from fibre to material

Engineers working in the design of sailing materials have a lot of places to maneuver. They are starting a long way to achieve greater endurance, speed and efficiency of the sail. Over the years the evolution of fibers, new solutions and ideas for the creation of the perfect sailing material designers strongly reduce the possibility of even better solutions. At this moment, we have come to the limits imposed by the lack of new fibres and technology, given that it is necessary to maintain a gold medium, between costs, production capacity, ergonomics of use and the vitality of the sailing material.

  • Fabrics – materials produced by the traditional method on Tkalniczych machines – looms
  • Laminates – materials where the fibres constituting the main carrier layer (carrying the load) are between two layers (stabilising) glued together.
  • D4 – material on a flat surface with the fibres distributed according to the loads, then cut horizontally and stapling to give the shape of the sail.
Construction of the D4-Ⓒ Klaus Andrew/DP 
  • 3DL – A seamless sail made on hoof-form, consisting of fibers carrying the main loads closed on both sides of the layer of Mylar or tafety.
Construction of the sail 3DL-Ⓒ Sail World

It is not easy to find a golden remedy and consider one material for most appropriate both in the regatta and in the tourist sailing. Of course, the ultimate goal is to create the most durable fabric with the smallest weight, all at minimal cost. Just like in life and in sailing, we meet two final factors that define the price, the cost of raw material and the work.

The cheapest way to create a canvas is weaving and the most inexpensive raw material is polyester, hence the Dakronowe sails are the most economical option when choosing the canvas for our new sails. In the next order we have weaves with more exotic fibers. A more expensive solution is to create a laminate, as in the case of weaving, the cheapest material is polyester then is made fiber more expensive-stronger eg. Twaron or dyneeme or charcoal. The purpose of each sailor in selecting a material is to fit it to their own needs, i.e. the method of navigation, to the type of yacht. None of us wants to pay for something I do not need or use on your yacht, but on the other hand no one will save on the material when it comes to the sails to the mega yacht. For the same reason no magnesium alloy wheels is assumed for the Fiat 126p. Or all-year-round tyres for the F1 car.

When you learn about the construction and characterization of sailing materials, you will be much better oriented when you choose the right material for your new sails. Of course, this is not a necessity because the designers of the sails will be happy to advise and indicate the most optimal material for your needs.


Fabrics-Dakron "Y"

Each weaved material consists of a thread and a warp. The warp refers to the yarn running along the length of the material, the thread inversely into the yarn running through the width of the material roll, i.e. across. And here begins the fabric design, because the engineer can design thread-oriented material or warp using thicker fibers in one of them, resulting in a completely different material characteristics of material strength. Here we can decide to which typeface will be adapted material – horizontal or radial. It is also possible to design a fabric with identical thread fibre distribution/warp. This fabric will have identical strength on width and length, allowing it to be used for any cut.

Ⓒ Contender Sailcloth

Thread and Warp

Each weaved material consists of a thread and a warp. The warp is the fibres running along the length of the fabric, while the thread refers to fibres running across the length of the fabric i.e. along its width. The design engineer of the sailing material can prepare a thread to carry the main loads. In this case it will be the material for horizontal sails.

If you design the material so that the warp is conveyed the main loads we will have to deal with the radial cutting material. The radial-cut polyester materials mostly have the same characteristics for threads and warps, which are de facto balanced materials.

The third option is balanced fabrics that have exactly the same number of fibres along and across the material. This fabric will exhibit the same tensile strength in both directions.

