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UV Radiation (Sunlight) and its Effect on Tarps

19th Mar 2021

We all know that sunlight has an effect on our skin and can lead to reddening, burning, tanning or eventually even long term and serious health issues such as cancer. But it’s not just our skin that can be vulnerable to the UV radiation of the sun’s rays. Plastics and indeed plastic coverings such as tarps are also impacted by UV radiation.

Extended exposure to, or large concentrations of UV light will cause a tarpaulin to not only lose its colour, but will also have a detrimental effect on the tarp’s usable lifespan.

The intensity of UV radiation is measured in kLy (kilo-Langley) units. A kLy unit is a measure of how much UV radiation energy falls on a cm² per year. Of course the amount of sunlight and its UV radiation varies greatly by geographical location around the globe. Throughout most of Western Europe the average level ranges between 80 to 100 kLy’s a year.

However these harmful effects can be guarded against with proper UV resistant treatment processes. UV stabilisers are added to the plastic components during the manufacturing process that will effectively slow down the ageing process of a tarp. At Tarpaulins Direct all our tarps are UV resistant, meaning that their lifespan before any deterioration could extend to as much as 3 to 5 years. However this of course will be very significantly based on factors such as fluctuations in the amount of sunlight, position of tarp (level of exposure) and other combining atmospheric conditions.

Our tarps are also waterproof and rot proof, so you can be sure of a long usage life on all our tarpaulin products.