Tenacitex load restraint curtains

The devastating disaster that has ravaged Japan lately has left Australian affiliate Polyweld in genuine concern. “We were worried that the company may have suffered from the earthquake. But we’ve been in touch with Teijin and all their staff is unhurt, which is paramount to Polyweld. Fortunately, the supply chain is still intact, too,” says Polyweld’s Stuart Donaldson.

Technora is the raw material helping Polyweld transform common truck-side curtains into Tenacitex load restraint curtains, which look and behave like curtains, but are a light and easy-to-handle load restraint system at the same time. The resilient and highly oriented molecular structure leads to a high modulus of elasticity, low creep and low stress relaxation.

“There are a couple of different ways to build a curtain, either using a welded strap or a loose sleeve. The welded strap is impregnated with PVC, enabling it to be bonded directly to the fabric. Either way, the existing methods have an inherent weakness,” Stuart explains.

“Originally, all of these straps were made using seat belt webbing or some variation of it. They provide strength and stop the curtains from flapping in the wind. They were also supposed to restrain the load, but all the webbing available stretched far too much to meet the current regulations. Today, such regulations have tightened up again; and curtains using seat belt webbing can do little more than provide weather protection,” Stuart says.

“The operator now needs to use load binder straps in conjunction with gates, yet load binders damage some kinds of freight. With our new Tenacitex curtains, though, load binders are not necessary and gates are optional.”

“What we’ve been able to do is manufacture a webbing that can be bonded to the curtain – which is the popular and more modern method – and also be used as a load restraint system, because it won’t stretch at all.”

Polyweld sources Technora from Japan and produces the versatile Tenacitex narrow width fabric in Cheltenham, Vic. Afterwards it is coated with a layer of PVC.

“The new material can be welded onto a curtain without stretching, because Technora is stable up to 250 degrees,” Stuart says. “As the PVC coating process involves temperatures of around 150 degrees, the heat can affect the performance of common polyester webbing, making it prone to stretching. Tenacitex, though, will maintain its strength due to the low thermal shrinkage and excellent dimensional stability.” As a result, the aromatic copolyamid is ideal for dynamic performance applications involving significant motion.

“In fact, you can attach a weight of 25kg to a 10m Technora yarn tied to a rafter, and it will stretch less than 1cm in 10 years. Even during repeated abrasion, flexing and stretching, it shows little loss of strength.”

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