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Which is better- Polypropylene or Polyethylene?

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 @ 02:13

Polypropylene vs Polyethylene

We get asked, which is better, polypropylene or polyethylene. It is not a matter of better- it's more a matter of- what is your application? What are you trying to do? Both plastics are considered commodity plastics. These are plastics that are used in high volume for a wide range of application. Plastics that compose commodity plastic are polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride. poly(methl methacrylate), polyethylene and polypropylene. A step up from commodity plastics are engineered plastics which are specialized plastics that are more expensive and are used for low-volume applications.

Both Polypropylene and polyethylene are a form of plastic- a plastic material known as a polymer. Their molecular structure looks similar with carbons and hydrogen molecules- but then the differences arise.

Let's compare some of the properties of each.

Mechanical Properties:

The density of polypropylene (PP) is between 0.895 and 0.92 The density of polyethylene can vary from a low of 0.857 g/cm3 and to a maximum of 0.0975 gm/cm3. As you can see, PP has the lowest density. Polyethylene is further broken down into weights or densities which is done so the plastic can serve a more specific purpose. This is done during manufacturing

The categories of Polyethylene are as follows. (To learn more, see Wikipedia.)

  • Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is tough and resistant to chemicals. It is used to manufacture moving machine parts, bearings, gears, artificial joints and some bulletproof vests.
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE), recyclable plastic no. 2, is commonly used as milk jugs, liquid laundry detergent bottles, outdoor furniture, margarine tubs, portable gasoline cans, drinking water distribution systems, water drainage pipes, and grocery bags.
  • Medium-density polyethylene (MDPE) is used for packaging film, sacks and gas pipes and fittings.
  • Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is flexible and is used in the manufacture of squeeze bottles, milk jug caps, retail store bags and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) as stretch wrap in transporting and handling boxes of durable goods, and as the common household food covering.

Polypropylene which is normally tough and flexible can have its density altered with the additon of fillers.

Chemical Properties:

PP is resistant to fats and almost all organic solvents when it is at room temperature. It can with-stand non-oxidizing acids and bases in containers made from polypropylene. Contrast this to polyethylene which is more chemically resistant. 

Polyethylene consists of non polar, saturated, high molecular weight hydrocarbons. Therefore, its chemical behavior is similar to wax or paraffin. The individual macro molecules are not covalently linked. Overall polyethylene is partially crystalline. Higher crystallinity increases density and mechanical and chemical stability.

Optical Properties:

PP can be made translucent when uncolored but it's not as transparent as acrylic or other plastic. Often colored pigments are added.

PE on the other hand can vary between almost clear, milky-opaque or opaque. The color is dependent on the thermal history and film thickness. LLDPE is the most optically clear with HDPE being the least opaque.

Uses of Polypropylene and Polyethylene:

Every day we have contact with PP or PE.  Polypropylene is used to make bottles, hinges, packaging materials, parts for automobiles, clear bags, ropes, rugs, roofing membranes, geotextiles, erosion control mats and so much more.

Polyethylene is vastly used in packaging (plastic bags, Plastic films. geomembranes and plastic sheeting to protect the environment to construction projects.  

Both Polypropylene and Polyethylene play a huge role in the world as we know it today.


Greenhouse Plastic, Greenhouse Film, Greenhouse Covering...What?!!

Posted by Team SolaWrap and the Green Thumbs. on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 01:13

Greenhouse Plastic, Greenhouse Film, Greenhouse Covering

What is the difference between greenhouse plastic versus greenhouse film versus greenhouse covering?

Greenhouse Covering

The broadest term for this article is "greenhouse covering".  It is used to describe anything that is typically used to put on the roof of a greenhouse. Those coverings are:

  • Vinyl
  • Glass
  • Polyethylene Plastic Film- SolaWrap Bubble film or 6 mil plastic that may or may not be reinforced
  • Polycarbonate either rigid or flexible rolls
  • Polyethylene panels that can be semi rigid or flexible rolls
  • Fiberglass-either rigid or flexible rolls
  • Acrylic which is rigid.

