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  1. #1
    Member 11steve11's Avatar
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    Testing Tyvek Housewrap adhesives in the US

    TITLE & OVERVIEW:
    Compare the qualties of 9 different adhesives available in the US on Tyvek Homewrap with the intention of using the products to create lightweight camping gear.

    ABSTRACT:
    Although new to the forum, I have been looking for ways to backpack lighter since I was in scouts in anticipation of my son becoming a scout. The idea of making gear out of tyvek home wrap is very appealing for price, performance and weight. I wanted to use an adhesive rather than tape or sewing yet the only testing I could find was in scattered articles and a fantastic comparison on backpackinglight forum by Tegyn Angel. The challenge I had was my local home improvement stores didn't stock those products tested by Tegyn.

    So, I bought a 150'X9' roll of home wrap tyvek from an orange and tan store, bought a couple of new adhesives, used some adhesives I had around my shop and attempted to run some tests similar to those already done elsewhere in the world.

    MATERIALS: US dollar amounts are approximate.
    1.Tyvek Homewrap (150ftX9ft). $149
    This was cut into 13 inch X1 inch strips and overlapped 1 inch each for 1 square inch of glued surface for each adhesive.
    2.Adhesives;
    a. DAP Water soluable contact cement $16
    b. Black PVC pipe cement. $6
    c. PL polyurethane premium construction adhesive $5
    d. Loctite All-purpose power grab. $3
    e. Aleene's Tacky Glue $4
    f. Gorilla Glue $10
    g. Gorilla Glue for wood $5
    h. Elmers school glue $1
    i. Elmers wood glue $2


    TOOLS:
    The tools used will be a 50 pound bucket and some 3/8 inch poly rope.

    METHOD:
    I already intended on using the tyvek for the construction material so the plan is to allow the bucket to gradually yet quickly sheer load each test piece beyond what tyvek will hold to determine if the glue or the tyvek will fail first. Each test piece will be tied using a sheet bend top and bottom to the poly rope loops; the upper being tied to a rafter and the lower to a bucket. If the glue does not fail, I will then pull the joint apart to determine flexibility and if the glue fails or the tyvek delaminates. I'll also subjectively rate the glues on ease of application, cost and worthiness of use on outdoor equipment. I anticipate the PL polyurethane premium construction adhesive to be the winner as this matched the Dupont's best results recommendation.

    TEST RESULTS:
    See attached spreadsheet.
    Boy were the results unexpected; the single component polyurethane adhesive, recommended to be the best performance, was the most difficult to apply and was the worst performer followed closely Gorilla glue. The water based contact cement was the clear winner. ADDED NOTE: See reply #14 / page 2 for picture of product.

    CONCLUSION:
    I will use the water based contact cement as my Tyvek adhesive. I am posting this in hammock forums in the hopes that if someone else wants to make/glue their own gear out of tyvek home wrap in the United States that they wouldn't need to duplicate the testing I did to find the same results.

    FUTURE:
    Since starting this article I have made a few tarp / rain flys for our new Trek Light hammocks included in the attached pictures. The fly has no support line, only guy lines at the corners. I left one up for 4 days and nights of wind and rain and sun. My son and I spent a rainy / windy night under the tarp (2 hammocks / 1 tarp and were totally dry (if we'd spent it in a tent, we would have been damp.) The only issue I saw with the tarp was some minor scuffing where my 9 year old was swinging in the hammock and catching it between the hanging straps and the apricot tree bark. Since the 9'X9' tarp cost less than $7 to make, I'm OK with that. No issue at all with the cement.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by 11steve11; 08-05-2010 at 08:56. Reason: Added note for better picture

  2. #2
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. Great first post.

    Thanks for the detailed testing. Very nice of you to share that info with the hammock community. The results are certainly surprising.
    Knotty
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  3. #3
    beep's Avatar
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    +1 on the test post! Very nice!

    How noisy is a Tyvek tarp in the wind?
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

  4. #4
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    Very nicely done! Thank you for your dedication and commitment to thorough testing.
    "Interesting! No, wait, the other thing.....tedious!"- Bender Bending Rodriques

  5. #5
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Thanks for the testing and the results.

    I'm a little puzzled though.

