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UL Durability
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BodeyM

May 15, 2019, 9:44 PM
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UL Durability Can't Post

In the spirit of the all the fun brand warring the last couple days, I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts on how UL canopy material seems to be holding up after regular use. Seems like some manufacturers think PN9 should be treated with extra care, while some say it lasts longer than their F-111 canopies. What's really going on out there?

AntoineLaporte

May 16, 2019, 3:44 AM
Post #2 of 16 (3172 views)
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PN-9 is more sensible to things like thorn and abrasion, but as durable as F111 for anything else.
I've seen Atair's Trango first version with more than 1000 jumps and fabric was not falling appart, even is the porosity increase with age.
My Trango 3 with 800+ jumps is still flying, just a bit less flare but not too much thanks to the ZP nose.
For me PN-9 has proven it's durability and I would not buy F111 canopy anymore, unless you know that you will pack anywhere and land a lot in bushes.

TomAiello

May 16, 2019, 6:23 AM
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In my experience it's just as durable, but less impact resistant.

If it lands in grass and is picked up carefully, it will last just as long. If you snag it on a tree and yank on it, you'll tear it up much more quickly.

bluhdow

May 16, 2019, 7:31 AM
Post #4 of 16 (3118 views)
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Re: [BodeyM] UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

The Apex experience has been in-line with both Antoine and Tom.

When treated well, we've seen no reason that a UL canopy can't last as long as an F-111 canopy. When it comes to acute damage though, UL tends to be a bit more fragile than standard weight canopies.

This is based on building, jumping, and selling UL canopies since 2006 (and F-111 canopies much longer than that).

More info here: https://apexbase.com/...ear-base-parachutes/

Related: https://apexbase.com/...-apex-base-canopies/

DFR

May 19, 2019, 3:50 PM
Post #5 of 16 (2948 views)
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Re: [bluhdow] UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

bluhdow wrote:
More info here: https://apexbase.com/...ear-base-parachutes/

There's a handful of good points and information in that article but one part stands out to me which is a bit confusing. You guys say:

Apex BASE wrote:
However, we were very surprised to learn that UL held up better when measuring the porosity of the fabric. This means that an UltraLite canopy could potentially last longer than an F-111 canopy given the gear is treated well and protected from abnormal wear and tear.

I'm curious to know why the ultralight material holds up better in porosity test. Mainly because it goes against what Porcher Sport says and the test Squirrel did on both the PN9 (ultralight) and PN1 (standard weight). They state:

Squirrel wrote:
In every category, PN9 scores lower than PN1, meaning that it tears more easily, becomes more porous over time, and is less stable, compared to PN1.

When both PN1 and PN9 are new, porosity tests show equal results. However, less material means less durability - remember that PN9 is made with thinner yarn. Over time, the porosity of PN9 will increase more than PN1, meaning that PN9 does not last as long.

To me, it makes sense that with an identical coating the thinner and less durable fabric would increase porosity at a faster rate than the thicker material.

Does Apex source its standard weight fabric from a different manufacture than Porcher Sport? (I know it states the lightweight is the PN9) Perhaps one that uses a different coating/fabric weave which would explain the difference in test results?

Squirrel has a great article about it (https://squirrel.ws/...-light-right-for-you) which agrees with some points but disagrees on others.

hjumper33
Moderator
May 19, 2019, 3:59 PM
Post #6 of 16 (2946 views)
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I don’t know if there’s much along brand wars with this unfortunately.

Better question is whether ZP should be used on a base canopy. I think Apex is the only one saying no currently.

TomAiello

May 19, 2019, 4:01 PM
Post #7 of 16 (2944 views)
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I have a FOX with ZP. I'm not sure what they're currently building, but I don't think it's a case of saying "no"--just "not right now."

The all PN-9 canopies certainly have much smaller pack volume. Personally I like the longevity/performance gains from the ZP.

TomAiello

May 19, 2019, 4:20 PM
Post #8 of 16 (2939 views)
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Re: [DFR] UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

DFR wrote:
I'm curious to know why the ultralight material holds up better in porosity test. Mainly because it goes against what Porcher Sport says and the test Squirrel did on both the PN9 (ultralight) and PN1 (standard weight). They state:

Squirrel wrote:
In every category, PN9 scores lower than PN1, meaning that it tears more easily, becomes more porous over time, and is less stable, compared to PN1.