Greenhouse Plastic

The most common term used on the internet to search for a greenhouse covering that is made of plastic is the term, greenhouse plastic.   But even this term can be misconstrued.  Most people think of polyethylene plastic when they search for greenhouse plastic.  Even though acrylic, polycarbonate and fiberglass are made of plastic, it is not thought of as a greenhouse plastic. It is best to be specific when you are looking for the specific covering as poly film is very different from polycarbonate.

Greenhouse Film

Polyethylene film and greenhouse film are used interchangeably. For all practical purposes, greenhouse film falls into the polyethylene category.  It is often thought of as the smooth rather thin plastic material but SolaWrap film is also made of polyethylene, but due to the bubble wrap air bubble design, it may not be the first thing you think of when you say, "greenhouse film".

There is a brief look at the various terms that are used when referencing Greenhouse Coverings.

Tags: Greenhouse Covers

What is the difference between 6 mil plastic sheeting and SolaWrap Greenhouse Plastic?

Posted by Team SolaWrap and the Green Thumbs. on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 @ 02:33

Are you looking to cover a greenhouse? Have you narrowed your choices down to a 6 mil plastic and Solawrap greenhouse covering? Are looking for the best greenhouse plastic you can find? This article will look at 6 mil plastic that has been used for years and Solawrap- the greenhouse covers that has a proven product that has a track record for 30 years in Europe, but is fairly new in the United States.  It is like nothing else that currently exists on the market.  You will see that it out-performs all its competitors, and is more cost effective in the long run.

 What factors are you taking into consideration for your greenhouse?  You are probably considering the amount and type of light reaching your plants, the overall appearance of your greenhouse, its ease of maintenance, safety and longevity. Most of all, you want something that is cost effective.

What are your greenhouse covering choices? 

Let's start with polyethylene films.  It comes in a variety of thicknesses with 6 mil being very common. When selecting a 6 mil greenhouse plastic, you need to make sure it is not a product out of China.  . Typically a single layer of polyethylene film has an R value of approximately 0.85. A double poly cover consisting of two layers of poly has an approximate R value of 1.25.  This is a quick inexpensive fix- but is it really inexpensive when you add in the labor cost to replace it more often than other options. Greenhouse plastic will offer some UV protection, and some versions have better tensile strength than others.

Greenhouse plastic tears One thing to be aware of is the plastic ripping where the plastic touches the PVC. This seems to be reported from growers who don't use a film that offers UV protection  The PVC may absorb the heat and speed up the breakdown of the plastic.  As we all know, sun is an enemy to all sorts of plastic sheeting. Another reason for the breakdown and tearing of the plastic could be the chlorine that is in PVC.  This too is a problem for greenhouse plastic.  There is a polyethylene greenhouse film that won't give you these problems called SolaWrap!  Read on to learn more.

6 mil greenhouse plastic coverings also come in white. They are often referred to as, white opaque greenhouse films. White greenhouse films are popular when reducing heat in the greenhouse is the goal.   Being white will however reduce the light transmission by almost half per layer.

Another option is to look at the reinforced polyethylene greenhouse films.  This product comes in a 3 ply laminate where a cord grid is placed between two layers of plastic.  The goal is to offer a high strength film that is durable yet light weight.

Greenhouse plastic Bubble Solawrap.png

SolaWrap Greenhouse Plastic Cover:  SolaWrap Greenhouse Plastic (Greenhouse covering) offers:

  • R-Value 1.7
  • 83% transparency
  • 10 year warranty against UV degradation (better warranty than polycarbonate)
  • up to 83% diffused light (only product on the market with both high transparency and high diffusion)
  • 120 lbs per square foot snow load rating (approx 15 feet of snow)
  • 100 mph wind rating (has survived 135 mph windstorms in Alaska)
  • Has been shown to last up to 27 years on greenhouses in Europe
  • Does not yellow or get brittle


Bottom line: 6 mil plastic sheeting is a smaller initial investment, but won't last too many years. If there is a storm, heavy snow or hail it could rip.  SolaWrap holds up under heavy snow loads, high winds and rough weather.  It costs more initially, but in the long run you won't be recovering you greenhouse in a few years.

