Direct Coating - Production Process Overview.


Direct coated products are commonly called Tarpaulin PVC. The different qualities are measured and differentiated by their mass per square meter in grams (gsm).

The qualities we can manufacture in our direct coating process range from an 180gsm to 1100gsm. Our standard widths are 1.5m; 2.04m; 2.5m and 3m.

PVC Paste
Airknife vs Dipcoat Process

Direct coated products are manufactured by coating a liquid PVC paste directly onto the polyester basecloth. Different coating methods include dip-coating, knife over roll coating or airknife coating. Different layers contain different PVC formulations to give the desired quality. The coated basecloth then runs through the oven at about 200ยบ C where it sets and becomes the solid, flexible PVC as we know it.

The PVC paste is mixed at Neucoat in our mixing department, here we mix a large number of different ingredients together. Different pastes for different products contain different ingredients (plasticizer, PVC, pigments, stabilisers and other additives) to give the final products their different desired qualities.


The basecloth is an integral part of a direct coated product; the tear and tensile strengths as well as most of the stability of the product is determined by the basecloth. Below is some detail to help you understand the properties of the basecloth (click diagram to enlarge view):

Basecloth Composition.
Basecloth CompositionThe yarn:
A yarn is made up of individual strands of polyester or filaments grouped together and sometimes twisted. The yarns come in a variety of sizes measured in DTex. The different thicknesses range from 280DTex to 2200DTex with the most common being 1100DTex.

The construction:
The basecloth consists of threads of polyester running in two directions, the WARP, or ends (with machine direction), and WEFT, or picks (across machine direction) as indicated on the picture above.
For example: an 8 x 7.5 weave basecloth consists of 8 yarns per cm in the WARP direction and 7.5 yarns per cm in the WEFT direction.
A plain weave consists of single yarns in each direction only.
A full Panama (or Oxford) weave consists of two yarns running together in each direction, this gives extra tear strength. A half Panama weave has two yarns running together in one direction only; the yarn in the other direction is then a single yarn.

Customising your direct coated product:

If you have the need for a product that is not satisfied by one of our standard products, we are able to design a product that is better suited for a special requirement.
This can be done by:

Adapting the basecloth used

Different basecloths give different qualities and have different prices; we can choose a basecloth that is better suited for the application or the desired price.

Changing the PVC formulation

The PVC formulation can be redesigned to give different qualities.
A few examples being:
Colour - We can match most required colours to a given sample or Pantone reference.
Flame retardancy - We can add flame retardant properties to our direct coated products to make them comply to a range of international flame retardant standards.
Anti-static (electrical resistance/conductivity) - According to SABS1287:1980. This is normally used in flexible ventilation ducting in the mines.
Stiffness - The hardness or softness of the material can be reasonably adjusted to better suit a special requirement.
Food grade - The PVC formulation can be changed to make it safe to store foods and liquids intended for human consumption.
Anti-fungal - A special chemical is used that inhibits fungal growth in the PVC when exposed to humid conditions.

Adding a lacquer

We have a range of lacquers that can be applied to direct coated products that increase the lifespan of the product as well as the cleanability of the product.
These lacquers include various acrylic lacquers as well as PVDF lacquers.

Changing the emboss

We have various embossing rollers that can change the appearance of the top layer of the direct coated product, technically called the emboss. The various options include matt, gloss (standard) as well as leather type appearances.

Please note:

This site contains actual photos and scans of coated fabrics. Every effort has been made to take the photos in neutral light, however these images must be used as a guide only. The colour you are seeing will also be dependent on the quality of the device you are viewing on.

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