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Fabrics and Textiles - Capability Statements

Fabric trouser tear test

Fabric tensile strength and tear characteristics

Textiles, cloths and fabrics used in both clothing and sporting markets have requirements for flexibility and lightness, but also durability and resistance to breakage – particularly tear damage – when in use. A hot air balloon manufacturer must conform to strict standards, applicable to the aerospace industry despite the textile construction of the product. The variation in coatings for the fabric – due to individual designs – and the fabric itself, requires that the test procedure must be applicable all cases. The strip method tear test for fabrics evaluates tear propagation resistance under constant loading at a constant rate of displacement. For secure retention of the standard size samples, wave-form jawed grips would be suitable, capable of holding the fabric across its full width, up to forces of up to a peak of 350 N, in this case. This tear test may be used as a standard method for measuring the effect, not only of wear-and-tear on the textile, but the impact of sunlight aging the material over time. The same system of a motorised test stand, digital force gauge and results analysis software, plus the versatile grips can also be used to measure the tensile strength of the numerous seams and fastenings of the fabric structure.

Mecmesin Systems: Motorised stand with gauge and software, large vice grip

Case Study: Balloon Cloth Tensile Strength Test

Sequin, diamante and bow pull-off tests

Fabric, textiles and clothing decoration pull-off (test-to-failure)

The performance, durability and safety conformance of clothing must reflect the multitude of styles and materials mix plus functional and decorative additions. These various embellishments: buttons, ribbons, bows, sequins, diamante and other fastenings that have been attached to textiles need to be checked that they have been safely affixed so they will not become choking hazards for infants, for example. The necessary test-to-failure (TTF) indicated by the standards – a code of practice for the design and manufacture of children's clothing to promote mechanical safety – involves pulling the feature until it detaches. The method tests the pull-off/pull-out and tensile strength of the product and also recording the displacement of the crosshead will give a measure of the elongation at break. A selection of grips may be required for securely grasping the decoration – with hooks or slots – depending on the design.

Mecmesin Systems: MultiTest console-controlled force test system, digital force gauge, test hook, popper-cam base

Case Study: Diamante Pull-off Test, Bow Pull-off Test, Button Pull-off Test, Press-Stud Popper Pull-Off Test

Univeral testing machine and fixtures for zipper testing

Zipper testing methods for tensile and separation strength

Zippers (zips, fly, fly fasteners) are used for the fastening together, or binding, of the edges of fabrics, textiles and other flexible materials. Usage in the clothing, furniture, outdoor pursuits and sporting industries is common. The fairly complex mechanical nature of the clasping mechanism, involving interlocking teeth and a hinged pull-tab, requires a set of tests to ensure the quality assurance of the complete assembly. The crosswise (ordinary zipper) strength per 2.5 cm of the chain, tests the peak load that the interlocked teeth can endure before being pulled apart laterally. The webbing at either side of a the chain is securely held with 25 mm wide grips and pulled apart at a constant 300 mm/min. The top stop (zip closed position) and the bottom stop (zip open position) are also tested. The top stop holding strength by holding the lower edge of the interlocked zipper and pulling the slider firmly in the closing direction. The bottom stop holding strength pulls each of the chains apart at right angles to the zipping direction in a manner similar to a trouser tear or T-peel test. The separating unit crosswise strength pulls the webbing apart at the point of the bottom stop with the zipper closed. The slider/tab configuration is also tested for its locking strength—resistance to sliding as a result of the chains being pulled apart—and, for relevant designs, the tab itself is tested for ultimate tensile strength when pulled away from its housing at 90 and 45 degrees. Custom-designed fixtures may be required for the complete suite of tests, primarily JIS-S3015 and ASTM D2061.

Mecmesin Systems: MultiTest universal testers, Customised force testing applications

90 peel test of leather on metal

Custom vice for peel adhesion testing

Our client in vehicular upholsery needed to test the peel adhesion strength of leather bonded to metal. A 90 degree peel is straightforward enough, but gripping the metal and leather test sample required a custom vice, mounted on a standard sliding table.

Mecmesin supplied the complete fixturing, including the design and manufacture of a vice to grip the metal substrate from which the adhered leather was to be peeled. Mounting test samples was then very quick and precise, allowing rapid and repeatable testing.

