Sales Know-How: What is Tear Strength?

Sales Know-How: What is Tear Strength?

At Acadian Industrial Textiles, our goal is to help you sell more products. And the most effective way to sell anything is to make sure the products you recommend are appropriate for your customers’ needs.

In this blog series, we provide information about the technical specifications and testing criteria for our industrial textiles. The more you know about how these fabrics work and which applications they’re best suited for, the better you can sell them!

What is Tear Strength?

In the simplest terms, tear strength (or tear resistance) is a measure of how well a material can withstand the effects of tearing.

A large variety of tests are used throughout the textile industry to evaluate the performance and quality of fabrics. Tear strength is one such test. This test measures the force required to rupture a pre-slit woven fabric specimen under specific conditions.

Tear strength is important in industrial textiles where heavy duty work is performed. High tear strength ensures that punctures in the fabric don’t propagate easily.

Let’s Get Technical

In the industrial textile industry, the most common test standard for tear strength is ASTM D2261. This method is sometimes called the Tongue Tear Method and is performed with a CRE-type tensile testing machine.

In this test method, a cut is made in a rectangular textile specimen, which starts a tear. By cutting the material, two “tongues” are formed. A reference line is drawn to indicate the point to tear. One tongue is placed in the upper jaw of the testing machine and the other tongue is placed in the lower jaw. The jaws move apart at a constant rate until the fabric begins to tear. The resulting data reflects the strength of the yarns, fiber bonds, and fiber interlocks, as well as their resistance to tearing.

Tear Strength Depends Upon:

  • Ounces per square yard of the fabric (also referred to as grams per square meter, or GSM, for fabrics outside the U.S.).
  • Yarn denier and strength of yarn. Denier is the weight for a specific length of yarn.
  • More ends/inch and picks/inch increases tear strength.
  • Weave type of fabric – plain weave has the lowest tear strength as compared to the other weave designs.
  • Knitted or woven fabric – in general, it’s easier to tear knitted fabric than it is to tear woven textiles.
  • Type of finishes applied onto the fabric.
  • The number of layers of the fabric.

How do I Know if my Fabric is Strong Enough?

The most important thing to remember when selecting fabrics is that you compare “apples to apples.” If you’re trying to decide between two different fabrics, make sure you’re comparing consistent data. In other words, don’t compare two different materials that use different tear strength testing methods.

What if I Still Need Help?

That’s what we’re here for. If you ever have questions about how to choose the right fabric for a customer, or how to navigate and interpret various technical specifications, we are more than happy to help.