We asked Robert Hinsch, our Industrial, Apparel, and Home Décor sales team leader with nearly 40 years of textile expertise, to peer into the future of vinyl fabric innovations. When it comes to vinyl textiles for industrial uses, innovations generally sprout from keeping costs competitive while boosting the product’s performance. Robert polished his crystal ball for a glimpse into what’s next:
Tapping into Tyvek
So many vinyl textiles are made for non-permanent jobs, but what if thin, ultra-strong, ultra-long-lasting materials like Tyvek could be laminated to beef up fabric’s strength? The durable end-uses could be interesting.
Bigger share of bioplastics?
With production of alternatives to petroleum-based PVC and other plastic materials on the rise, Robert thinks interest in industrial textiles that could biodegrade over time could be a draw. How these industrial-use materials would get recycled or composted after their lifecycle, however, would require several adjustments to the status quo. When a tarp rips or a banner has seen the end of its run, wouldn’t it be nice to compost it instead of pitch it?
Lower weight, lighter impact
Other options on the horizon could involve new materials or manufacturing processes for vinyl textiles that cut the weight but keep the performance. “Less materials, less cost, lower freight costs, lower fuel consumption,” Robert says. He compared the potential cost and environmental impact savings of lighter-weight textiles to the evolution of airplane manufacturing, which has moved from steel frames to aluminum to titanium to composites to reduce weight and resource consumption over the years.
Focus on formulations
Robert says PVC formulations have improved during his time in the industry, boosting characteristics such as colorfastness to sunlight. Enhancing a textile’s ability to maintain color with yet-to-be-used formulations could be a way for vinyl to maintain its visual appeal and customer appeal in the future.
Connect to TVF’s decades of experience and knowledge about vinyl textiles from the tried-and-true to the future-facing by contacting us today or check out our comprehensive selection of vinyl products to meet your specific needs.