Exploring applications of plastic covers for outdoor furniture

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With the growing desire to create inviting outdoor living spaces, patio furniture has become an integral part of our outdoor décor. A 2023 survey by the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) revealed that 54% of homeowners will purchase to upgrade their outdoor spaces
However, with increased use comes increased exposure to the elements. Patio furniture faces the relentless onslaught of rain, sun, snow, and wind. This is where outdoor furniture covers come in as heroes of outdoor living, preserving the beauty and functionality of our furniture for years to come.
Let's delve into the applications of outdoor furniture covers in the article below.

1. Polyethylene covers are ideal for outdoor oasis

Protect your furniture from the elements with polyethylene covers

1.1. What is Polyethylene?

Polyethylene is a thermoplastic polymer, a long-chain molecule formed from repeating units of ethylene. It's a versatile material, ranging from soft and flexible to hard and rigid, depending on its molecular structure. For outdoor furniture covers, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) are the preferred choices.
HDPE, with its high density and crystalline structure, provides exceptional strength and durability. It can withstand extreme temperatures, from scorching sun to frigid winters, and it's remarkably resistant to tears and punctures. LDPE, on the other hand, offers flexibility and softness, making it ideal for conforming to the contours of patio furniture.
Learn more about their properties: LDPE vs HDPE: Which one is better?

1.2. How it benefits the application of outdoor furniture covers

Polyethylene covers are not just about strength; they're also experts in sun protection. Patio furniture, exposed to the sun's harsh UV rays, can fade and become brittle. Polyethylene, with its superior UV resistance, blocks these harmful rays, preserving the vibrant colors and structural integrity of your outdoor furniture.
Rain, wind, and snow are no match for polyethylene covers. Their water-repellent properties keep moisture at bay, preventing warping, rotting, and rust. The covers' snug fit ensures that even the strongest gusts of wind won't dislodge them, and their sturdy construction can withstand the weight of heavy snow without tearing or collapsing.
Now, let's explore some specific types of patio furniture that particularly benefit from the protective embrace of polyethylene covers:

  • Wooden chairs and tables: Wood, while naturally beautiful, is susceptible to moisture damage and UV fading. Polyethylene covers shield wooden furniture from the elements, preserving its charm and extending its lifespan.
  • Wicker furniture: The intricate weave of wicker can become frayed and discolored when exposed to harsh weather. Polyethylene covers provide a gentle yet effective barrier, protecting the wicker's integrity and maintaining its unique aesthetic.
  • Metal grills: Exposed to rain and humidity, metal grills can rust and corrode. Polyethylene covers act as a protective shield, preventing rust from taking hold and ensuring that your grill remains in top form for many barbecuing seasons.

HDPE covers are ideal to protect furniture from harmful sun rays

Polyethylene covers aren't just about protection; they're also about convenience and affordability. They're easy to put on and take off, and their lightweight nature makes them simple to store. Plus, their relatively low cost makes them an accessible and practical choice for protecting your patio furniture investment.

2. There are several alternatives to Polyethylene

Besides polyethylene, other plastic materials also offer unique properties and advantages that cater to specific needs. Let's venture beyond polyethylene and explore the world of polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), two versatile plastics that have carved their own niche in the realm of outdoor protection.

2.1. Polypropylene

PP, a close cousin of polyethylene, is known for its exceptional lightness and flexibility. It's a semi-crystalline thermoplastic, offering a balance between strength and toughness. PP covers are particularly well-suited for lightweight patio furniture, such as plastic chairs and tables. Their flexibility makes it easy to conform to irregular shapes, ensuring a snug fit that keeps the elements at bay.

2.2. Polyvinyl chloride

PVC, a synthetic polymer, stands out for its remarkable durability and weather resistance. It's a versatile material that can be formulated with various additives to enhance its properties. PVC covers are known for their exceptional resistance to UV rays, making them ideal for protecting outdoor furniture in regions with intense sunlight. Their durability makes them suitable for heavier patio pieces, such as wooden benches and metal grills.
Let's put the two on the scale to take into account both materials. 

