Parts of a Laminate

As soon as two layers of fabric, fibers, or film are bonded together it becomes a laminate. It does not matter what the layers are made of (Figure 3.5). Fabric makers have experimented with all sorts of different layers to create sailcloth,

BASIC LAMINATED SAILCLOTH

Figure 3.5

Two or more layers of fabric, fibers, or film are bonded together to create a laminate.

Mylai Spectra Scri Polyester Taffeta

but in the end a simple two-layer laminate often works best, with the two basic layers being comprised of load-bearing yarns and a substrate made from a film like Mylar. The yarns provide the strength and stretch resistance along load lines, while the film is there to provide bias, or off-threadline stability. Combining additional layers allows fabric makers to be more comprehensive in terms of creating a fabric that will handle numerous loads running in various directions. Note that an additional advantage of laminating technology is that since the load-bearing fibers do not need to be tightly woven, they can be laid into the fabric as a "scrim," in other words a loose knit of fibers that, because they are not woven, do not have any crimp in them. The yarns themselves can also be created as flat ribbons as opposed to twisted yarns, so that there will be no tendency for them to untwist when the load comes on them, thereby reducing any potential stretch further still.

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