Tags: Polydress Sola Wrap

Tension Fabric Buildings Early Beginnings

Posted by Nana Hinsley on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 @ 02:21

So often we forget to think about how or where a building type got it's origins- such as tension fabric buildings. I had seen these types of buildings for years but never stopped to recognize what type of a building it was. How about the Denver Airport?


Tension fabric building Denver Airport

What about the magnificent Taichung Convention Center?


Tension fabric structure



Tension fabric building  Taichung


To read more about fabric building and how they got their start please click here.




Tags: fabric buildings

ASTM E- 84 Versus NFPA 701- Which is better?

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Fri, Apr 07, 2017 @ 09:47

NFPA 701 and ASTM E-84 both have to do with flames and fire, but one is not necessarily better than the other. Let's take a look at their differences.

ASTM E-84  or "E84" as it's shortened name. It's the test to learn how fast the flames will spread if a fire should errupt on a material horizontally.

ASTM E-84 is intended to provide only comparative measurements of surface flame spread and smoke density with that of select grade red oak an fiber-cement board survaces under the specific fire exposture conditions. Simply put, ASTM E-84 measures the flame spread and smoke index, which are considered the surface burning characteristics of a material. 

Depending on the numbers, materials can have classifications of Class A, B, or C according to NFPA , ANSI/NFPA No. 101, "life Safety Code" , 2006 Edition, or IBC (International Building Code), 2006 Edition, Chapter 8, Interior Finishes, Section 803,  if they pass any level of this standard.  The test is conducted in a fire tunnel using a 22" x 24' sample of the material.  The ignition source is 7 seconds in duration, total test is 10 minutes.  The flame front cannot exceed 24" during the test.  Results are expressed as Flame Spread Index, and Smoke Developed Value.  Following are the criteria for each level of this test, regardless of whether NFPA or IBC.


For products that pass these criteria

Class A, Flame Spread 1-25, Smoke Developed Less than or equal to 450

Class B, Flame Spread 26-75, Smoke Developed Less than or equal to 450

Class C, Flame Spread 76-200, Smoke Developed Less than or equal to 450.

Please note, this test is comparable to UL 723, ANSI/NFPA No 255, and UBC No. 8-1

NFPA 701-015 Test 1 or 2- The test to measure the flammability of a fabric/plastic item measured vertically

NFPA 701-15 (the most recent revision of the NFPA 701) measures the mass before test, mass after test, mass loss percentage, the number of seconds of any burning drips, and the after flame of the material in seconds during and after a specified burn period at a specified flame temperature.  Once the flame is extinguished the after flame in seconds is measured.  10 samples are tested, 5 in the machine direction, 5 in the cross direction (also known as warp/weft respectively).  This test is a Pass/Fail test based on the following criteria.  If the material fails any of the following criteria, it fails the test

Mass Loss: 40% Max Average or Average + 3 standard Deviations Max Individual

Drip Burn/Afterflame: 2 seconds Max. Avg. 

Use of Polyethylene Sheeting in Construction

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 @ 01:26


The question has arisen- can construction grade polyethylene plastic sheeting be used for various construction projects?

The answer is, it depends!  It is critical to understand that  to not all plastics are created equal.  For instance, 1 mil to 6 mil "construction grade" polyethylene sheeting in the construction aisle is the lowest grade of polyethylene sheeting available on the market.  It is made from up to 25% post consumer recycled goods, reground resins, and the absolute least expensive resins that can be bought from any source in any location across the globe.  These films are not guaranteed to be pinhole free, and can have quite a few defects that are acceptable in this type of film.  The quality control for this type of film is the lowest in the plastic's industry.  While it has been an acceptable practice to use quite a bit of this type of plastic sheeting in the past as vapor retarders, that has been changing over the  last couple of decades to a very large degree. 

At the same time, construction grade plastic can be used to throw over a sofa or area to keep dust or dirt from falling on the item or area.  This plastic is not made for longevity or superior strength. Again the key term is, "construction grade or C & A" film, not the mil thickness.  The bigger the mil number the thicker the plastic.

