The readiness of military assets is fundamental to protecting the US homeland and its interests abroad. The vehicles and equipment that form America’s defense arsenal include military ground vehicles, weapon systems and devices on naval ships and airfields. These expensive and critical investments that may be called up at a moment’s notice face a barrage of daily threats; corrosion, mold, mildew, UV radiation, water intrusion, and wind damage are just some of the natural forces that can compromise the reliability and integrity of defense assets. That’s why branches of the US Armed Services, in particular the Navy, count on Transhield’s heavy duty fabric to protect the machines that protect America.
Transhield doesn’t manufacture simple coverings; we engineer ArmorDillo, a proprietary fabric that prevents corrosion and protects against the harsh sea environment. ArmorDillo is super durable and custom tailored to the needs of our customers within the military and industrial industries. To ensure its superior quality, we conduct rigorous tests on each roll of fabric in our own state-of-the-art laboratory, including peel adhesion, tensile, puncture, and elmendorf tear tests. We’d like to detail what you need to know about the peel test.
The peel adhesion test measures the strength of the bond (glue strength) between the nonwoven material and the film. It is the overall bond achieved from the lamination process. High peel strengths are required for material used in challenging conditions characterized by high and low temperatures, high and low humidity, high UV, and rough handling typical of military use.
In conducting the peel adhesion test, we submit the fabric to a system that performs 5 pulls in both the machine direction (MD) and cross direction (CD). The machine direction is the direction of the material as it runs off the manufacturing line; the cross direction is the opposite, width area. With respect to pull strength, ArmorDillo has specifications of 1500 grams per square inch, although we aim for 2000 gr psi. If the measured results of the test fall below the spec number of 1500 gr psi, we identify the roll from where the material originated, and eliminate it. Fabric that fails our strict peel adhesion test may delaminate (peel apart) in the field, rendering the cover ineffective. Our process ensures VCIs (volatile corrosion inhibitors) are distributed consistently along the fabric for maximum protection.
Peel tests also ensure the amount of glue used per square inch is within spec. Too much glue not only adds weight to the material but also affects its pliability. We want a material that is lightweight and easy to use. Proper glue amounts are critical to achieving this.
Tensile testing measures the strength of the material as a whole. Ten 2-inch-wide samples are cut 5 MD (machine direction) and 5 CD (cross direction) as in the test before, but in this test, we place the sample in the machine and proceed to test the amount of psi it takes to pull apart the sample. For a 2-inch sample, we aim to achieve 7,500 psi MD and 6,000 psi CD.
Puncture testing involves 5 circle cut samples that measure 4.5 inches each. This sample is then clamped down where a single dull ended probe proceeds to puncture the center of the sample. We aim for no less than 280 pounds for this test.
Elmendorf tear: As with the prior testing methods, we take 5 MD and 5 CD samples. One sample is placed in the Elmendorf machine and clamped in. There is a starter cut placed on the bottom of the sample. A pendulum swings and measures the pounds of force it takes to tear tear the material. We aim for no less than 35.27 lbs MD and 40.64 lbs CD.
Transhield manufactures its own patented material in order ensure the highest quality product is used to make the military covers that safeguard heavy machinery from corrosion and the elements, keeping them mission-ready. ArmorDillo fabric, manufactured proudly in America, is engineered to withstand extreme environments and harsh conditions. To learn more about our custom engineered protective covering solutions, visit us at transhield-usa.com.