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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

You could say that Tammy Glover, in many ways, is the face of Value Vinyls. Her infectious smile and bright personality have been radiant at the company for the last 22 years! Yes, that is not a typo… Tammy has been an important part of Value Vinyls for close to a quarter century and believe me, she knows her vinyl! We have customers that refuse to visit with anyone else! Tammy is a Texas girl born and raised here all her life. She has a golden heart and is always doing something special for someone in the office. Be it making a cake for a birthday or handing out candy at her desk to anyone who walks by, she is always making someone smile. Tammy knows much about the internal mechanics of Value Vinyls and is always ready to lend a hand where needed. She has held down a number of positions but her love for our valued customers has always brought her back to customer service and she wears the title of Sales Support Specialist with honor and conviction. Known for her customer relations, Tammy strives to make certain every order she handles, large or small gets the individual attention to detail and expediant results that will meet her expectations. Everything from what the customer orders to providing the best shipment options available are a priority. Tammy goes above and beyond to arrive at a positive outcome. For example, one day our phones went down and she immediately jumped into action to offer up her cell phone number so we could reroute all our incoming calls to her phone. She was one busy girl that day until the phones were fixed but did it with a smile and was happy to assist in an otherwise bad situation. We are certainly miles ahead of the curve with Tammy being a loyal and important part of Value Vinyls, but to be honest, every customer that crosses paths with Tammy is getting the Gold Star Treatment! Of course it goes without saying that our Customer Service Specialists whom she works with, Kimber Easthom and Amanda Bledsoe have only benefited from their working relationships and are assured to provide that same Gold Star Treatment!

Have you noticed when you’re out in public walking down the street or taking in a shopping mall how many signs there are just looking at you begging for your attention? Hundreds, even thousands of signs in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. Some that are permanent, some that light up and then some just hang on a wall or a pole. The point is; signs are a very big part of our everyday life and for those working in the sign industry, this is a big and demanding commitment. One specific type of vinyl sign media that I want to focus on today is PET printable vinyl. The acronym, PET stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate. Polyethylene is a polymerized thermoplastic ethylene resin, used to make vinyl film and Terephthalate is a thermoplastic polyester resin made from ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid, also used to make films or fibers, like what is used for water bottles. Polyethylene terephthalate has high strength, is flexible and resistant to abrasion. The addition of these laminated films make for an extraordinarily smooth and scrim-less vinyl that works extremely well for print media. Value Vinyls sells PET Sign Media Printable Vinyl which is one of our most popular products. PET Frontlit and PET Blockout banner material is widely accepted for the quality of the fabric and the graphics that are produced. Value Vinyls Rio Extra PET 13 oz. Ultra-Smooth is a more economical Grey-Back that can be used for printing on one side, which helps eliminate image show through. Stocked in a 54” width and capable up to a 126” width. With an ultra-smooth surface, it is ideal for screen and digital printing where the need for brilliant graphics are a must. In addition, Value Vinyls sells Rio PET 15 oz. Opaque Ultra Smooth. This is a Blockout fabric for consistent printing on both sides that will produce vivid eye catching graphics. Stocked up to an 80” width and capable up to 126” For more information, give us a call at 877-716-6651 or email us at info@valuevinyls.com and let us help you with this product or any of your printable vinyl needs.

