PVC Fabric Coverings – Strong, Flexible Solutions for Your Custom Structure

PVC Vinyl Fabric StructuresBig Top has been building custom fabric structures to suit a great range of applications across many different industries for more than 40 years. To offer the utmost in flexibility and strength for the buildings we design for our customers, the fabric roof is made with PVC vinyl, an extremely durable material that outperforms similar products from our competitors. Our vinyl includes an industry-leading rip-stop scrim that prevents the fabric from tearing to the point of being non-repairable in the event you damage or puncture it with a forklift or other equipment.

PVC Vinyl vs. Polyethylene

At Big Top, we strive for the highest standards of service, and that includes designing our buildings with only the best materials available. That’s why we use PVC vinyl fabric in our roofing systems. Many of our competitors use polyethylene fabric roofs, but when you consider all the ways PVC vinyl outperforms polyethylene, you’ll see why we’re your best choice for designing and building your fabric structure.

Compared to polyethylene fabric, PVC vinyl delivers better:

  • Resistance to tearing – PVC vinyl is stronger and can even resist cold cracking beyond -40 degrees F.
  • Repairability – In the event that it does tear, PVC vinyl can be easily repaired, while polyethylene is difficult to repair.
  • Deployment capabilities – Polyethylene fabric roofs can be deployed only once. A Big Top PVC vinyl fabric structure, however, can be deployed as often as needed.

Flame Retardant for Your Safety

Another key way PVC vinyl outperforms polyethylene is its inherent resistance to flammability. Polyethylene needs to be treated (at an additional cost to you) to match our fabric’s flame-resistant protection. In fact, our flame-retardant fabric roof passes the NFPA-701 large- and small-scale tests as required by the international building code.

Different Weights to Meet Your Needs

When you partner with Big Top, you won’t receive a cookie-cutter building. On the contrary, we will customize your fabric structure to meet your exact specifications. Depending on the application, we have three different fabric weights available for the roof of your building.

18-Ounce PVC Fabric

If aesthetic appeal is a priority for your structure, you’ll be able to select from an array of colors with our 18-ounce fabric roof. These colors include:

  • White
  • Opaque white
  • Opaque green
  • Opaque tan
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Custom colors

The white option will allow natural sunlight to illuminate the interior, while the opaque colors are ideal for environmentally controlled applications.

22-Ounce PVC Fabric

For operations that are located in extreme climates, our 22-ounce fabric roof delivers the strength needed to resist weathering. Our 22-ounce fabric roof is one of the longest lasting and most durable fabrics in the industry, and is available in translucent white, opaque white, and opaque beige colors.

28-Ounce PVC Fabric

Big Top has built many structures for extraordinarily demanding applications. For these, we recommend our 28-ounce PVC fabric roof, an amazingly sturdy option that can withstand up to 700 pounds of pressure per square inch. This tear strength is virtually unbeatable in the industry!

Additionally, the two-part construction of acrylic and urethane coatings delivers superior resistance to weathering, abrasion, and plasticizer migration for the ultimate durability. Big Top includes this roof standard in our max-width fabric structures.

Other Benefits of Our Fabric Roof

If you opt for white, your fabric roof will be translucent and will allow natural sunlight to fully illuminate the interior, minimizing your reliance on artificial lighting and saving on energy costs. And, it’s formulated to repel 99.95% of UV-A and UV-B radiation, protecting your staff, materials, and equipment from the damaging effects of sun exposure. This feature also helps to keep the interior at a comfortable temperature—on average, 15 degrees cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than the outside temperature. This will ensure that your staff is comfortable throughout the day without driving up energy costs by running an HVAC system around the clock.

To learn more about the benefits of our PVC vinyl fabric roof, or to speak with a representative about which weight is ideal for your application, contact the professionals at Big Top today.


Fabric Specifications

PVC Vinyl:
California State Fire Marshall Flame Resistance Certified
Passes NFPA – 701 Large/Small Scale Test
Radio Frequency or Hot Air Welded for Water Proof Seams

Quick Fabric Comparison Chart

TypeColorWeightWarrantyExpected LifeGrab StrengthMil Thickness
18 oz. PVCWhite18 oz.5 year10-12 year315 lbs. Warp21 mil
Green18 oz.5 year10-12 year315 lbs. Warp
Tan18 oz.5 year11-13 year315 lbs. Warp
22 oz. PVCWhite22 oz.8 year14-15 year315 lbs. Warp22.5 mil
28 oz. PVCWhite28 oz.10 year20+ year700 lbs. Warp32 mil

Research has proven our competitors provide a woven polyolefin fabric which, if studied closely, is of a lower grade and is less durable, normally with a weight of around 12 ounces. Because of its lower quality, as well as the fact that it is often not flame-retardant, we discuss it only as a comparison to the better suited, more versatile fabrics that we use on our Big Top shelters. For your evaluation, however, it’s important to know this type of fabric is often an option.

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