The difference between TPO and EPDM waterproof membrane

July 15,2022

The two major types of waterproof membranes used in European and American roof waterproofing are TPO and EPDM, and the service life can exceed 20 years. But which of the two is better?


A polymer composed of ethylene and propylene, and a small amount of dicyclopentadiene, a type of ethylene-propylene rubber. As a roof waterproofing material, it was mainly popular in the ten years after 2008, mostly black, with high weather resistance, high chemical stability, excellent electrical insulation, heat resistance and waterproofing.


A thermoplastic elastomer composed of rubber and polyolefin substances, the main components are PE, PP, EPDM, etc., there will be different combinations according to the formula of each company. The characteristics are not much different from EPDM materials, but the colors are black or white, and the cold and hot temperature tolerance is also large, so it gradually replaces EPDM.

Differences between TPO and EPDM

These two materials share many common features, such as high weather resistance, heat resistance, flame resistance, tear resistance, antibacterial, mildew resistance, etc. They are easy to maintain and have a long service life. Even if it is easily damaged by foreign objects (such as sharp stones and branches), but it is easy to repair, these are not a big problem.

Heat and cold resistance difference

For sunlight, EPDM is mostly black, of course, a few manufacturers make white, but black will absorb the heat source of the sun. On the contrary, most of the TPO waterproof membranes are white, which has excellent reflectivity, heat insulation and waterproof, and does not absorb heat, which helps to reduce the heat island effect.

Installation method difference

Most TPO waterproof membranes are welded, and EPDM is glued and bonded by a flame gun. TPO waterproof membranes are relatively safe to install.

Cost variance

EPDM is larger in manufacturing scale than TPO, so it is also cheaper in price. However, the TPO waterproof membrane is easy to install, uses less glue, and is very fast in recycling. There is no need to spend a lot of time to remove the glue. Relatively speaking, it will be more affordable in terms of long-term costs.

EPDM has many of the same characteristics as TPO, but TPO has advantages in long-term cost and white material, and it is easier to recycle. It is an all-round environmental protection material.



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