Yarn and filament tension testing with bollard grips

Yarn testing for strength, toughness, tenacity and elongation

The tensile testing of yarns may involve several specific procedures, intended to evaluate the performance of individual yarns and quantify comparative evaluation between alternative materials or suppliers. Accurate testing of material behaviour or ultimate failure strength can be achieved with a motorised universal tester, appropriate grips and a test program design to apply the relevant standard. Typical procedures apply axial loading to the test sample—either individual threads, or multi-filament if applicable to the intended usage. A motor-driven test stand ensures constant speed of loading for optimum repeatability; suitable for any test standard for textile and fabric strength, e.g. ASTM D5034 – grab test procedures for elongation and break strength. Measurement of peak force at failure and elongation at break are important properties of the textile, as are further industry-standard calculations such as breaking tenacity (force divided by linear density, or denier) and toughness (the energy absorbed over the deformation). Accuracy of the measured values is highly dependent upon proper fixturing of the sample to eliminate breakage at the point of gripping. Mecmesin’s selection of bollard/roller and filament grips provide reliable breakage testing due to smooth sample contact surfaces and ball socket joints to ensure consistent axial alignment.

Geotextile strength testing ensures in-service performance quality

Geotextile in-service performance testing

Geotextiles undergo a range of forces in their intended applications and determination of their suitability for in-service conditions involves a number of test types. The variety of materials utilised—both synthetic polymer and natural—and method and construction—woven, knitted or non-woven—means that quality testing requires consideration of the sample gripping, manner of deformation and loading capacity. Mecmesin has a range of force testing systems from mid-capacity single column configurations up to 50 kN twin column UTMs. A geotextile fabric may undergo forces which could stretch, tear, puncture or penetrate the membrane and an appropriate replication of the relevant loading is essential to quantify the performance of the textile in its environment. Typical international standards targeting these test types include: ASTM D4533, trapezoid tearing strength of geotextiles; ASTM D6241, static puncture strength of geotextiles and geotextile-related products; ASTM D4632, grab breaking load and elongation of geotextiles.

Medical textiles need to meet strength checks and other hygiene requirements

Medical textiles and fabrics testing

Medical textiles reach their end user in both yarn or fabric forms, necessitating a specific test in order to evaluate the quality of the product for its intended purpose. The materials themselves must meet stringent requirements over and above their physical properties such and strength and flexibility—relating to hygiene and resistance to infection, or the need to be non-reactive in the case of implantable textiles. Individual yarns (for example suture thread) should be tested for ultimate tensile strength, to minimise uncontrolled breakage, but facilitate breakage or cutting when required by the surgeon. Motorised test stands fitted with roller or bollard grips ensure reliable measurement of truly representative sample breakage, away from fixture clamping. Clothing and other protective garments must be evaluated for tear, peel and puncture/penetration resistance as well as ultimate strength and elongation properties. Mecmesin’s universal testers and dedicated peel and tear test systems can accurately measure the performance of medical fabrics to international standards against Delft, tongue, single rip (trouser), trapezoidal and Graves tear procedures. Computer controlled systems enable specific in-house tests to also be performed. Some fabrics may also require a degree of penetration resistance which is easily evaluated by our UTM systems. Patient dressings must be flexible enough to cover any part of the body and also protect and support many types of injury, thus the measurement of elongation and ultimate tensile strength enables the manufacturer to quantify the performance of the textile completely.

CD021 Suture thread tensile strength 220Surgical suture thread tensile strength and elongation at break

In the biomedical engineering industry, the reliable performance of surgical sutures is vital to wound healing and hence the wellbeing and recovery of the patient. Differences in gauge and material constructs (e.g. hybrid metal wire/polymer yarn, or other specialist textiles) are required for different purposes, with functional requirements such as being absorbable/non-absorbable or antimicrobial also affecting the physical qualities of the thread. The measurement of the strand’s elongation at break and the force required to snap the thread provides an objective and comparable method of evaluating these advances in medical technology. To successfully test the ultimate tensile strength of the fibre, it must be ensured that the grips securely hold the sample, whilst being light enough to allow the use of a loadcell with the optimum accuracy for the force range. Any slippage will compromise the precise measurement of the elongation, which may be a critical parameter in the back-to-back comparison of alternative constructs. The use of a computer-controlled force test stand with specific fixtures allows healthcare product OEMs to optimise the design of medical textiles for effective healing and minimal cosmetic impact.

Mecmesin Systems: MultiTest computer-controlled test system