What is cold crack in vinyl binders and how do I prevent it?

Why exactly do vinyl binders crack? The problem with certain vinyl material is that it can become hard and brittle when exposed to cold. Vinyl materials can actually freeze, and then if dropped or knocked can cause splitting or cracking in the material.  This type of cracking is called cold crack.

Vinyl manufactures have developed vinyl materials that can withstand colder temperatures.  Binder usage and exposure to the elements is an important consideration when selecting the best vinyl materials for the jobs.  Cold cracking may be a concern under some of the following situations:

  • Vinyl binders that are primarily used outdoors where there is extreme climate change or exposure to colder temperatures.
  • Vinyl binders that are used in temperature controlled environments such as laboratories, freezers, climate controlled storage, etc.
  • Vinyl binders that are shipped through extreme or colder temperatures that have prolonged exposure to colder air.

With standard vinyl, cracking can often be prevented if the vinyl is allowed to sit for an extended period to come to room temperature before being moved.  In the case of products being shipped and moved, this is often not realistic.

How to prevent cold cracking in vinyl binders.

If you know your binders are at risk of being exposed to colder temperatures, you’ll want to use a cold crack rated vinyl.

Cold crack rated vinyl has a chemical makeup that is altered to a lower freezing point. The vinyl is enhanced to withstand colder temperatures before cracking. Binders made with this enhanced vinyl can be dropped or aggressively moved without having to ‘warm up’ to room temperatures to prevent cracking.

A good illustration of of where cold crack vinyl material is essential would be in vinyl siding. Home exteriors are exposed to freezing winds, rain, snow and ice. Cold crack rated vinyl in siding is essential.  If you need custom ring binders that you know will be exposed to cold, the same consideration should be given to the material you use ensuring your binder will last.

What types of cold crack rated vinyl materials are available?

  • TBS 90 – plus 10 degree cold crack – general purpose vinyl
  • TBS 100 – 0 degree cold crack vinyl
  • TBS 110 – minus 10 degree cold crack
  • TBS 120 – minus 20 degree cold crack

If you are in the market for vinyl binders and think your binders may be at risk for cold crack, let us help you select just the right vinyl material to protect your investment.