Fibre linear density-Denier

Following the Wikipedia 1 denier, "Den" is a unit of linear density of synthetic fibres. A fibre with a length of 9000 metres and a mass of 1 gram has a density of 1 deniera. Dacron in its basic form is a collection of polyester fibres, which after twisting with other fibres become spun. The number of sprains per inch and the thickness of each fibre affects the mass and strength of each yarn, and thus the strength of the fabric. A clearly reflect the structure of the material manufacturers use the Mark DEN – Denier Cal – DPI – denier per inch. When we want to determine the directional strength of the fabric we can look at the information DPI

The art of weaving dates back to centuries, and the most modern looms-more refined still apply the same weaving process. First, the yarn-warp is stretched under a heavy load along the future material. Every second of its fiber is directed above and below the weaving axis to create a "trap for a future thread. The thread moves perpendicularly between the warp once to the left once to the right. Each time a thread is moved from left to right, it is pressed by the tamper and the carcass fibers change its top/bottom position to close it without allowing any movement. The thread goes back from right to left.  Every time a thread passes, the length of the prepared material grows. This is all happening at an incredible speed and with every year manufacturers weave an increasing amount of material.

Ⓒ Challenge Sailcloth

The width of the material roll depends on the width of the loom. Most modern machines have a tkalniczy panel width of 60 inches which translates to a maximum width of a roll equal to 54 inches or 136 cm. Sometimes we can meet with a roll width of up to 150 cm. It just is dictated by the breadth of the arm of most plotters drawing/cut ffire on the future sail

The length of the material roll is dictated only by the amount of yarn and the common sense of the weight of such a roll. For this usually roll of material may after a few hundred meters, then are pruned to shorter sections.

The setting of loom is extremely time-consuming, so fabric makers try to produce long sections of the canvas of the sail each time they perform a certain style of fabric. Of course, the way the loom is prepared has a big impact on how the finished product will look, so the manufacturer needs to know exactly what he wants from the very beginning of the process.

Ⓒ Challenge Sailcloth

Each batch of material shall be tested in terms of preserving the standard parameters. It is extremely important to maintain the standard conditions under which the material is woven. Humidity and temperature have a key impact. This is dictated by the technical parameters of polyester which is made of Dakron. When not observing these parameters, the yarn loses its strength properties and may shrink and thus the emergence of undulating material.

Ⓒ Challenge Sailcloth

When we prepare a horizontal grotto on the Bavarię 50, we need heavy material designed to cope with heavy loads occurring on such a large sail. We can use Yarn 500 dpi for warp and 1000 dpi for a thread. With such connections, the Dakron to a horizontal typeface weighing 10.4 o.z. or OK. 420 g/m2

For a cave production on my Mini 6.50 manufacturer I will prepare in Krosno 600 DPI in warp and 600 in the thread, this would create a material Contender Fibercon Competition 6.05 o. Z. or approx 285 g/m2 for radial cut.

Technical table of material Contender Fibercon Competition RSQ
Table of resistance characteristics of material tensile Contender Fibercon Competition RSQ 6.55-313 g/m2

As we see in the table the thread and warp are prepared in the same amount but the thread charakteryzuję more strength. The reason for this lies in the weaving process, and the material itself can be used for a radial cut.

How to read the table? The first four rows inform us of the material's elongation to the applied load. The last row tells us what load we have to put to stretch the material by 1% of its length. In la
boratories, the engineers "Break up" the sample material. This is to simulate partial consumption of such material. How the partially used material will be extended to inform us a series of "Flutter"

Knowing these bases, we can already consciously look at the process of production of sailing materials. The transition from the organic materials to the synthetics allowed to change the characteristics of sailing and the design of yachts/ships. Stable materials have significantly lowered the operating costs of yachts, and less need to replace "blown" sails. In the new era of materials more and more often began to dominate the "new" shapes of hulls and sail that are now standard, talking about sztakslach and triangular sails or gaflowych. The designers of the sails got the materials for the production of new sails, which allowed for ever sharper shipping.

Ⓒ Contender Sailcloth

The modern world of regatta is still rushing forward, a new era of sailing was born before our eyes. I am talking about the move from sailing wypornościowego to gliding. New construction materials allow the construction of such yachts, they are available to an ever wider group of sailors.  The change of this era introduces great demand for new materials-the need for more and more safer and lighter materials. On the sliding yachts I design the sails and produce with attention to the increasing precision of its kztałtu. This requires a specific driving slip. The stability of the material is to ensure more and longer keeping the shape of an overloaded sail, which, however, is very dynamically convey the power from the wind by rig on the hull and…. Win a regatta.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *