SO WHAT IS PUNCTURE STRENGTH?
Puncture strength is a measure of the maximum force or energy required to penetrate a material.
Puncture strength isn’t always the most vital factor to consider. For example, for shade fabric, puncture strength isn’t as important as the shade factor or the weight of the fabric. But in applications that must withstand more force, like a truck covering, you’ll want to pay much closer attention to the material’s puncture strength. If a truck tarp covering a load of scrap metal has pieces of rebar punching through the tarp, that means the tarp’s puncture strength is insufficient.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY FABRIC IS STRONG ENOUGH?
There are several puncture tests that can be utilized. The most common uses a metal probe to puncture the fabric while the amount of force needed is measured. (Puncture specifications are often found in the specification sheets for a fabric along with weight/mass, tear strength, tensile strength, and others.)
LET’S GET TECHNICAL
The methods of each test, and in particular the probes used, vary from test to test. There are 8 mm (.33″) probes with flat edges (ASTM D4833), 50 mm (~2″) probes also with flat edges (ASTM D6241), as well as 1″ probes with round, ball-shaped ends (ASTM D6797 and D3787).
WHAT IF THE FABRIC HAS AN OPEN CONSTRUCTION?
If the fabric has an open construction, like multi-mesh, then the 8 mm probe could possibly go between the yarn gaps with very little force. But a 1″ or 2″ diameter probe would not pass through those gaps and would have to break yarns to penetrate the fabric.
So, a puncture test using these larger style probes would be much more indicative of this fabric’s puncture strength.
Because of these possible scenarios, it is important the same test standards are used when comparing fabric. The best test is always simulating your customers’ application.
If you’d like more information about a particular material’s specifications, call us at 866-206-1188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to answer questions and help you find the right products for your customers.