There are many different qualities of vinyl profiles available.  Profiles are the raw “lumber” we use to make finish products.  Unfortunately, to the naked eye – and to the touch, it is difficult to tell them apart.  The compound used to make the profile can look the same in a finished extrusion, but have very different characteristics.  The same concepts can be applied to injection molded products like caps and accessories.
Quality problems you can see immediately in profiles:
  • Inconsistent wall thickness on profiles 
  • Very thin capstock (on coextruded products) 
  • Overly thin products (especially on posts and rails) 
  • Poor surface finish (may be caused by worn tooling) 
Unfortunately not all profile quality issues can be seen by looking or touching the profile. These are the most important, and may only be realized after being in the sun and weather for a few years. 
Quality problems you will only know after being in us for a few years
  • Excessive Fading 
  • Excessive Chalking 
  • Excessive Bowing and Sagging 
  • Poor Windload resistance 
Here are few things that may surprise you about profile quality
  • A thicker profile can be lower quality than a thinner profile. 
  • A mono-extruded profile can be lower quality than a co-extruded profile. 
  • A more rigid (inflexible and apparently stronger) product can be lower quality than a flexible product. 
It is confusing, but true. The ideal profile is a good quality extrusion made with the proper quality and quantity of micro-ingredients and properly designed for it’s intended application:
  1. Raw resins
  2. Ultraviolet stabilizer
  3. Impact modifiers 
  4. Uniform blending of all micro-ingredients 
  5. Proper strength to flex ratio 
  6. Sufficient cap-stock thickness 
  7. Consistent wall thickness throughout extrusion 
  8. Meets ASTM F-964-11 as a minimum standard
  9. Meets ICC standards
  10. Manufactured by a good standing member of the VFDRMA 
  11. The correct profile for its application 
  12. Fabricated correctly to match the job requirements 
  13. Installed correctly to match the job requirements 
Fading and Chalking
Lower quality products can fade and chalk both excessively and unevenly. 
This is usually caused by: 
  • Inferior quality raw products in the compound 
  • Lower quantity of good UV stabilizers 
  • Inconsistent blending in the extrusion process.

Of course, it is always prudent to consider the history and experience of the extrusion company and people you choose to work with.  It is not without precedent that formulas change based on profitability levels demanded by large corporations answering to shareholders and venture capital groups.


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