Thermoplastic PVC membranes


The development of Thermoplastic PVC Roofing membranes began in the late 50s and early 60s in Europe, other name of the product include; Thermoplastic Vinyl Membranes (TVMs). Considered one of the most versatile, sustainable, and durable membranes in the European and North America markets. The history of the product provides some rocking times but the membranes that were reinforced are still performing in excess of 47 years in Europe and 30 to 35 plus years in the North American market.

In the 60s, two main PVC membrane manufacturers introduced products to Europe, Sarna Polymer Inc or Sarnafil 1962, a swiss-based company, and Trocal 1966, a German-based company, Sarnafil with a reinforced membrane and Trocal with both reinforced and unreinforced membranes. Both Manufacturers have been acquired since by Sika Corp, but only Sarnafil has roof still performing today from the 60’s.

In the North American market, Trocal has a pretty bad reputation, because of some early generation failures due to the membrane being non-reinforced, which caused shrinkage and shattering. These membranes also had issues with plasticizer migration problems, a plasticizer is a liquid chemical compound that makes the Vinyl membrane flexible, if not present it would be as hard as PVC pipe. The plasticizer migration is what caused the membrane to shrink and become brittle. Trocal membranes are no longer marketed and sold in the North American market and haven’t been since the early 90’s. The PVC membranes that are reinforced, such as Sika Sarnafil, Carlisle, Johns Manville (Cooley Private Label), Flex, Fibertite (who makes a KEE Membrane, see KEE Section), Durolast, IB Roofs, GAF, and Bondcote have had good performance since the introduction to the North American Market.