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This month with Dr. Shade we are going to talk about Flame Retardancy for shadecloth, which to some folks is an ugly subject or to others a real bother, but as mom would say, “It’s for your own good”! There are three main test methods for shadecloth as well as other exterior architectural fabrics. They are; ASTM E-84, NFPA 701 Method 2, and one of the toughest tests to pass; the California State Fire Marshall Title 19 or (CSFM Title 19). Each of these tests has a separate method and while all of them promulgate flammability specifications, you cannot get one certificate that covers them all. Today we are going to address in depth the CSFM Title 19 Test Method and its importance to shadecloth. Did you know that Value Vinyls is proud to be the sole U.S. distributor for Monotec 370 Shadecloth, which is the only Mono/Mono shade cloth on the market today with a CSFM Title 19 pass certificate. This certificate must be renewed on an annual basis and Value Vinyls has just received the renewed certificate. So, what is CSFM Title 19? California State Fire Marshal Title 19. The state of California is a frontrunner in the United States when it comes to flammability, often initiating stricter flammability requirements before the rest of the country. This means that California State Fire Marshal certification is sometimes recognized outside of California, so it’s a specification you need to be aware of. Of course, the opposite is also true. When presented with a flame certificate from the CSFM, some local code officials may question the certificate. Knowing how it compares to other specifications may be of assistance in that situation. (See chart below.) In addition to differences in test specifics, such as sample size and exposure to the flame source, the CSFM specification differs from the rest in one other important aspect—documentation. In order to qualify for CSFM certification, a fabric manufacturer not only must have their materials tested by an independent lab approved by the CSFM, but also send the material directly to the CSFM office to be tested there. The result is extra bureaucracy for the fabric suppliers, but a handy tool for end-product manufacturers. The Fire Engineering Department at the California State Fire Marshal has an online database of fabrics and films that have achieved its certification. Go to http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/fireengineering.html Monotec 370 FR is the only shadecloth on the market today that meets all the FR specifications noted above and is the strongest fabric on the market along with having the best warranty in the business; 15 years for non-FR and 10 years for FR. Value Vinyls has recently renewed our Monotec 370 FR CSFM Title 19 certification, click HERE if you would like us to send you the latest copy along with a Monotec brochure, or call us at 877-716-6651 to discuss the options for your project using Monotec. Stay Tuned… Dr. Shade’s next blog will be addressing the NFPA-701 & ASTM-E84 Class A Flame Retardant test methods.   SOURCE American Society for Testing and Materials SOURCE National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) SOURCE Office of the California State Fire Marshal

By: Marc Shellshear / Dr. Shade Typical testing for shade cloth is as important as the fabric itself! The reason is evident; when you spend the time and money to build an expensive structure that holds the shade cloth itself, you want the fabric to withstand all elements. In this article, we are going to discuss typical testing for commercial shade cloth. There are several tests that are considered standard tests. Australia leads the globe in shade cloth protection so their standards are the benchmark for testing shade cloth, most companies test to Australian standards. Value Vinyls is the sole distributor and stocks a full color line of Monotec 370 Shade Cloth, manufactured in Australia. First is a simple test used to determine the weight of the fabric however, weight doesn’t always equate to strength. There are many fabrics in the market that are lighter than others, but still out perform in the field of overall strength. It has everything to do with the way in which they are knitted. Monotec 370 shade cloth is one of the highest in weight and later in this article I will discuss the strength factors. The test standard for this test is AS2001.2.13 Next is a breaking force test; because knitted fabrics are opposite of woven fabrics, the warp yarns are traditionally the weaker of the two yarns. Breaking force tests are performed in both the warp and weft directions of the fabric. The Monotec shade cloth outperforms other products in both the warp and weft fibers in terms of breaking force. The test standard for this test is AS2001.2.13 Another test is elongation, which is important because it determines how much pre-stress you can put on the fabric and determines the difficulty involved with patterning the fabric as you must account for the stretch factor when patterning. When it comes to elongation, the lower the number the better as that means less patterning concerns and the ability to tension on-site without possibilities of fabric stretching once it conforms to the environment. The closer the numbers are between the warp and weft also determine dimensional stability in the knit pattern itself. The Monotec product has a 24.4% differential in warp and weft. Monofilament yarns unlike tape yarns, have memory and do return to their original shape and size if stretched. Monotec 370 is one of the few all round monofilament fabrics on the market today and can stretch over 50% under load (IE: snow) and still return to its original shape and size. The test standard for this test is AS2001.2.13 Then there is the tear resistance test, which is just as it states; the ability to resist tearing and nothing in the market today resists tearing like Monotec 370 Shade Cloth. Tear resistance is also measured in both the warp and weft directions. The test standard for this test is AS2001.2.13 A final test looks at bursting pressure and bursting force which is the ability to resist impact tested in two different methods and again nothing will outperform the Monotec 370 product. The test standard for this test is AS2001.2.13 There are other important standards relating to shade cloth such as flame retardancy where fire codes would be involved with the structure. Monotec is one of the few products available that passes multiple fire ratings and has a California State Fire Marshall Title 19 approval, this is important when permitting projects as fire codes are becoming more stringent on fabric structures. Finally, one of the most important factors to consider when evaluating shade cloth is the Warranty it carries. Monotec offers the best warranty in the industry and has an award-winning reputation internationally. The life of the shade cloth depends on the construction and more importantly the quality of the UV stabilizer in the material of the shade cloth. Because the shade cloth absorbs some of the UVR, a shade cloth with less UV stabilizer may break-down, or fail in sunlight faster than other fabrics. This is the primary reason Monotec offers a 15-year warranty against UV failure on its Non-FR shade cloths as well as a 10 year on the FR shade cloth as flame retardants offset UV stabilizers. If you want to learn more about Monotec 370, contact me, Dr. Shade at marc@valuevinyls.com or call us at 877-959-7902, as we have the published data for most of our competitors and can provide you with the tools to compare Monotec to any of the competitors.

Quite simply, our Monotec 370 Shade Cloth is the best in the world. Not only does it come with 10 and 15 year warranties but the engineering and build quality is the true reason for its performance.   During a round of historic storms, hail, and damage in April, one Monotec 370 customer saw the benefits of the material first-hand. As seen in the pictures, the shade structure caught tennis ball-sized hail and prevented major damage for a parking lot full of cars.   The best part is that due to the quality construction of Monotec 370, ie: its monofilament yarns, these shade structures simply popped right back up and re-tensioned itself. Any other shade cloth in the world would have ripped, bursted, and certainly required considerable maintenance and replacing.   Monotec 370 from Value Vinyls, Inc. is used in parking lots, car dealerships, playgrounds, parks, water parks, stadiums and other outdoor applications. It comes in a variety of colors, fire-retardant, and industry-leading 10 and 15 year warranties.   Monotec 370 Shadecloth protects from the sun, protects from the hail, and it protects our customers’ pocketbooks.

Engineered for shade structures and sails, Monotec 370 Shadecloth is manufactured using 100% round monofilament HDPE yarns, making it the strongest shade cloth available in the market today. Due to its increased strength and stability, as well as the positive memory in monofilament yarn, shade structures and shade sails can be installed and forgotten, with no re-tensioning or cleaning required. Made in Australia, Monotec 370 is resistant to punctures and UV rays and is supported by the industry’s only 15 year warranty for UV degradation. It comes in 14 vibrant colors, most of which are fire retardant.

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