Operable/Moveable wall manufacturers, including Moderco, offer many types of aesthetically pleasing and functional covering materials that can be applied to solid panels. These materials include vinyl, fabric, carpet, plastic laminate, real & veneer types of wood materials, writing surfaces of various types, customers own material (COM) etc. All have different characteristics and aesthetic appeal. By far the most commonly specified and used covering is what the moveable wall industry refers to as “vinyl”.
The quality standard for “vinyl” is defined within the document WA -101 Standard (Quality Standard for Polymer Coated Fabric Wall covering) as issued by the Wallcoverings Association. This document (issued in 2017) replaces a previous industry standard “CFFA -W-101-D” (CFFA Quality Standard for Vinyl Coated Fabric Wallcovering that was maintained by the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association) as it was limited to commercial wallcoverings. The WA-101 standard applies to a broader range of polymer coatings including vinyl alternatives. The purpose of WA-101 (link below) is to establish a standard for consistent performance and quality for all polymer coated fabric wallcoverings and, as there are many manufacturers, provide a better understanding of its characteristics and properties.
Type I. Light Duty, intended for use in areas of low wear. (Should not be used on a moveable wall). Total Wt./square yd. 7 oz. Total Wt./lin.yd: 10-12 oz. Breaking Strength: 30. (ASTM D-751) . Tearing Strength 12. (ASTM D-751). Resistance to Staining: 1-9 (ASTM D-1308)
Type II. Medium Duty, Intended for use in areas of medium wear. (The most commonly used vinyl on moveable walls) Total Wt./square yd. 13 oz. Total Wt./lin.yd: 20-22 oz. Breaking Strength: 50. (ASTM D-751). Tearing Strength: 25 (ASTM D-751). Resistance to Staining: 1-12 (ASTM D-1308)
Type III. Heavy Duty, Intended for use in areas of heavy wear. (Rarely used on moveable walls) Total Wt./square yd: 22 oz. Total Wt./lin. yd; 28-32 oz. Breaking Strength: 95 (ASTM D-751). Tearing Strength: 50 (ASTM D-751). Resistance to Staining: 1-12 (ASTM D-1308).
Has a Class “A” rating: (Flame spread of 0-25 and Smoke Developed of 0-50 - ASTM E-84).
Washability: 100 (ASTM F793).
Shrinkage: 2% max. (Per procedure described in para. 7.1.2 of W-101.)
Colorfastness to Light: 200. No change in color or shade. (Federal test Method Standard 191A – Method 5660)
Conclusion: Type II Vinyl is the recommended covering for Moveable/Operable Wall Systems.
The covering on an Operable/Moveable wall must be selected based on the wear & tear that it is likely to encounter in addition to meeting the desired aesthetics. In a high abuse environment (schools, religious institutions, hospitality, convention centers etc.) where the panels are frequently moved Type II vinyl should be the covering of choice. In addition the panel design should be considered as the way in which the vinyl must be installed on the panel affects the vinyl durability. The best option to minimize vinyl wear and reduce the need to recover panels is to choose a protective edge trim design such as on the Moderco Signature 800 panels.
The area on a panel most susceptible to wear, tear and damage is where the panels meet and fit together. The Signature 800 panel design provides protection for this vertical exposed edge and thus eliminates the primary reason for a panel recover. The vinyl in a trimless design requires at each panel edge a full 180 degree bend such that it folds under the meeting astragal. This folding results in undue stress and stretching of the vinyl with wearing and fraying inevitable. With a protective design the material is never stretched or folded but stays in a constant flat plane with no wear at panel edges.
In addition all manual panel relocation requires an operator to handle the panel face at the edge. If his hands are dirty or greasy then the faces will be marred or stained often permanently. With a protective design the protective edge provides a location to physically hold the panel without the need to touch the panel face.
We highly recommend the use of a protective edge trim panel system (Moderco Signature 800) in order to increase the life span of your vinyl covering. Call us at 1.800.363.3150 for more information.