When developing a product, you’ll want to know the strongest webbing materials available. You won’t want the webbing to be the weakest link in your product or safety gear.
But what makes up a strong material for mission-critical products? This article covers the strongest webbing materials that resists UV rays, cutting and tears, and fire. Let’s start with several types of materials used for webbing.
Common Types of Webbing Material
There is a wide range of webbing fibers in use today. For this article, we’ll cover the most popular. Here is a list starting with the most common.
- Cotton (ideal for eliminating static electricity, but not the strongest)
- Polypropylene (stronger than cotton and water-resistant for marine use)
- Nylon (strong webbing with a tensile strength of 270-5,500 pounds per inch)
- Polyester (combines benefits of nylon and polypropylene)
- Acrylic (uses any long-chain synthetic polymer combined with acrylonitrile)
The use of acrylics and polymers has given rise to other specialty materials. Here are a few of the ones used in the industry.
The Strongest Webbing Materials
There are new materials in development every year. The more specific the use is for the material, the more likely it has a specialized fabric available.
- Aramid (Ideal for protective flame resistant clothing and gear)
- Modacrylic (materials resistant to fire and arc flash situations)
- PBI® (blended with other high-performance fibers including Kevlar® & Nomex®)
- Olefin (very high tensile strength)
- Metalized (Used in smart fabrics and conductive webbing)
- Vectran® (high-performance fiber used in aerospace and ocean exploration)
- PEEK (high temperature and chemical resistance)
- PTFE (known as Teflon®—resistant to high temperatures and corrosive chemicals)
When considering strong webbing material, you have to consider how hard it is to cut. The most popular webbing materials are cut and tear-resistant. The number of materials that meet and exceed OSHA and ANSI A10.11 standards is very low.
Cut-resistant webbing uses the denier measurement. This unit of measurement determines the thickness of the individual fibers. A fiber with a high denier count is thick, sturdy, and durable.
A much lower denier count is sheer and soft, like silk. A microfiber is 0.9 denier or less. A human hair is 20 denier. By contrast, one of OTEX’s fibers made with Dyneema® is in the 1,500- 2,700 denier range. Webbing made to these standards will be the most cut-resistant.
Fire Resistant/Fire Retardant
When looking for strong materials, we must understand fire resistance and fire retardant. Fire-retardant is a fireproof substance added to the material. Fire resistance means the chemical makeup of the material is resistant to fire.
The thing that resists the flames, in flame-resistant materials, can never wash out or wear off. It sits within the chemical composition of the fibers.
When selecting materials, consider what temperature the webbing is protected. The temperature rating is the point when the material decomposes or gets destroyed.
OTEX has a wide range of webbing options, but the strongest material is High Tensile Webbing. The webbing is resistant to most types of cutting and tearing including abrasion. It can withstand temperatures up to 356° Fahrenheit without decomposing or destruction. Nylon 6 is the strongest fire-resistant fabric with a denier range of 1,000-3,000. This material can handle very high temperatures.
Since UV damage is a long-term process, many companies use an applied coating on the material. OPTIFADE coating is ideal when protecting outdoor furniture and tents from UV rays.
Application of Strongest Webbing Material
Let’s take a look at a sample material. The high-performance Kevlar® webbing exceeds specs in all the above categories. The fabric is cut-resistant, fire-resistant, and UV resistant.
Here is a list of the material’s specifications.
- Cut resistant
- Melting point 427°C/800°F
- High tenacity 23g/Denier
- Elongation break approx 2.4%
- Chemical resistance to solvents
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Dimensional stability and strength
- No-Melt No-Drip
- Berry Compliant
- UL certified
A variety of industries and occupations use the material. Here is a short list of examples:
- SCBA harness units
- Drag rescue devices
- Tethering and Cargo straps
- Helmet suspension straps
- Fall restraint harnesses
- Protective gloves
- Lining for sliding rollers in tempering furnaces
- Cargo Netting
There are many configurations of the material available. OTEX Specialty Narrow Fabrics manufactures a wide assortment. The below list is a sampling of considerations.
- Customized striping designs for corporate identification
- Engineered to specified tensile strengths
- Blended with various fibers—Nomex®, Vectran®, PBI®
- Lightweight / Heavyweight
- Integrated with wire configurations or conductive yarns
- Special finishes can be applied per specification
Lab Tested Quality Control
Regardless of the material selected, you’ll want it to meet all product-related standards. Quality control is essential to prove cut-resistant, fire-resistant, and UV-resistant materials. The material should come with a certificate of compliance with lot-specific testing data.
Here are the most popular industry standards to look for:
- NFPA 1951, 1971, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983, 2112
- FAA/FAR 25.853
- ISO 9001:2015 (QMS Certified)
- Underwriters Laboratory (UL)
- American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
- Berry Amendment Conformance
- REACH Conformance
- RoHS Conformance
- ISO 14644 Class 8 Compliant Environmentally Controlled Room
- AS9100:2016 (QMS Certified)
There are many more standards to consider. But this list gives you an idea of how critical meeting standards must be.
The Strongest Webbing Material
There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for the strongest webbing material. Selecting the strongest webbing for your product depends on its function and application. For instance, Nylon is the strongest for mountain climbers, but it will absorb water at the marina.
Contact us to learn what material is best for your product. OTEX Specialty Narrow Fabrics manufactures a wide array of materials. A rep can help you select the best material for your product.