 Material  Advantages  Disadvantages  Applications
 Polyethylene High durability, UV resistance, affordability
Can be less flexible than other options
Wooden chairs and tables, wicker furniture, metal grills
 Polypropylene Lightweight, flexible, easy to clean
May not be as resistant to UV rays as PVC
Plastic chairs and tables, lounge chairs, sun umbrellas
 PVC Exceptional durability, UV resistance, water-resistant Can be less flexible than polyethylene
Wooden benches, metal grills, outdoor storage containers

2.3. Choose what is right for you

PVC covers are durable and water-resistant

Also, keep in mind the following factors while selecting the proper plastic material for your outdoor furniture covers:

  • Type of patio furniture: Different materials are better suited for certain types of furniture. For example, PP is a good choice for lightweight plastic furniture, while PVC is a good choice for heavier wooden or metal pieces.
  • Climate: If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, such as intense sunlight or heavy snowfall, you may want to choose a material that is particularly resistant to those conditions. For example, PVC is a good choice for areas with strong UV rays, while polyethylene is a good choice for areas with heavy snow.
  •  Budget: The cost of different plastic materials can vary greatly. If you are on a budget, you may want to consider a less expensive material, such as polyethylene.

 With the wide array of plastic materials available, you can easily find the perfect outdoor furniture cover to suit your needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize durability, flexibility, or affordability, there's a plastic material that can safeguard your outdoor oasis for seasons to come.

3. Specialized applications of outdoor furniture covers

Beyond safeguarding patio furniture, outdoor furniture covers extend their protective reach to a variety of specialized applications, shielding vehicles, agricultural produce, and construction materials from the elements' relentless onslaught.

3.1. Vehicle protective covers to keep your ride shiny

Protect cars from dust, rain, and UV rays with polyethylene covers

Your prized car, motorcycle, or RV deserves the same level of protection as your beloved patio furniture. Polyethylene and other plastic covers act as a barrier against dust, rain, and UV rays, ensuring that your vehicle's exterior remains pristine and gleaming.
Dust can accumulate and settle on your vehicle's surface, causing it to look dull and unkempt. Plastic covers effectively repel dust particles, preserving the shine and color of your car's paint or motorcycle's chrome.
Rain, while refreshing, can also leave water spots and streaks on your vehicle's exterior. Plastic covers, with their water-repellent properties, bead off rain droplets, preventing these unsightly marks from marring your vehicle's appearance.
UV rays, the sun's harmful energy, can cause paint to fade and plastic components to crack. Polyethylene and other plastic covers, with their superior UV resistance, shield your vehicle from these damaging rays, preserving its vibrant hues and structural integrity.

3.2. Agricultural covers for crop protection from nature's fury

Covers can be used to create greenhouses to protect crops

In the vast fields of agriculture, plastic covers play a crucial role in safeguarding crops, seedlings, and hay bales from the unpredictable forces of nature.
Polyethylene and other plastic covers are widely used to create greenhouses, providing a controlled environment for nurturing seedlings and protecting delicate crops from harsh weather conditions. These covers allow farmers to regulate temperature, humidity, and light levels, ensuring optimal growth conditions for their precious produce.
During the harvest season, plastic covers are employed to protect hay bales from rain and moisture damage. These covers act as a shield, preventing the hay from absorbing excess moisture, which can lead to mold growth and spoilage.

3.3. Construction site covers for material and equipment protection

On bustling construction sites, polyethylene and other plastic covers safeguard equipment, materials, and scaffolding from the elements' disruptions.
These covers protect machinery and tools from rain, dust, and debris, ensuring that they remain in top working condition and preventing costly downtime. They also shield building materials, such as lumber and drywall, from moisture damage, preserving their integrity and preventing delays in construction projects.
Scaffolding, the backbone of many construction sites, is also shielded by plastic covers, preventing them from becoming slippery and hazardous due to rain or snow. These covers ensure the safety of workers and the stability of the structures they rely upon.

4. Conclusion

Outdoor furniture covers are used in a variety of settings, including mansions, homes, farms, fields, and construction sites. There are several materials to pick from depending on where you intend to use it, such as PP, PE, or PVC. 
You may be wondering where you may get the resources for your projects. For the most innovative and cost-effective solutions, discover  EuroPlas blog and the products we’ve been working on.

 
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