Matériaux - Yarns

Nylon

Yarns and fabrics are called Nylon. Brand name of Du Pont, but never copyrighted, therefore used generically for all thermoplastic polyamides.

Pros

Very light, elastic - good break load. Good against chafe and flex. Therefore ideal for downwind sails.

Cons

Stretch resistance not good enough for upwind sails. UV and moisture reduces its strength.

Nylon

Polyester

Woven Polyester fabrics have been used for more than 60 years as sailcloth.

Pros

Dacron/Polyester is very durable, good against UV, and economical.

Cons

For high performance sails stretch resistance is not good enough.

ELVSTROMSAILS_polyester

Pentex®

PEN® stands for Polyethylene Naphthalene. Pentex® is a trade name for this modified Polyester yarn.

Pros

40% less stretch than Polyester, more suitable for sail laminates.

Cons

Needs impregnation with resin for best results, therefore sails can be damaged by poor handling or flogging.

Pentex®

Aramid-Kevlar®

Kevlar® is stronger than steel – and lighter. 4 kinds: Type 29 better in flex than type 49. Type 49 50% better in stretch than 29. Twaron® is very similar to type 49. Technora® is between 29 and 49, is available in black and gold.

Pros

5 times better stretch than Polyester, double that of Pentex®. Aramide yarns can be woven to a tight fabric and bonds well on Mylar®.

Cons

Aramids have only moderate UV resistance, and poor with repeated flex. Technora® is somewhat better in both these issues.

Aramid-Kevlar®

Carbon

Carbon consists of mainly carbon atoms. Each fibre consists of hundreds to thousands of filaments (tubes) with few micrometer diameter. Different types with almost zero stretch to those with better flexibility.

Pros

Extremely low stretch and insensitive to UV. Can use less fibre for same strength – saves weight.

Cons

Production is expensive, poor in flex.

Carbon

Dyneema®

Dyneema® has extremely long molecular chains, therefore enormous breaking strength.

Pros

Very strong, and resistant to stretch. Good resistance against UV and material fatigue, very light

Cons

Under permanent load the fibre tends to elongate, so the sail can change shape under high loads of long duration.

Dyneema®

Vectran®

Vectran® is based on polyester with aramid type molecular structure to combine the pros of both materials. Vectran® is a quasi-polyester. Colour is gold.

Pros

Vectran® has good stretch resistance and does not deteriorate in use. UV resistance is better than Aramid®, suitable for use on performance cruiser with main emphasis on durabilty. Flex resistance is better than Aramid®.

Cons

Not as stretch resistant as Aramid®.

Vectran®

Materials - Woven Fabrics

Nylon

Nylon can be woven very tight, fabric is light and strong.

Pros

Very light, good breaking load.
Good against flex and chafe therefore ideal for downwind sails.

Cons

Stretch resistance not good enough for upwind sails.
UV and moisture reduce strength.

Nylon

Woven Polyester

Woven polyester fabrics are developed to a very high standard. Polyester is the most used sailcloth, known as Dacron, Tetoron, Terylene, Trevira and Diolen too.

Pros

A very durable fabric, good against UV, flex and economical. Suitable for sails requiring durability.

Cons

Stretch resistance is not good enough for high performance sails on modern rigs.

Woven Polyester

Taffeta

Technically, Taffetas are all types of fine, light woven fabric (for example silk). Taffeta for sail production are tight woven polyester as layer on laminates for better resistance against UV, tear, flex and chafe.

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Cons

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Taffeta

Laminate

Laminated cloth contains different yarns, films and taffetas for a fabric with better characteristics then woven cloth. From different combinations these are especially distinguished:

DC

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FAF (film/film)

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Laminate

DC

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Pros

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Cons

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DC

FAF (film/film)

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Pros

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Cons

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FAF

EPEX

This is the most modern and advanced method to produce a laminated sail. EPEX can bond the different layers optimally, and can use all yarn types to make the sail to meet your individual sailing needs.


EPEX