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  1. #51
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    Someone was asking about factory coating of sil, which had me searching for how they do it. I just kept reading over and over again how the fabric is really just coated on both sides. I didn't find how the fabrics were made in the factory, but I did come up on this page on coatings: FAQ: Acrylic, Polyurethane and Silicone Proofing Techniques

    About 2/3 of the way down, they discuss silnylon and say a few interesting things:


    Silicone coating

    Technically, the 'silnylon' fabric is 'double-coated'. That is, a coating of silicone polyer has been applied to both sides. Well, fair enough, but there is a huge difference in the result between PU and silicone coating. The PU coating sits on the surface of the fabric, but the silicone polymer goes right in. As far as I can see (with a microscope) the silicone polymer completely permeates the fabric fibers and forms a layer right through the fabric. As far as the final fabric properties are concerned, you should not think of 'silnylon' as a 'coated fabric', but rather as 'nylon-fabric-reinforced silicone polymer sheet'. This is a bit like fibreglass or glass-reinforced epoxy.

    This difference translates into mechanical properties too. A key parameter is 'tear strength'. It is claimed that a PU coating focuses the stress in a tear right at the tip of the tear, and this actually makes a PU-coated fabric behave weaker than the base fabric. However, the elastic silicone polymer in silnylon fabric takes over and distributes the stress across a number of threads, and this makes the silnylon fabric significantly stronger in tear than the base fabric - reportedly up to 2.2 times stronger. Note this does not apply to EPIC fabrics.

    Silicone is the stuff that is used to seal aquariums, bathtubs and sinks, and other applications where water must not be allowed to leak through. When it rains on silnylon fabric all the water stays on the surface, and a quick shake will get rid of almost all of it, and its associated weight. A few minutes in the wind or sunshine and silnylon will completely dry out. Certainly, I have found that I can shake most of the water off my silnylon tents, and the packed weight is rarely much different. In comparison with PU, silicone is 'hydrophobic' (water hating). By its nature it repels water, and water will not act as a solvent on it. Your packed-up wet tent may get mouldy if you leave it long enough, but it won't go sticky. Finally, the silicone in silnylon completely permeates the fabric fibers - it can't peel off. But remember: it does not breathe!
    So, considering the last statement, what could that peeling be? Excess silicone?

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    I am curious... Is there madness behind this method? With the availability of silnylon commercially is there a reason to be making your own. Other than the obsession to DIY that runs rampant in the camping community. That of course is a given.
    Making one's own stuff is a hobby, does there have to be a reason?

    I'm outfitting myself and 3 of my kids so the cost of silnylon is pretty significant to me. I've been following this thread because I plan to siliconize my own tarps and/or tarptents made from $1/yard ripstop sometime in the future. Too busy this month, I'm working three 6-day/50-hour weeks in a row for extra cash for things I'd rather not or can't make.

    Also it's very cool to say I made my own, and have unique stuff. No one's going to mistake my purple and green, custom, self-made G4 for a ready-made pack.
    Last edited by catnip; 05-15-2008 at 17:00.

  3. #53
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    Making one's own stuff is a hobby, does there have to be a reason?


    No of course not! That is certainly reason enuf.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  4. #54
    Senior Member campcrafter's Avatar
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    I don't know if Jim Wood is a member here, but he has an article on this I just found, relating mostly to tent floors. But he does have a recipe and procedure.

    A Treatment for Silnylon Floors

    cc
    Last edited by campcrafter; 05-13-2008 at 18:23.
    Campcrafter

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  5. #55
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Great link. Thanks!


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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  6. #56
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    Interesting read! In the article, he says that 1:3 ratio was best, but I went to one of the forum entries about the project, and Jim Wood said this:

    Hawkeye: Thanks for your comments... I'm glad the process worked well for you.

    By the way, if you find you have a problem with your silnylon tent "misting" in heavy rains, you can use the same process (though perhaps slightly more diluted to say, 1:5) to seal the canopy.

    Jim Wood.
    Just thought I would pass that along, since we are talking about the canopy or tarp rather than the floor...

    Also in the article, he mentions this:

    To the best of my knowledge, this process (at least using these ingredients) only works well on silnylon. If applied to other fabrics, the treatment will usually rub off with little effort.
    Perhaps the fabric Tiredfeet used had another treatment on it, causing the peeling?
    Last edited by Narwhalin; 05-13-2008 at 15:31.

  7. #57
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhalin View Post
    ......
    Perhaps the fabric Tiredfeet used had another treatment on it, causing the peeling?
    I used the silicone treatment on 2 separate things using the (approximate) 3:1 mixture.

    First a heavy paper (the paper is about 1/8" thick - very heavy strong stuff). The first coat worked well, but I am very conservative and applied a second coat 2 or 3 days later. The second coat is the one that peeled in some small places. Not too sure why it peeled - could be the application, could be that the first coat prevented the second coat from really adhering in those places, could be .....

    The second thing I coated is some very heavy, strong cordura nylon (think Army camo rucksack). Used two coats again. Both coats worked well, no peeling. The cordura is water poof now.

  8. #58
    Senior Member dufus934's Avatar
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    So, in reading all of this, the process seems like it is kind of easy. Am I wrong?
    God Bless,
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  9. #59
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dufus934 View Post
    So, in reading all of this, the process seems like it is kind of easy. Am I wrong?
    Nope - I found it to be very easy except for mixing - that takes a Looooooooong time. Just don't get discouraged while mixing it will eventually get there. I used a foam brush and a tuna can - no clean up, just throw away.

  10. #60
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    Factory sil is very slippery. Does the homemade stuff end-up as smooth, or is it tacky? Thanks for the great info.

    b

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