Water parks have become a huge part of summer entertainment growing in numbers over the last 15 years. It’s amazing how some of these parks have grown in park size by adding many new water rides and colorful themes to attract more people. Did you know there are over 1,300 water parks that are in operation in the U.S. attracting over 85 million people each year. Most of the parks feature water amusements such as floating rivers, water slides and water waves where they require the use of inflatable rafts. This is where the need for durable material is required for these rafts to handle the abuse they will take being used over and over each day. Waterpark rafts come in all sizes and configurations depending on the ride. A raft may only need to accommodate one person or it may accommodate an entire group of 5 or 6 people. There are many specifics that need to be taken into consideration to use the correct vinyl. For example, the top coat is important allowing for comfort when the rider’s skin is in contact with the material. Also, having material that will provide a secure weld without issue of the seams coming undone is critical. Of course, the material itself must be strong that will provide long term wear and durability. Value Vinyls offers an extraordinary line of vinyl products that can handle the durable requirements and daily abuse these rafts will take. One of our primary products is AquaFloat 32, a premium coated fabric that will hold air and perform exceptionally well under excessive water use. We are in the vinyl business to help you build inflatable watersports products by using the safest most dependable material available. Inflatable Rafts are used for many other outdoor water sports activities, such as river or lake use that may require an even tougher more rugged material. Value Vinyls can handle your needs. For more information about our Inflatable Water Sports Vinyls, click here or contact us at 877-716-6651.  

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.

ARTICLE BY: Marc Shellshear / Dr. Shade Many different coatings, chemicals, and characteristics can be incorporated into fabrics to make them last longer, have better durability and different appearances. Soluna fabric is a 19-oz. waterproof fabric with a low sheen orange peel emboss. The interesting thing about this product is that it looks like an acrylic from a distance but has all the characteristics of a PVC. That means you can have the look and feel of acrylic but meet all the flame-retardancy requirements as the Soluna product passes ASTM E-84, NFPA-701, and CSFM – Title 19. Soluna has been used for awnings, canopies, and many other Industrial and Athletic applications because it is highly resistant to mildew and fungus and comes with a 5-year UV warranty. Value Vinyls has tested the product to over 1000 hours in our QUV testing machine with no fading. The orange peel emboss gives the product a unique matte finish and the acrylic lacquer adds to the overall durability of the product. The Soluna product is a unique alternative to traditional PVC and traditional Acrylic. As a fabricator in the industry for over 20 years, I view our Soluna product to be a truly unique product for your customer’s applications. The product is easily weldable using hot air, wedge, or RF/HF welding. Additionally, it has a great hand, is easy to fabricate and offers your customers a unique solution to an old problem of water repellant versus waterproof with Acrylic awning fabrics. Soluna is also easy for commercial permitting because of the multiple fire ratings. Contact myself at marc@valuevinyls.com / 940-205-0434 or contact our Value Vinyls Sales Support team at info@valuevinyls.com / 877-716-6651 if you are interested in receiving more information regarding Soluna and samples.  

From time to time we hear of a new “superbug” making the rounds and the concerns or difficulty with keeping these new strains of bacteria under control. Here in the United States, a superbug that has been of ongoing concern is MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureaus), with over 1% of the human population being carriers of this bacteria. MRSA is a form of staphylococcus (staph) infection and was first identified as such in 1968. This troubling form of bacteria is of major concern due to its strong resistance to the most common available antibiotic drugs. Although the fatality rate is low, there is much uncertainty as to why some people are more susceptible to severe, and while rare, sometimes fatal infections from MRSA. Statistics show that 1 in 100 children playing in a gym or 1 in 100 patients in a hospital carry and can easily spread the varying strains of staph including MRSA on commonly used surfaces like exercise mats, wall pads and medical beds. The good news is Value Vinyls can help minimize the spread of the varying staph bacterias with our selection of specialized products! We have extensive expertise and a strong emphasis on product development addressing the most common types of staph bacteria, including MRSA. Some of Value Vinyls’ most popular fabrics are treated with DuraGUARD or BACshield anti-fungal and anti-bacterial additives, ensuring these products exceed all safety testing standards. DuraGUARD is an EPA-registered additive that prevents 99.99% bacterial growth on a product, making the spread of MRSA or any other type staphylococcus nearly impossible to grow. Advantage Sportiva 18 oz. coated vinyl from Value Vinyls is a premium athletic product treated with DuraGUARD EPA-registered anti-microbial treatment. BACshield is an additive that is 99% staphylococcuus resistant, and provides the same amount of protection as DuraGUARD. Champion 14, Impact 16, Advantage MVP 18 and Suplex 24 athletic vinyl products are amongst the Value Vinyls products that include the high performing BACshield additive. It is important to ensure that products manufactured with vinyl for recreation centers, schools, hospitals, daycares, gymnasiums and other public spaces are made with the appropriate, certified vinyl to ensure consistent protection from MRSA and other harmful fungus and bacteria. Our very simple advice – don’t use truck tarp vinyls for fighting Staph! Pads and mats made from untreated truck tarp vinyl can be culprits for spreading MRSA to athletes, patients and kids who come in contact with them. Eliminate fear and ensure your customers of increased safety by using the DuraGUARD and BACshield treated vinyl fabrics from Value Vinyls for your important projects! For further and more detailed information on this very important safety matter, please click here to view and download the Value Vinyls Engineered Protection brochure. You can also contact our team on 877-716-6651.