Polyethylene sheeting under concrete slab

Under-slab vapor retarders play a very important role in retarding moisture from coming up through the concrete and into the structure. Today most experts feel very strongly that engineered films designed specifically for use as vapor retarders should be used as vapor retarders.  These products are made from 100% virgin resins, and have excellent quality control.  Most are tested to a standard called the ASTM E1745, which is the standard for vapor retarders in contact with soil or granular fill used under concrete slabs.  These materials are engineered not to decay in this type of application, whereas most construction grade poly will begin breaking down almost immediately and will have lost most of its structural integrity within 2 years.  How many times have you dug up plastic sheeting in your life that is just destroyed from being buried in the ground?  I know this is a bit off subject here, but the principles are even more important when dealing with vapor retarders for hardwood flooring, which is considered a critical application for vapor retarders.

Vapor Retarders for under the home or in the crawl space

It makes some difference what part of the country you are in, what kinds of humidity levels are common in your region, whether or not your home has a good quality vapor retarder under the slab, basement, or in the crawl space.  If you already have an excellent vapor retarder, then the one you use under your hardwood floor is far less critical.  If you are putting a hardwood floor over a damp crawlspace, and use a poor quality vapor retarder, you are  asking for a lot of problems with the hardwood flooring, and will likely suffer problems with buckling, warping, noisy flooring, lots of expansion and contraction, and often finish problems, just to name a few. 

Should you be in an area where Radon is prevalent, or methane, then the use of a barrier with capabilities to retard these gasses becomes important also.  Again these films are engineered to have a very tight cell structure capable of keeping these very small molecules from passing right through the membrane.  These gasses, and to a very large extent water vapor pass quite easily through the cellular structure of common construction grade polyethylene (aka Visqueen).

This is kind of a long answer to your question, but the plastics in the flooring aisle are hopefully engineered to be better vapor retarders than the ones in the construction aisle.  If one wants an even better vapor retarder, then one might want to contact a plastics company specializing in vapor retarders so you can find out which is most appropriate for your application.  The vapor retarder is fairly inexpensive insurance for having a great experience with a hardwood floor as compared with what can be a nightmare experience when the wrong product is used.

CLICK to CALL Pricing/ Info From cell 

10 mil vs 20 mil Crawl Space Vapor Barrier- Which one is best?

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 @ 02:14

10 mil vs 20 mil...Decisions- Decisions: How to Select A Crawl Space Liner


How do you decide between a 10 mil versus a 20 mil crawl space vapor barrier?  It's kind of like choosing between a lightweight sweater and a thick wool sweater. What are the conditions that surround the situation? Below is a very simplified look at some of the considerations when deciding on a crawl space liner. If you are unsure, speak to someone who is well versed in these liners and can explain the differences to you. (760.597.9298)

If you have a rocky crawlspace in which you will be storing things and walking around, thicker is the smartest way to go. The thing about a crawl space is that you don't want to get it wrong the first time. You don't want to be sitting in your home after the job is completed and smell that awful musty smell that you had before the crawl space liner/ vapor barrier was installed. Whether you do the job yourself, or hire someone to do it, its a job that you only want to do once.  Select the strongest, most tear resistant crawl space liner you can, and sleep well at night.  A 20 mil string reinforced liner that passes the essential tests is your go to liner in many cases. Part of the assessment revolves around how you will handle radon. There are liners that block radon.

Tests for Crawl Space Vapor Barriers

  • Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTR) test ASTM E 96 measures the water vapor transmission rate, or the rate at which water passes through the plastic sheeting vapor barrier.
  • Elongation, Tongue Tear, Trapezoidal Tear and Load Yield are other tests that can tell you how strong the liner is under pressure.  Be sure to ask your installer, or plastic sheeting supplier for this information so you can make an educated decision about which crawl space liner you want to use.

What should you know about crawl space liners?

