There are many terms used to describe banners, such as PVC banners or vinyl banners, even plastic banners. But which is correct? Technically they all are, and it is down to an individual as to how they wish to describe it.
The Technical Jargon
PVC is the abbreviation of Polyvinyl Chloride which is a vinyl polymer. PVC is also the third most widely produced plastics because of its multitude of applications and low cost (thanks Wikipedia).
Well this explains the use of PVC, vinyl and plastic used in reference to banners, so technically they are all correct. The bad side to this is that it makes it difficult for us to help people find cheaper banners from Venture Banners. Whilst we are a business we still believe that people should not be paying over-the-odds for banners, but until there is a standard term for banners we will struggle to get to everyone.
We have always gone down the line of vinyl PVC banners and the information on our website is geared towards this. Although this does seem that the word vinyl is a bit redundant, but if it is not spelt out, we may not be found under that term.
The Actual Banner Material
Although we have established that the terms PVC, vinyl and plastic are technically correct, this only really tells half the story. The banner itself is not made of a solid PVC – this would just be un-workable. The banner material has is polyester base with a PVC coating. The Polyester gives it the flexibility while the PVC gives it the surface needed to print on. Both materials combined increase the tensile strength of the other.
This combination is found in pretty much every banner out there – I use the term banner and not flag as this a distinction for another article.
What Are The Numbers For?
On many banner materials you may find something like 440gsm PVC banner, but what does this actually mean? Well, the 440gsm part refers to the weight:
440gsm = 440 grammes per square metre
Grammes per square metre (GSM) is the standard way in which the quality of a material is measured. We currently print on 440gsm, 500gsm and 740gsm solid banner materials, we also print on a 340gsm mesh. Below is a brief run-down of these materials:
440gsm banner material is the standard material used for 90% of the banners printed today. This is suitable for a multitude of purposes and the most simple solution to a banner requirement.
500gsm banner material is a little thicker and if you are looking to keep you banner for multiple uses, would be a good choice.
740gsm banner material has been developed specifically for double-sided use, although it can actually be used single-sided as well.
Want Some Further Reading?
If you are really into your PVC *ahem* and would like to know more visit the Wikipedia page on PVC for a brief history and chemistry lesson, should you be that way inclined.