Cuben-Fiber (Dyneema Composite)
Pure Cuben-Fiber is said to be 15x stronger by weight than steel. At least this is the advertising claim of the manufacturer DSM. The advantage of CF is that it cannot absorb water. An unpleasant detail of Silynlon which is often used for tents and likes to soak up plenty of water depending on the coating. In addition, CF is not stretchable. This means, for example, you do not have to readjust the tent in the middle of the night because it sags. Dyneema Composite (formerly Cuben Fiber) in its pure form consists of thin threads of UHMWPE (“Dyneema”) pressed into a laminate of Mylar (polyester film). Unlike many other materials, the threads are not braided together but laid straight across each other. This leads to the fact that the CF has no extensibility because the threads are already laid completely straight and therefore there is no tolerance in tension.
Thus, thanks to the very strong threads and the laminate, an extreme tensile strength but also waterproofness is achieved.
Unfortunately, it is susceptible to stitches and abrasions. Therefore a Cuben Fiber Hybrid was developed for backpacks etc.. This still includes polyester on the outside to increase abrasion resistance.
It is very expensive to purchase. Color-wise, it is limited to the few colors of the Dyneema threads, except for the hybrids and the camo variant. The laminate is transparent. With pure CF, privacy in a tent from the outside is not really given. You’ll pay a good 40-50 USD per meter for the 1.0oz/yd2 variant, for example.
Also commonly used for a wide range of equipment (backpacks, tarps, bags…). It offers high abrasion resistance depending on the version (VX-21, VX-42, LS07 and others) and offers a wide range of colors. The frequently used versions VX21 and VX42 consist of a layer of nylon, polyester laminate (with PET film) as well as X-Ply threads in the distance of 10-18mm which gives the diamond-shaped structure as well as is responsible for the ripstop.
It is also one of the more expensive materials with about 30-35 USD per meter for VX21.
This brand of the Swiss company INVISTA has been on the market for a very long time. It offers various thicknesses and is often used for bags and backpacks. It offers very high abrasion resistance as well as very good cut and puncture resistance for the weight.
The downside is, it is relatively difficult to coat. Therefore, a little more material is needed to get it waterproof which can translate into a few more grams. In its pure form, it is braided from T420 nylon 6.6. 6.6 nylon is a very tear resistant variety of yarn. However, Cordura is also mixed with other materials to some extent.
It is relatively inexpensive at just under 15-20USD for 500D for example.
The following data is simplified and should only serve as a guide. Errors are not excluded.
Technical data on Dyneema Composite
The following is a technical list of different cuben fiber variants. More weight does not necessarily mean better tear and puncture resistance. Depending on whether more laminate or more Dyneema fibers have been used, this will have an effect on the properties. The accuracy of the data can’t be guranteed and should be taken with a grain of salt.
CT = Cubic Tech (CT2K.18)
1, 2, 5, 9 = Amount of Dyneema filaments (CT2K.18)
E, K = Mylar laminate type, E more resistant (CT2K.18)
.08 or .18 = thickness of mylar laminate (CT2K.18)
|Code||Weight (oz/yd2)||Failure strength (N/5cm)||Puncture Resistance (N)||Hydrostatic Pressure Resitance (mm H20)||Ratio Failure Strength / 1oz||Ratio Puncture Resistance / 1oz|
Test results for various Ultralight materials
The following is a technical listing of various tests of different materials performed by Fowler and published on hillpeoplegear.com
|Material||Gewicht (oz/yd2)||RIP (lbs)||Tear (lbs)||Abrasion cycles to Major Failure|
|Silnylon 30d nylon ripstop, silicon coating||1.5||-||-||160|