The Crawl Space Material

The material that makes up the crawl space line make a huge difference in how well the vapor barrier will do its job. It is key that the liner you select, regardless of the thickness be made from high-grade raw materials- i.e. virgin polyethylene. There are plenty of so-called "vapor barriers" on the market that are made from what is known as "Construction Grade Films" or C & A films.  These plastic sheeting products are made with low-grade resins that consist of post-consumer recycles materials. The recycled plastic will not do the job that a crawl space liner that is made of quality resin will do. A so called, "commodity film" has its purpose in agriculture and on a construction site to cover piles of dirt or machinery- but not to stop the moisture and gases from entering your crawlspace.

The Life-Span of the Vapor Barrier

With the goal of one and done- One crawl space vapor barrier and never again have to do this job, the crawl space liners that are made from sub-par plastic or C & A poly AKA Visqueen will decay. The life span of a strong crawl space vapor retarder will resist decay and the attacks from moisture, organisms in the soil and chemicals. Weaker films will come apart and degrade over time.

Questions to Ask a Crawlspace Installer (and you should know the answers)

  • What percentage is recycled material?
  • Is it better to use 100% Virgin polyethylene?
  • I would like to use reinforced virgin polyethylene, may I provide the plastic to install? 
  • How will you install, tape and mechanical fasteners on the walls?
  • What is the Water Vapor Transmission rate on your plastic?  
  • What class is it?

The Issues in a Dirt Floor Crawl Space

  • Wet and smelly area
  • Allergenic mold spores and Mildew that contributes to rot and health issues 
  • Rats/ mice, termites, cockroaches, ants, and crickets may party the night away in a dark wet crawl space
  • Radon coming up from the earth

The best bet is to do your homework so you can decide if a lighter 10 mil crawl space liner will do the job, or something heavier such as a 20 mil liner. Knowing that there are certificates/ spec sheets that spell out how the liner is rated will insure you are getting what you are looking for.  If you need further assistance, we hope you will call us at 760.597.9298.

Here's to your beautiful clean crawl space!

CLICK to CALL Pricing/ Info From cell 


Tags: crawlspace liner

Considerations When Buying a Fabric Structure

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 @ 04:32

Are All  Fabric Structures The Same?

Portable Fabric  building.jpgCommunity building Plastic Sheeting cover.pngPlastic sheeting covered fabric building.jpg

 What do you need to consider when selecting a fabric building manufacturer?


Is the fabric building engineered to your site specifications?  There is a difference between having the building "designed" versus "engineered". A designed building may meet the size and dimensions the customer specifies, but it doesn't take into consideration the critical components of the environment- such as wind and snow loads, thermal factors, exposure factors and so on. With a Britespan fabric structure, you will get a quote for an engineered structure that will comply with all North American and International building codes.


Is All Galvanizing the Same?

No! There are two different types of galvanized pipe: in-line (triple coat/Gatorshield or pre-galvanized) and post production hot dipped galvanized. While both use zinc coating, the application is the most critical part. 

Britespan applies hot dipped galvanizing to all of their trusses post production (after all fabrication is complete), which uses an entirely different process to ensure lifelong corrosion protection and a much longer service life. We start with untreated black structural steel.  We bend and weld the raw steel into our trusses.  Holes are drilled into the pipe to ensure the galvanizing reaches every surface.  After that, the trusses are submerged in a bath of molten zinc where they receive a coating on every surface inside and out that is three times thicker than the coating  on the outside of  in-line galvanized pipe.  This process means that your building will offer a service life that is approximately three times longer than the in-line galvanized alternative.

In-line galvanized pipe is rolled through a waterfall of zinc and the pipe is coated on the outside, painted on the inside, and is then sent out to be manufactured. The pipe is bent, welded into trusses, and shipped out.  Unfortunately, the welding of the trusses burns off the paint on the inside of the pipe, leaving it unprotected and susceptible to rust before it ever gets erected.




Trusses for Fabric Building.png

Truss Weight- Some of the heaviest in the industry!
Many companies claim that they use as much as 30% more steel in their buildings. The question is, 30% more than what? In order to exceed required loading, Britespan has some of the heaviest trusses in the industry. For example, our 42’ truss weights 580 lbs, where as some of our competitors trusses weigh in around 360 lbs. Your building is not something you want to be lightweight.

