How Extreme Weather Affects Your Fabrics

 

With the continuing changes in weather treads and the emerging pattern of extreme weather that we’ve been experiencing recently, we are being asked how our fabrics are affected by the weather; specifically hotter than normal or colder than normal temperatures. We are here to help answer that question and hopefully put any concerns to rest.

Most of Acadian’s fabrics are made of either polypropylene or polyethylene, both of which can withstand harsh climates. Both materials do have slightly different properties, though, so we will take a look at each and discuss how they hold up in extreme temperatures.

Properties of Polypropylene (PP)

Our woven polypropylene fabrics are quite sturdy over a very broad range of temperatures and are tested for durability in cycles that reach 140-degrees Fahrenheit (F). Polypropylene can withstand high temperatures up to approximately 300-degrees F before it will begin to soften and eventually melt.

On the other side, as temperatures decrease, polypropylene will “harden” and become stiffer the cooler it gets. At very low temperatures, typically below freezing, the polypropylene will become brittle. The combination of stiff and brittle can cause the fabric to crack at very low temperatures if acted upon by an outside source. For instance, if you try to fold the fabric in a 10-degree F environment, the fabric may crack at the fold. However, if the fabric is left alone in cold temperatures, it should maintain its structure until temperatures warm up again.

Properties of Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene has similar characteristics to polypropylene. One major difference is that polyethylene is naturally more flexible than polypropylene, which is why it is commonly used in knitted shade fabrics. This also means that it will not crack as easily in extremely cold environments. On the other hand, polyethylene has a lower melting point than polypropylene, meaning it will begin to soften and even melt before polypropylene would. On average, polyethylene has a melting point of around 250-degrees F, still well above temperatures of most climates.

 

While extreme hot and cold temperatures may not reach the extremes to cause polypropylene or polyethylene to melt, it is important to know how temperatures can affect the fabrics you are using. This way you can better manage your fabrics and prevent any actions that could cause damage if the fabric becomes too cold or too warm. To learn more about the products we offer, you can request a sample catalogue or contact us directly.