    In the summary you indicated that the contact cement was the best in your opinion. It forms a flexible bond where only the PVC glue was the only other one that was flexible. The contact cement seems good in all of the evaluation criteria except it de-laminates. By de-laminates do you mean the Tyvek comes apart or the bond comes apart.

    Either way it would see that this would make it unsuitable for use. Confused.

    How much does Tyvek weigh per square yard and how does that compare to silnyl?

  6. #6
    pgibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiredFeet View Post
    How much does Tyvek weigh per square yard and how does that compare to silnyl?
    If my memory serves me correct (and it may not ) standard house rap is in the 2+ oz per yard range so a bit over sil. To the feel I would say it is close--if not slightly heavier than 70D/1.9 oz fabrics but not quite as heavy as 1.9 PU coated.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    Tyvek type 1020 is 2-2.2 oz. per sq.yd.

    type1016 is 1.6 oz. per sq. yd.

    From the definitive Tyvek article part 1
    "Interesting! No, wait, the other thing.....tedious!"- Bender Bending Rodriques

  8. #8
    Member 11steve11's Avatar
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    WOW, thanks for all the positive comments.

    Thanks for all of the quick positive comments.
    I hope to answer each of your questions.

    TiredFeet:
    Based on the following post in Hammock forums: http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=525
    HomeWrap Tyvek Basis weight, 1.7 oz/yd

    On the delamination question I can see I wasn't too clear.
    The thinking was I wanted the adhesive to bond to the Tyvek enough that the Tyvek to Tyvek bonds were weaker than the glue to glue or glue to Tyvek bonds.
    I want the Tyvek to be the weakest link in the chain.
    The decal I peeled off of the homewrap actually pulled some of the fibers out of the tyvek as I peeled it off...that's the performance I am after since seams, edges and corners are stress concentrators.

    Silnyl is water proof, does not breathe, is 0.5oz / yd lighter, quieter, around 50% stronger, can be sewn easily and can be around $10 per sq yard and not available for 180 miles of my house.

    Tyvek is water resistant (vapor may pass but it takes more pressure than I put on it to push water through) is not easily sewn (more like heavy rice paper) yet can be found at nearly any home center or hardware store for $1 per sq yard.
    The night my son aand I spent underneith it was 20-30mph winds and rainy; we were bone dry and we didn't notice the noise.

    beep:
    We didn't notice any noise until we folded it up a couple of days later; I didn't even have it all that tight. We just got our Trek Lights about 2 weeks ago and 'practice camping' in the back yard involves laying down, zipping the sleeping bag, then all of a sudden the sun is on the horizon in the morning...I LOVE HANGING! By contrast I have spent hundreds of nights outdoors in tents and they make flappy noises and are uncomfortable; Tyvek makes sharp crackly noises that we are sleeping too soundly to hear.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tight-wad's Avatar
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    Great job on the testing! And thanks for posting.

    I too question what does "delaminate" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by beep View Post

    How noisy is a Tyvek tarp in the wind?
    Depends on how long you have used it... I have a 2 x 6 piece that I've been carrying for a long time as a "tick barrier" for ground sitting, a bath mat under my hammock, and an extra layer of wind block (one very cold night!). Now it is so flexible that it doesn't make a peep when I open it up. First couple of times tho....

    My first tarp was tyvek (taped) and it was noisy for the first few deployments, but after that it settled down.

    Benefits of tyvek: cheap, available, tough, waterproof, easy to cut to shape (ideal for boy scouts!).
    Why did I change to a sil tarp? compressability, fewer grams/sq yd x many sq yards, visuals (bright white with writing versus stealth).

  10. #10
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    excellent post.

    My $0.02: Instead of a true GLUE, I tried Carpet Tape. Carpet tape is basically an adhesive with just a few fibers to give it some shape. You'd lay down a strip, peel the upper backing off and lay down the next piece of tyvek. I used a small wallpaper seam roller to apply pressure along the seam to ensure good adhesion.

    On a lapped seam, my wife an I could not pull apart a 10" seam.

    When the seam finally failed, the tyvek delaminated, the tape held.

    I found a few people were making cheap sailboat sails with this method. For stronger seams, they'd increase the overlap and use 2 strips of tape.

    I found this method to produce water-tight seams with a minimum of work/mess.


    John
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


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