PVC tents have an outer tent made from PVC coated fabric. The basis of this material is nylon thread, whose weaving and density affects adhesion (the ability to attach the surfaces of two different types of objects) of the PVC to it. The quality of the PVC sheets depends on the degree of adhesion. The fabric (nylon) basis of the material can be distinguished by chemical composition, strength characteristics, weight, and type of weaving (for example, the weft and warp ratios are 1:1 or 1:2. The number of threads per centimetre of fabric is also important). The bigger the nylon thread used in the fabric part of the material, the higher the breaking load values. However, the adhesive coating in the fabric parts significantly worsens. When sheets of this material are welded together, for example, using a construction heat gun or professional equipment, the PVC coating can be easily torn off the second sheet. This not only damages the sealing of the seams, but also the integrity of the finished product. Such a tent may not be sufficiently sealed. The fabric base may be covered in PVC on just one or both sides. Double-sided coating is best for tents as it increases their life and storage periods.
PVC coatings are slightly soluble in ketones, esters and chlorinated hydrocarbons. PVC is resistant to acids, fats, alkalis, salt solutions, water, petrol, alcohol, kerosene, industrial gases, including alkanes (methane, ethane, propane, butane, etc.), hydrogen fluoride, nitrogen dioxide, etc. PVC can be freely mixed in any proportions with phosphate, phthalate and sebacylic acid derivative plasticisers.
PVC is very resistant to oxidation and is not considered to be a flammable material, therefore nylon fabric coating on both sides of the PVC is reliably protected from moisture and fire and does not rot. As tents are often left in storage for a long time where heating and ventilation is insufficient (and often kept on the floor rather than on shelves), PVC coated fabric tents are very popular.
Various additives can be added to PVC coatings. For example, polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) improves the fabric’s resistance to UV rays. This additive is mainly used for tents in hot countries (for example, in Saudi Arabia, where huge tent cities are regularly put up during the Hajj pilgrimage).
Polyurethane improves the fabric’s properties at low temperatures, makes it more elastic and resistant to creases formed from assembling and pitching tents in the cold. PVC fabric coated with lacquer or acrylic does not get very dirty and is easy to clean if necessary. So if you buy a light coloured tent (light colours will give your tent a festive appearance), make sure that the PVC fabric has an elegant gloss.
When a coloured lacquered tent bends, whitish creases may appear, i.e. the creases will be of a lighter colour. A tent with such creases doesn’t look so attractive. After a certain period these creases disappear. However, if you want your tent to remain beautiful forever, then choose exclusively white PVC, where creases are not noticeable.
Despite its many positive features, tents made with PVC may have some limitations. If the PVC is not treated to improve the material’s frost resistance, then the tent may only be used at temperatures from -30 to +40°C. However, if the tent is pitched in the cold, then the outer tent must be stored beforehand in heated premises, as a hardened outer tent will be difficult to put up. If it is not possible to heat the tent in advance, then it is better to buy a canvas tent.
If the outdoor temperature exceeds 40°C, then PVC without protective additives will begin to melt and stretch. Why does PVC fabric withstand temperatures of +70°C, while the tent only withstands +40°C? This can be explained as follows: when the heat of the sun falls on the surface, the rays can be absorbed or reflected; the surface heats up more, especially if it is a dark colour, than the surrounding air. Therefore, when it is +40°C outside, your olive green tent is in direct sunlight and its temperature can easily exceed +100°C.
PVC fabric colour range
PVC fabrics can be made in any colour. However, materials with a colour made to order are produced in small quantities due to low demand. If you can’t wait two months to receive the coloured fabric you desire, then you can always choose PVC fabric that is in stock. The most common PVC fabric colours are white, blue, olive green and blue. We also offer the services of an artist who can help produce a tent in the colours of your organisation using paints, logos and slogans.