Technical Paper




Whether it is cast or calendered, all flexible vinyl products are not the same. They will vary in plasticizer type and concentration, pigmentation, five retardants and heat stabilizers used in its make-up. The most important of these differences with regard to stain resistance is the type(s) and amount of plasticizer used in the manufacturing process. Plasticizers will migrate slowly out of the vinyl to become less flexible, changing the haptic (feel) of the fabric and most importantly, providing a pathway for stains to penetrate back into the topcoat and cause permanent stains in the fabric. Materials research and engineering are therefore critical for achieving the equilibrium between substrate and lacquer performance.

Coffee Stain on fabric
Coffee stain beading up on fabric treated with a Vynguard® performance lacquer.



How do you know how well a lacquer chemistry on flexible PVC performs against stains? Stain resistance can be tested in a variety of industry-standard and rudimentary ways to identify effectiveness of the finish. It’s important to understand its initial effectiveness as well as lifecycle performance prior to commercializing a lacquer chemistry. It’s also important to test the key stains the upholstery will undergo when in use. The automotive OEM’s have created their own test methods to evaluate a lacquer system’s effectiveness in preventing the ingress of denim stains to the fabric. Some tests use dry denim and some with wet (water) denim and then evaluate the color change on the fabric. ASTM D4966-98 Martindale Abrasion Test is just one example of this type of stain test.

Martindale Testing on Contract Seating
Close-up of denim dye stain on PVC automotive upholstery.


The industrial fabrics industry has consistently evolved into a performance-driven market where the lifecycle of commodity vinyl is being challenged and functional ingredients are coming under increased regulatory scrutiny. A laboratory meeting about planes, trains and automobiles isn’t just a movie reference at APV Engineered Coatings’ Akron, Ohio manufacturing facility. Its technical team is always developing new approaches for novel and complex lacquer chemistries that work with the vinyl to protect against some of the harshest stains in the environment.



Vynguard Anti-Graffiti
Paints & Coatings


VYNGUARD® Anti-Graffiti Coating is an advanced, industry-leading product for exceptional stain resistance.

Vynguard Polycarbonate
Paints & Coatings


With a custom-developed thermoplastic polymer, VYNGUARD® Polycarbonate sets the standard in the coatings industry for combining high performance with a soft feel and matte finish.

Vynguard Polyurethane
Paints & Coatings


VYNGUARD® Polyurethane Coatings range in performance level and can offer unique protective qualities on most polymer substrates.

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