Truss Depth

Britespan Truss depth start at  18 inches.png

Geometry plays a very important role in the structural integrity of a building. The deeper the truss the more rigid it will be. Britespan’s trusses are commonly built deeper, allowing us to adhere to the strictest building codes and provides superior longevity in adverse conditions. Britespan trusses start at 18" of depth and go up to 96" of depth.

Many competitors choose to minimize this truss depth for the sake of price. This leaves the consumer wide open to all of the liability should there be a failure in the building.

Round vs. Square Tubing

Trusses round tube for fabric structure.png

Pound for pound, round tubing is stronger than square. Britespan buildings utilize round tube on their arches as it dramatically reduces cover friction and provides a stronger truss that is needed to comply with stringent building codes. Cover friction can occur where the cover rests against the steel of the truss.

Purlins and Cross Cables

Britespan purlings.png

Solid Mounted Purlins
What are purlins? Purlins are a section of pipe that keep the trusses spread apart and are responsible for withstanding the wind load against the ends of the building. Many companies use small diameter light gauge purlins. This often results in the building racking or collapsing in severe wind conditions. These companies may also use a saddle bracket and fork connection that wraps around the thruss cord for attachment. This allows for rotation around the cord and offers less rigidity in the connection causing the building to buckle under load. Britespan uses up to 4.5” purlins that are double bolted to the engineered structural truss, providing the strongest building possible.  There are no parts that can move or loosen over time, which increases the lifespan of your cover.

Purlin Construction
The key to ensuring your fabric building will last for a long time is to make sure that the steel remains as rigid as possible. Cover failures occur when the fabric rubs against the steel trusses. Purlins play a critical role in the rigidity of a building. Britespan buildings use a dedicated large diameter one piece solid purlin.  This system provides unparalleled strength and durability in high wind areas.

Cross Cables
The strength of a building is dependent on many factors.  While the amount of steel in the building is the biggest factor, you also need to look at the building’s rigidity.  The less the building moves the longer the fabric will last.  Cross cables in a building dramatically reduce the deflection of the building under load.  Cables must be secure and tight to achieve this benefit.

Britespan uses the best quality cables that are solid mounted to structural truss members that are specifically designed to do the job, and they utilize turnbuckles for easy tensioning. 

Many manufacturers overlook this element and weave their cables through many bays and wrap them around the web of the truss, which is quite often the lightest part of the truss. The cables can slide and move and require maintenance to ensure their tension at all times. This results in buildings that move more in the wind, reducing the life of the fabric.

Tensioning the Covers

Winch Blocks or Ratchet Straps
What is the most important factor in ensuring the longevity of your fabric building? Its ensuring your cover stays tight. Britespan utilizes the cleanest and strongest tensioning system.  Our 10,000 lb. winch blocks hold all of our covers on from 19’ wide and up. In order to be able to sell you a cheap building, many of our competitors will provide you with their standard ratchet strap fastening system. While this is a cost effective alternative up front, the cost of replacing your cover is not. Make sure your fastening system is up for the job!

Tension Pipe
The tension pipe is a pipe that runs parallel with your cover and is attached to the winch blocks. It allows you to put tension on your cover, which is required for longevity and warranty. A loose cover will rapidly result in cover damage that is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Britespan only uses large diameter or oval heavy gauge material for fastening pipe, which allows for even tensioning of the cover without fear of an over tension situation over the trusses.  This means your cover should last 20-25 years under normal circumstances.


The ROI of the Fabric BuildingWhen comparing the costs and advantages of different building types such as wood framed buildings or steel covered buildings to a Britespan fabric building, it can be difficult to know where to start. So we have broken out some of the important components to the performance of any type of building.

Windows for Lighting
A building with non-translucent roofing materials must add windows and or skylights to allow natural (free) daylight to enter the building. Typical window frames and glass for a 4x6 foot window will cost $500 to $1000 (installed estimate). Buildings may require dozens of windows to suitable light the interior. A Britespan building with the translucent fabric cover does not require windows. The light transmission through the covers provides a soft, pleasant interior lighting using natural (free) lighting, even on cloudy days. 