PrintTex® Artist Light (OTUBLW05) printable textiles is a 100% woven polyester fabric that has been developed for display systems. This 5.46 oz. material is formulated with a universal coating that can be printed on using solvent or UV ink on the coated side, and dye-sublimation on the uncoated side. PrintTex® Artist light is an improved artist product with excellent print quality. Available up to 199” wide (5 meters), PrintTex® Artist light is a leader among printable textiles, ideal for a full range of indoor or short-term outdoor applications such as display systems, exhibition signs and banners, backlit displays, and graphic art reproduction. Check out our complete line of printable textiles.

DirectTex® Artist Backlite is the premiere choice for dye sublimation textiles. Constructed as a 100% woven polyester fabric that accepts brilliant colors for indoor and short-term outdoor backlit applications, this 7.37 oz. material is designed with a special ribbed back for excellent light diffusion. DirectTex® Artist Backlite is ideal for backlit displays, exhibition signs and banners, display systems, and projection. Available up to 5 meters / 199” widths. DirectTex® dye sublimation textiles are primarily formulated for dye sublimation inks and are produced with consistency using the highest quality materials. All dye sublimation textiles from Value Vinyls pass the North American fire retardant standards of NFPA-701, while most of our textiles are suited for SEG (Silicone Edge Graphics) framing systems. In addition to other styles of DirectTex® textile fabrics, Value Vinyls also stocks a complete line of PrintTex® fabrics for printers that require UV, solvent, or eco-solvent ink. Check out our complete line of PONGS textile fabrics by clicking on this link. PONGS Textiles Value Vinyls is a strategic partner with PONGS Technical Textiles, a German based producer of fabrics and textiles since 1910. With a focus on product innovation, technical know-how, and quality based processes, PONGS is a perfect pairing with Value Vinyls, who are experts in market analysis, inventory management, logistics, and first rate sales support since 1984.

We just completed our 3rd year of providing the vinyl fabric for one of our tent structure manufacturers who created the tent structure used at the NY Frieze Art Fair. Initially made in 2012, this structure broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest single unit marquee at over 225,000 square feet, which is still in great shape today.

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.

Soluna For Awnings and Canopies

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 by

Soluna is a 19 oz. waterproof fabric with a low sheen orange peel emboss. This material is excellent for awnings, canopies, or any commercial area where there is a need for shade from the sun and extending product life. Soluna can also be used for Industrial and Athletic applications. Soluna is highly resistant to mildew and fungus including UV additives for exception resistance to UV rays. This material is dimensionally stable to eliminate sagging. Additionally Soluna has superior tensile and tear strength for long outdoor durability and is flame resistant to the standards of ASTM E-84. It has an acrylic lacquer on the front side which allows for easy printing.

Rio 6 oz. Event Mesh can be used for printing on one side. It is compatible with UV and solvent inks and is ideal for both indoor and outdoor mesh signs. This product was designed to be fire retardant, meeting the rigorous standards of NFPA-701 where additional fire code jurisdiction is required. This lightweight yet durable mesh has a 70% openness, which allows for maximum audio clarity. The vivid white points help to create eye-catching graphics that can be seen from afar. Additionally, we offer this mesh in wide widths of 126 inches and 196 inches.

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