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  1. #1
    Senior Member turk's Avatar
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    when silnylon fails, what to do?

    Hey guys,
    Need to put this past the experts. I've got some problems with one
    silny hammock tarp. Its the HH original tarp that came with a couple year
    old ULBA. It is something I loan out to friends who want to try the whole
    hammock thing, as a result it has seen more use than any of my other gear.
    It has been set up for backyard testing for about 2 weeks, exposed to
    full sun. Last night we had a killer rain, and water was not so much dripping
    as 'misting' through the material.

    Does silnylon have a limited life expectancy?
    Just what defines 'too much sun exposure'?
    Is there any way to restore water resistance to sil?
    I have also had a similar problem with some old heavily used silnylon drybags
    that have been seam sealed repeatedly. The fabric is failing in the same way.
    The bags have had a few years of very heavy abuse.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Any fabric, especially the lightweight stuff we like, has a limited life expectancy. And of course the more it's abused, the shorter it'll last.

    As far as your tarp goes, it doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with it. Silnylon is only waterproof to a certain psi - many have reported heavy rains getting through in the form of the "mist" you're talking about.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  3. #3
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    UV is generally bad for nylon.... two weeks is a lot of exposure... i would expect that the tear strength and breaking strength, as a minimum is seriously degraded...

    Some Silicons spay will probably bring it back to the normal 1-3 psi waterproofness... in any case expect some misting.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  4. #4
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    Is it really sil? Correcct me if I'm wrong, but I think some of the hh tarps are not made of sil.

    But like others said sun is bad, and I get misting through my tarps.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  5. #5
    Senior Member turk's Avatar
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    ya, it is 1.1oz sil. I know several other HH models shipped with coated rain fly, but I think the ULBA always shipped with sil fly for weight savings.

    Thanks for the tip Pan. I will get some spray and see how it goes.

  6. #6
    i have done some experiments with this, there have recently(don't know how recent though) been some kind of regulations that require manufactures in the usa to not use 100% pure silicone. now, silnylon is really silicone/urethane nylon. the test i did showed different results between the two. as the impregnation is really not a coating on one side or the other, but the individual fibers that are coated, if there is enough pressure, the "weave" can open up, letting water through the tiny openings between the actual fibers. this is referred to as misting through, but should not let large volumes of water through. a very wet underside of the tarp may be a result of condensation. in any case, i put the two samples up to the shower head. the 100% silicone would mist through (i could see tiny beads of water "growing" while under the pressure of the shower head. the newer silicone/urethane impregnated version did not exhibit this and seemed to be completly waterproof (at least for the psi of my shower head). the lady from quest or owf said that that the urethane may act like a coating, glueing the weave together. a coated fabric will not mist through, but the coating may crack and start to wear off due to repeated stuffing and stretching, and will usually cause the fabric to be both heavier and weaker than silnylon or sil/urethane nylon.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Frolicking Dino's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, Brandon. I've been seeing some of this new stuff in the WalMart bins -- I bit heavier, but withstood the dino-waterproof-test ( streach fabric over a bowl, put in a cup of water and let sit for 30 minutes).

    BTW, guys, I'm not gone - just have 9 grandkis, spouses, great-grandkids here for the week. Lots of fun, but I'm so tired.

  8. #8
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    I thought this was a characteristic of all silnylon, even in pristene condition. It can't hold up to the pressure exerted by a large fast moving drop hitting it. The misting you experienced is exactly as I have seen it described before. If you search "+sil +misting" over on TLB forums you can find all kinds of threads about it. Here is a quote from some guy who goes by the name "Just Jeff"


    "From what I understand, any material is only waterproof to a certain pressure. If you subject the material to a higher pressure then water will come through it. Silnylon just has a lower pressure than some more "heavy-duty" materials, but it's still "waterproof enough" for most hiking uses. I think this is why some people report misting in heavy rains."

  9. #9
    yeah, that pretty much sums it up, it is a tradeoff if you use sil, not quite as waterprtoof, still very waterproof, but generally lighter and the waterproofing wont wear off like a coating can

    "From what I understand, any material is only waterproof to a certain pressure. If you subject the material to a higher pressure then water will come through it. Silnylon just has a lower pressure than some more "heavy-duty" materials, but it's still "waterproof enough" for most hiking uses. I think this is why some people report misting in heavy rains."[/QUOTE]

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    Glad to see that misting is ok, because I had that happen with a new sil tarp I have. What about water getting through when you touch the dry side of the sil though? Kind of like a tent, where you never let anything touch the walls of the tent at night or else you will wake up floating in water. Is it normal for water to transfer through sil when you touch the dry side?

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