Nighttime Lighting

tension fabric building lighting.jpg
Without the daytime sunlight, most buildings will require some form of nighttime lighting. Equipment costs, installation costs, and operational costs must all be considered. For a wood or steel construction building, the owner will need to add enough lumens of light to properly light the working area of the building, consuming electricity every minute of use. A Britespan building will require typically 1/3 of the lighting as the bright white underside of the fabric roof reflects and disperses the artificial lighting broadly and evenly, reducing shadows and reaching all areas of the building. 

Britespan buildings feature a high roof design which results in a large volume of interior air space. In agricultural uses, this draws the warm moist air up and away from livestock. With the ability to offer side ventilation, end wall ventilation and roof ventilation, warm moist air, including odours, can easily be vented from buildings. In commercial, retail and industrial uses, the non-permeable fabric cover allows for increased control and air management. Ventilation and heating/cooling systems do not need to compete with the many sources of air inflow/outflow of a conventional building. 

Painting and Re-roofing 
Conventional buildings such as wood sided buildings require frequent maintenance, such as painting or staining, to maintain their visual appearance. In addition, roofs of shingles or tar have a limited lifespan and need to be replaced in a time consuming and labour intensive disruption to your business. If a Britespan building ever needs to be re-roofed the cover replacement techniques can be performed in less time that would normally require removing and re-shingling a roof.

Construction Time
Building construction is necessary, and can be a lengthy process, from site prep to foundation to framework to roofing and siding to interior prep and finishing. Wood and steel buildings with their labour intensive construction techniques, can keep your business waiting on construction for months. A Britespan steel-framed fabric building is pre-engineered at the factory and shipped in component pieces, ready to be erected. With rapid construction techniques, a Britespan building can be erected in weeks instead of months. This minimizes any interruptions to your business operations. 

Insuring your Fabric Building

Protecting your investment is paramount.


Can a Britespan Building be insured?  YES!

Britespan Building Systems Inc. was formed on the foundation of providing the best value to its customers. We are not willing to sacrifice top quality product for the sake of price when selling our buildings. When purchasing any type of building, you are making a substantial investment. Have you ever considered that this investment might not be insurable? Britespan buildings are engineered to comply with the most current building codes, have more steel, and can be insured investments for years to come. 

Of course, you want to make sure your new fabric building is protected by insurance in case something would happen. Some insurance companies have begun excluding or limiting coverage on buildings that do not meet the requirements of the building codes. It may also be difficult to get any value for an uninsurable building when it comes to the sale of the property. Britespan works hand in hand with insurance companies to eliminate the worry on their end. This means that your Britespan building will be insured like the rest of your buildings. 

Why you must meet building codes? Liability 
Some building owners may think it is unnecessary for the building to meet the requirements of the building codes if it is for their own personal use. You should seriously consider the matter of liability if someone is injured in any way while in your building. 

Do  Britespan builings come with a Warranty?
Warranties provide you with peace of mind that if something happens to your product, the company will be there to stand behind it. Warranty length is most commonly 15 years. Britespan offers a 16 year warranty, and we believe in our buildings so much that we actually manufacture our product inside one of our own buildings.

Why Should you Select a Britespan building?

  1. HOT DIP GALVANIZING Post-weld hot dip galvanizing bonds to steel to provide lifelong corrosion resistance from the inside out.
  2. CLEARSPAN INTERIOR With no interior columns, movement throughout the interior is easy for vehicles and equipment.
  3. VENTILATION Large volumes of interior air space give you superior air quality and ventilation.
  4. LIGHT Naturally bright interiors create comfortable environments and help reduce energy costs.
  5. QUALITY Constructed from quality North American steel and engineered to comply with the most current building codes.
  6. RETURN ON INVESTMENT Our structures provide large, bright, secure spaces with reduced operating and maintenance costs.
  7. Proven Track Record Britespan has been in the fabric building industry since 1994, offering the widest product line available today. We design, engineer and manufacture each product line in-house. Our structures are engineered to be portable, temporary or permanent, with rapid installs even in remote areas.

We hope this information will help you make an informed buying decision. Watch this Britespan building from start to finish!



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