is very popular to protect carpeting during parties. Those wings won't hurt a thing if they fall to the floor with the red wine!

String reinforcedScrim/String Reinforced:  Polyethylene sheeting can be made in layers, with a layer of string/scim reinforcement in the plastic.  What this does is make the plastic much stonger and able to stand up to wind and harsher condtions.  It is very popular on job sites where construction curtains are made.

U.V. (Ultra Violet) Protection:  The sun deteriorates plastic in record time.  Notice the torn up black plastic on piles of dirt in an empty lot.  That plastic did not receive the UV additive to protect it from the sun's strong rays. By looking at the life expectancy of the plastic sheeting, you can determin how long it will hold up when it is exposed to the sun.

Regrind vs virgin polyethylene:  Plastic sheeting is termed, "virgin resin" when the film is 100% polyethylene. manufacturers can throw in "regrind" which is recycled plastic.  When this is done, it weakens the plastic sheeting.  In some application, it doen't matter if there is regrind. Most HDPE liners are virgin polyethylen because the application that need that type of plastic, need a strong dependable liner to do the work. 

Harmful Gas Blockers:  Some plastic sheeting is specifically designed to block out harmful VOC's  such as Radon, Methane, and the like.  The cell structure in these films are so small that these gases cannot pass through. This same plastic sheeting blocks moisture transmission.

Vapor Retarders:  Water from the earth looks for ways to rise to the surface.  Many buildings today use vapor barriers (vapor retarders) to retard the moisture migration through concrete slabs and concrete walls thus protecting the structure.

Textured plastic sheetingTextured Plastic Sheeting:  Some applications want a little grip on the plastic sheeting, so people won't slip and fall should the plastic get wet.  Texturing is a nice way to accomplish this.  There are several films that have texture specifically for this purpose.

This is just a very small sample of the types of plastic sheeting products that exist. For more information please look through our website, or give us a call (866.597.9298). We love to talk about plastic!

 

Tags: plastic sheeting