Sales Know-How: What is Tensile Strength?

At Acadian Industrial Textiles, our goal is to help you sell more products. 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 tensile strength?

In the simplest terms, tensile strength is the ability of a material to withstand a pulling (tensile) force. It is customarily measured in units of force per cross-sectional area (i.e. lbs. per square inch).

The ability to resist breaking under tensile stress is one of the most important and widely measured properties of materials used in structural applications.

With fabrics, tensile strength can vary widely if the fabric is wet or dry. For instance, the strength of wet cotton yarn is greater than that of dry cotton yarn.

Let’s get technical

In the industrial textile industry, tensile strength typically refers to the strength and elongation properties of the material. Textiles can be tested in many forms, including single strands, yarns, webbing, woven, braided materials and non-woven fabrics.

Most textile fabric tensile testing is performed as either a grab test, to eliminate edge effects, or a strip test, to include edge effects. For a grab test, the grips of a testing machine clamp a fabric sample in the center using jaws smaller than the sample width. For a strip test, the grips clamp a strip of fabric using jaws wider than the sample width.

Due to the wide variety of textile materials, a single tensile test method would not be able to address all the variations needed to properly test different textiles. Popular ASTM tensile testing standards for textiles include:

  • ASTM D5034 for breaking strength of textile fabrics
  • ASTM D5035 for breaking force of textile fabrics
  • ASTM D6775 for breaking strength of webbing and braided materials
  • ASTM D7269 for testing aramid or nylon yarns
  • ASTM D4632 for grab method testing

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 tensile 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.



Tensile Strength PDF

Tensile Strength Free Downloadable PDF

Get our free resource with everything you need to know about tensile strength.