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Uses of Tarpaulins

7/31/2012 4:56:26 PM | by Anonymous


Also known as a tarp, tarpaulins are large sheets that are designed to be strong, water-resistant and flexible. Cloth materials such as canvas or polyester can be treated with urethane to form tarpaulins. These waterproof materials can also be made of plastics such as polyethylene. An inexpensive modern variation of tarpaulins is known as poly tarp, which is made out of woven polypropylene. Tarpaulins can also be known simply as tarp or hootch in some parts of the world. The uses of tarpaulins are vast, from providing shelter in harsh weather to serving as floor mats when painting. These conventional materials can be bought from hardware stores in large sheets and cut up to the desired size for use.


The term tarpaulin is a compound of two words, tar and palling. Palling is a type of heavy cloth material which was used to provide shelter, mostly onboard ships. The palling material was used to cover objects on ships by sailors. They would then cover the palling material with tar to make it more resilient and waterproof. It was due to this that the term “tar palling” was born which is now known as tarpaulins. The word hootch comes from the Japanese “uchi”. This is because huts in many parts of Asia are known by that name, and during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, English soldiers would construct similar small makeshift huts with the difference being that the soldier’s huts were made out of tarpaulins. It was then the name hootch, with other variations such as hootchie or hooch caught up. Most modern tarpaulins are made from synthetic materials such as plastics, due to the fact that plastics tend to be naturally waterproof, therefore omitting the need for additional treatment. Another reason to choose plastics is because they are typically cheap to manufacture.


As their applications require them to endure certain levels of stress, typical tarpaulins are manufactured to be heavyweight, resistant to the forces of strong winds or matter dropping on them and not wear out under stress or constant use. To be able to sustain such forces, the tarpaulins are usually produced in woven pattern that give them a coarse texture. Typically installed with grommets at the edges, it is easy for people to run a rope through these holes and secure the tarpaulin to various objects. Regular colors for manufacturing tarpaulins are blue, orange or other bright colours which make it easy to spot the tarpaulin. The most common use of tarpaulins is in camping. In tents or simply in the open, the tarps can be laid down on the floor for people to rest on it. This provides a clean base for a person to rest on and it also protects against any harmful insects that might be on the ground. The grommets allow the tarps to be used as improvised shelters or tents while hiking or camping. They can also serve as a shelter for cooking purposes. when a clean base is required to process hunted animals or cooking ingredients, tarps can be used as they do not tend to get dirty easily.


Tarps can even serve domestic household uses as well. From being used to cover wooden material, farming equipment or outdoor furniture to providing a shelter for farm animals, the uses of tarpaulins are vast based on its properties to resist water and withstand stress and hurt. Broke windows or damaged roofs can also be covered by using tarpaulins to provide temporary cover until the situation is addressed. When transporting materials such as potted plants or painting projects, tarpaulins can be laid out on the floor of the vehicle so as to not damage or dirty it.


Although tarps are designed to last for a long time, prolonged exposure to ground or sunlight could damage the material of the tarpaulin and it would start to break down. Despite this, tarps can be patched up just like clothes if any holes do appear due to wear and tear.

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