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What Is Hook and Loop?

Hook and loop systems are essentially comprised of two components: a "hook" side and a "loop" side. The hook side is rougher and filled with very tiny hooks. The loop side is less coarse with clusters of hairy loops. When these two components are pressed together, the hooks catch the loops and bind the strips together. The strips are easily separated by pulling or peeling them apart, which creates that distinct ripping noise synonymous with touch fasteners.

The inspiration for hook and loop fasteners came from an unlikely source: seeds and dog hair. Back in 1941, Swedish electrical engineer by the name of George de Mestral went on a hunting trip with his dog. Throughout their outing, De Mestral was constantly yanking cockleburs seeds off of his clothing and his dog's fur. Like any good scientist, De Mestral put the seeds under a microscope and saw that the seeds were covered with hundreds of spiny hooks that attached to anything with a loop.

De Mestral took his hook and loop discovery and began to develop it into a man-made product. After nearly a decade of research and development, he patented the first hook and loop fastener in 1955. He named the invention and the company Velcro® - a blend of the French words velour ("velvet") and crochet ("hook").

Many use Velcro® incorrectly to identify all hook and loop fasteners. It has become a proprietary eponym, much like what Kleenex is to facial tissues, Chapstick is to lip balm, and Band Aid is to bandages. Velcro® is often mistaken as the actual name of all hook and pile systems. In reality, it's just one of many brands that manufacture and sell hook and loop tape, fasteners, and strips.

  • Easy & Safe to Use: With touch fasteners, you don't have to battle with buttons or struggle with a jammed zipper.

  • Low Maintenance: They require little to no upkeep and last a very long time. Performance and effectiveness only drops after a significant amount of uses.

  • Strong: Some hook and loop fasteners are so well engineered that a 2-inch square can hold up to 175 lbs.

  • Variety of Applications: It's been used for everything from hanging wall art to holding down turf at NFL stadiums. It was even used during the first artificial heart surgery.

Hook and loop fasteners have become an integral part of our everyday life. Initially, the public wasn't sold on this kooky new invention that would replace zippers and buttons. It wasn't until NASA began using hook and pile tape in its space flights during the 1960s that people recognized its benefits. Now it's used everywhere, from school display boards to trade show exhibits to sandpaper to kids' shoes.

The Difference Between Hook Vs. Loop

Before going over the difference between hook and loop, it’s important to note that what most people consider “Velcro” is a product called hook and loop. “Velcro” is a brand, called the Velcro Companies, and they are the original manufacturer of hook and loop fasteners.

So hook and loop is made up of two sides. First, there is the hook side of VELCRO® Brand products, which is the rough, scratchy side. The hook is made up of tons of little uniform loops that are then cut in precisely the right spot to create little hooks. These hooks will stick to everything and can often stick to carpet, clothing, pets, furniture and more. The loop side is the soft, fuzzy side. The loop is designed to work in conjunction with the hook. The loop is basically a bunch of strands of varying size and length that creates a neat bed for the hooks to sink into to take hold.

When you mate the hook and loop (press the two sides together), you get a fastener that is tough and resilient, while also being pretty easy to open.

Within each side, there are different styles that allow for stronger holds, or for light-duty applications. The stronger the hold, the lower the cycle-life. Cycle-life is the number of times you can fasten and unfasten the hook and loop before it loses half its strength. Some of the most common styles are the low-profile hook and loop which provide an easy to peel solution while also being strong in shear. Another popular option is the high-profile MVA8, or HTH 511, which is a T-shaped hook that is used in applications that are more permanent. This hook has a low cycle-life and is often used to install headliners and cabinet fascia, etc.

At HookandLoop.com, we sell the hook and the loop on 25 yard rolls and we sell them separately. We sell the hook and loop separately because some customers need more of one side than they need of the other, or they may need two different products for each side. For instance, they may need the wide loop product for their pedal board and thin strips of the hook side for their pedals. Or another example would be someone needing to connect two pads with one strip of 4” wide hook and 2 strips of 2” wide loop.

By selling the sides separately, you have the freedom to choose the product that works best for you. So now that you know the difference between hook and loop, you can explore all of the options we have available to solve your next fastening needs!

What are Hook & Loop Fasteners Made of?

Hook and loop fasteners consist of two distinct pieces. The rough, scratchy side is the hook because it is covered with several tiny hooks per square inch. Likewise, the soft, fuzzy side is the loop because it is covered with many small loops. The hooks engage the loops when the two sides are pressed together. This creates a bond that is exceptionally strong and allows for repeated use that lasts for thousands of cycles.

Most hook and loop fasteners are made out of nylon, but there are several different monofilament materials such as polyester and polypropylene that are also used. Monofilament is a single continuous strand of synthetic fiber (as opposed to woven fibers). Monofilament is used in fishing line, tennis racquets and medical sutures.

Nylon is durable, tough and light in weight. It can withstand high temperature variations but has a low resistance to ultraviolet light. Polyester, on the other hand, is resistant to ultraviolet light but has a lower tolerance to high temperatures. Nylon and polyester are also hydrophobic materials, meaning they do not easily absorb water.

Some hook and loop is treated, typically by spraying the material, to add a layer of protection or function. This can include keeping the material from fraying when cut, to more specific purposes like allowing the material to burn slower to meet fire retardant (FR) standards. Another specific example is spraying the hook and loop with silver to give it electric conductivity for use in static or radio environments.

The simple concept of the hook and loop design took a while to perfect before evolving into the technology of today. The hook side is created by weaving nylon under hot, infrared light. The nylon monofilament used in the making of the hooks keeps its shape and is very resilient. After weaving, the loops of nylon get trimmed off to create many hooks that then match up with the loops in the soft side. These hooks need to be cut in just the right place so that they can adhere to the loop side and be fastened and unfastened many times.

A guide to cable ties

Also known as zip ties, they’re fasteners that bundle your cables and wires together to keep them organized and prevent damage. They come in different sizes, lengths, materials and even colors. The different uses of cable ties vary across industries, but what they all have in common is that they’re the most effective way to manage your cables.

They’ve been around since 1958. Who invented zip ties? Scottish-born Maurus C. Logan, who worked at Thomas & Betts. He got the idea while touring an aircraft facility, noticing how difficult and complex the job of wiring was. It involved thousands of feet of cabling manually secured with knotted, wax-coated, braided nylon cord, leaving the workers’ hands with deep cuts and callouses. This is an example of a simple invention having a profound effect on lives.

First, let’s get a picture of the type of cable ties available. The table below is by no means exhaustive, as there are subsets of cable ties within this table. For example, standard cable ties can be weather resistant, which gives them different applications than their cousins’.

Standard cable ties are a fantastic all-rounder, but when you need something more specialized, such as heat-proof cable ties, industrial-strength cable ties, or solutions with excellent resistance to UV rays, you can get those too.

Properties of fibers and fabrics that contribute to human comfort

Comfort characteristics of cloths are made by a collection of interactive properties of fibers, yarns and the fabric which have contributed in construction of the clothing. This chapter focuses on the main affective properties of fibers, yarns and fabrics. It starts with fiber specification, comparing two natural and synthetic sources of fibers used in apparel textile products, and then investigates physical treatments to modify fiber properties. The chapter continues with yarns and fabrics as the intermediate products to cloths, investigating the producing parameters which create and affect garment comfort.

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