Let us start by addressing the basic questions, 

What is tarpaulin? Why do we use it? 

Well, tarpaulin or commonly called tarp are basically waterproof fabric. Previously it was only made of tarred cotton canvas and was used by sailors. However, tarps are now made of plastics like polyethylene or polyester coated with polyurethane. This versatile fabric is used in a lot of ways . Tarpaulins are used to create temporary shelters for relief or emergency work; it is used to cover equipment, in dire circumstances it is also used to carry water. These PVC sheets are also used for various general applications like covering machinery, packing raw materials etc. In civil engineering it is used as column footing underlay, raft underlay, lining for ETPs, lining for waste pit and sludge pond. In agriculture it is used for drying spices, fumigation of tobacco leaves, food grains etc. It is also used for rain water harvesting, azolla farming and fish farming. 

How Tarpaulins are manufactured in India:

Polyethylene is the main source of PE tarpaulins. This polyethylene is a by-product of petroleum. During the process of refining of petroleum, liquid naphtha is produced which is then cracked to produce ethylene and this ethylene is polymerized into small whitish pellets of polyethylene. High pressure process is used to produce low density ethylene (LDPE) and low pressure process is used to produce high density ethylene (HDPE).

Most tarpaulin manufacturers in India start with the purchase of these polyethylene pellets. The HDPE pellets are melted by an extruding line and then a polyethylene film is produced. Which is then cut and stretched into polyethylene yarn. This yarn is then cross- weaved into a fabric that makes it tear and stretch resistant. To give it a shiny finish it is then coated with low-density polyethylene and at this step master batches are used to determine the color of the tarpaulin. The rolls of tarpaulin are then cut to size, edges are reinforced, welded, and rings are evenly spaced along the edges of a tarp to create the finished products. This entire process is followed by most of the tarpaulin manufacturers in India. 

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