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Sail Materials

People seem interested in sail materials - will do some paragraphs on that here ... Some obvious factors in sail materials are elasticity, strength, durability, clarity and UV vulnerability. This was MUCH more complicated and in depth than I thought -- this is a WHIP = whork in progress..

Examples - to get me going - Cloth, dacron, mylar, monofilm, grided monofilm, X-ply, technora, cuben-fibre, twaron , pentex ...other terminology - laminates vs woven , polyants, Polyethenetrephthalat=PET=mylar apparently, aramid=kevlar apparently,  terylen, melinex, scrims, delamination, mildew, crimp, crosscut vs radial,


AIRX: Bainbridge’s brand name for a new superior range of spinnaker nylons.
Bias: A diagonal across a piece of fabric at 45-degrees to the warp and fill.
Carbon: An extreme performance fibre used extensively in composite engineering and recently introduced to the sailcloth market.
Creep: The property of fibres to gradually stretch under a constant load.
Crimp: Length or waviness added to a yarn when it is woven over-andunder in a piece of fabric. Crimp can contribute to the elongation of a fabric under load.
Dacron: DuPont’s trade name for polyester fibre.
Denier: A system for coding filament yarns and fibres, with low numbers representing finer sizes and higher numbers representing heavier yarns.
DIAX: Bainbridge’s brand name for racing laminates with a 45-degree diagonal scrim.
Elongation: The difference between the length of a stretched sample and its initial length; expressed in 1/100ths of an inch.
Fibre: Strand of material used to spin into a yarn.Fill: The yarn or fibre running across the width of the fabric at right angles to the warp.
Gsm: Weight in grams of a square metre of cloth.
Hand: Softness or firmness of a fabric.
Kevlar: DuPont’s trade name for a family of high-strength aramid fibres.
Laminate: A layered fabric made by bonding scrims and/or taffetas to one or two plies of film.
LSP: Name for DIAX laminates using Pentex fibres.
Modulus: The measure of stretch or elasticity of a fabric.
High Modulus = low stretch.
MP-70: Bainbridge’s brand name for a range of multi – purpose spinnaker fabrics.
Pentex: Modified polyester with 250% less stretch.
Polyester: A strong, reliable and inexpensive fibre ideal for cruising and low-tech racing laminates, and woven sailcloth.
Primary Yarn Direction: The orientation (warp or fill) in which a fabric is the most stretch resistant.
Sailmakers Ounces (smoz): Weight of a 36" x 28.5" piece of cloth.
Scrim: Non woven, formed sheet of yarns held together with resin.
Spectra: A highly modified polyethylene fibre developed by Allied Corp and used in Bainbridge SCL-S laminates.
Taffeta: A light woven fabric used on laminates to add durability and abrasion resistance.
Tenacity: The breaking strength of a yarn or fabric stated in force per unit of the cross-sectional area.
Tensile Strength: The ability of a fibre, yarn or fabric to resist breaking under tension.
Threadline: The direction of the yarns.
Twaron: Family of aramid fibres made by Akzo and used in Bainbridge DIAX-HMT racing laminates.
Warp: The yarn or fibre running the length of a fabric.

check these sources:
very good guide by Bainbridge sailcloth( my preferred cloth supplier) ---> h%20End%20User.pdf
more info on films here -
sailcloths here -
and here -
and here -
and here -

Dacron: lightweight, but apparently has a tendency to stretch - away from original shape.
Mylar: apparently like a coated dacron. With less elasticity ... Clarity ? 
Monofilm: transparent, relatively strong and holds shape. Vulnerable to UV and will get cloudy over time. No lamination and as such cheaper than other newer materials.