Tedlar plastic coating has been a stalwart DuPont product since 1961, when the company introduced it for the booming construction industry. That year DuPont constructed a plant at its Buffalo, N.Y., site to manufacture the new polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) film. The weather-resistance of Tedlar and its availability in several colors made it an attractive laminate for wood shutters, aluminum siding and many other housing applications.
By the early 1970s, Tedlar applications had widened to include automobile trim. Ten years later it was being used as a surface laminate for flexible architectural structures like tents, canopies, outdoor pavilions and covered sports arenas. In the early 1990s, Tedlar surfacing appeared on flexible outdoor signs, banners and awnings. The chemical structure of Tedlar makes it impermeable to dirt, oil and grit, so a good rainstorm will serve to keep it clean. It also resists penetration by the sun's ultraviolet radiation, thereby offering protection against discoloration and sun damage. Tedlar continues to appear in new applications such as airplane and train interior surfaces, truck trailer sides and building panels.
DuPont plants in Buffalo and Japan manufacture several varieties of Tedlar to meet many different needs. A major variety is Tedlar SP film, whose translucent quality, useful for backlight displays, offers an alternative to the choices of transparency or opaqueness with Tedlar. Tedlar requires an adhesive, but Tedlar SP can be applied in multiple layers without any adhesive or heat sealing. Both varieties come in a wide range of colors and glosses. Tedlar is chemically related to DuPont's Teflon® film. In fact, DuPont combined both of these tough, non-stick film and finishes products into a single surfaces business in 2000.