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  • Writer's pictureRo Nesheiwat

The difference Between Materials

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Making the choice to invest pads is an essential step towards protection the interior of your elevator cab. These thick pads are mounted near the top of each wall panel, hanging vertically to prevent damage to elevator controls, glass walls and delicate pieces of decor.  Elevator pads come in a wide variety of colors and materials. The two most common materials are vinyl and canvas, and each of these popular choices comes in an assortment of vivid colors.

Standard Vinyl

You might be surprised to know that vinyl is actually a material form of hard plastic. Most plastics, from large industrial pipes to soft and flexible clothing, are derived from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.

PVC is a diverse material that can be reworked into a variety of different forms. This is done primarily through the addition of dispersants or plasticizers. These chemicals increase the plasticity, or fluidity, of the material. For example, a PVC compound with a relatively low level of plasticizers will create an end product that is firm and rigid. By contrast, that very same PVC compound may create an end product that is soft and flexible through the addition of plasticizers during key steps in production.

Standard vinyl is created through a PVC modification process that uses a moderate to heavy amount of plasticizers. This makes standard vinyl tough enough to protect elevator walls, yet soft enough to be worn as clothing.

Heavy Duty Vinyl

Like standard vinyl, the production of heavy-duty vinyl begins with PVC.  PVC is again modified through a specific addition of dispersants (plasticizers) that modify the chemical structure, fluidity, and feel of the vinyl end product.

Heavy-duty vinyl is a thicker and heavier version of ordinary vinyl. Sometimes, a fewer number of plasticizers is used during production to create a less fluid and thicker end product. Or, it may be manufactured with an ordinary number of plasticizers, but the end product is simply layered together to create a “heavier” feel.


Canvas is a natural material derived from cotton or linen. Unlike vinyl, canvas is not manufactured through chemical processes like suspension polymerization or emulsion. Canvas fibers are plain weave, unlike the twill weave fibers that make up denim and other heavy fabrics. Canvas is known for its strength and durability; one need only look to the surface of a trampoline for evidence of this material’s incredible resilience. Canvas is also easily treated for water, fire, and chemical resistance.

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