When both PN1 and PN9 are new, porosity tests show equal results. However, less material means less durability - remember that PN9 is made with thinner yarn. Over time, the porosity of PN9 will increase more than PN1, meaning that PN9 does not last as long.


It's possible that it's a different material. There are a lot of textile manufacturers in the world.

I know that there's a little company working out of a swamp in Florida that says they are using an ultra lite fabric that is made specifically (and proprietarily) for them, and only available from them (not from any other source).

It's possible that Apex is buying that fabric, or has some other (potentially proprietary) source for a similar product.

It's probably a bit of a stretch to assume that all fabric is going to behave the same. With a worldwide market in materials, you're going to see lots of variation.



> To me, it makes sense that with an identical coating the thinner and less durable fabric would increase porosity at a faster rate than the thicker material.

I have zero background in textiles or material science, so I'll just go with what the textile companies say, or data found experimentally. If you really want to find out you could always start trying to build up a lab and some test apparatus and checking into it--but it's probably easier to source the data that's already out there.

DFR

May 19, 2019, 5:38 PM
Post #9 of 16 (2923 views)
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TomAiello wrote:
It's possible that it's a different material. There are a lot of textile manufacturers in the world.

I know that there's a little company working out of a swamp in Florida that says they are using an ultra lite fabric that is made specifically (and proprietarily) for them, and only available from them (not from any other source).

It's possible that Apex is buying that fabric, or has some other (potentially proprietary) source for a similar product.

I have zero background in textiles or material science, so I'll just go with what the textile companies say, or data found experimentally. If you really want to find out you could always start trying to build up a lab and some test apparatus and checking into it--but it's probably easier to source the data that's already out there.

Which is why I was wondering if Apex sources their standard weight fabric from another manufacturer. I asked them and they said their lightweight was PN9 (from Porcher Sport) but when I asked about where the standard weight was from (was it PN1?) I was told "Our sources are our business, and we reserve the right to share and not share. In this case, I have no reason to share with you."

Since both Porcher Sport and Squirrel's tests both showed that the standard weight PN1 fabric holds up better in porosity tests against the PN9, but Apex shows that whatever standard weight fabric they use holds up worse than PN9, then that leads me to believe that they use a different fabric from a different company. Since PN1 outperforms PN9 in all forms of durability then I assume that means the PN1 fabric will hold its porosity better than the standard weight (and obviously lightweight) fabric Apex is using.

So I guess an important clarification to the Apex article would be if you are buying an Apex canopy and going to take perfect care of it and want to get the most jumps possible, get lightweight as you can get more jumps before the porosity increases enough to put the canopy into retirement, BUT if you are getting a Squirrel canopy (or any other canopy that uses PN1 for standard weight) then the standard weight canopy will be be able to get more jumps than their lightweight and be more durable than lightweight in every category including porosity. So if getting the most jumps out of your canopy is your goal, then it sounds like Apex wouldn't be the way to go and standard weight from another manufacturer is. Although that might be the obvious choice anyways as all other manufacturers use a ZP nose which will likely make more of a difference than the difference in porosity between most companies standard weight and Apex lightweight.

TomAiello

May 19, 2019, 5:43 PM
Post #10 of 16 (2919 views)
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Re: [DFR] UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

Dude, it really seems like you're torturing the bounds of logic in your anti-Apex crusade at this point. Given your mania in attacking them, I would say there's no way they will give you any information about their materials (or anything else).

And your conclusion is "Apex must be using substandard materials because they won't tell me what they use"?

Seriously, WTF?


(This post was edited by TomAiello on May 19, 2019, 5:49 PM)

DFR

May 19, 2019, 6:29 PM
Post #11 of 16 (2906 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

TomAiello wrote:
"Apex must be using substandard materials because they won't tell me what they use"?

No. Did you read the articles? Apex says that they tested whatever fabric they use for standard weight against the PN9 that they use for ultralight. They found the ultralight to be weaker in terms of being able to rip or be torn (as expected) but found it outlasts the standard weight in terms of permeability. Therefore if kept in good shape, an ultralight canopy from Apex can have more jumps put on it than a standard weight because the standard weight will become too porous faster. Is that not correct?

And Squirrel (and probably other companies, just the only two articles on the subject are from Apex and Squirrel) canopies are made from PN1 and PN9. And since PN1 will outlast PN9 in terms of porosity, then it's safe to say a canopy built out of PN1 will last longer than a PN9 canopy assuming all are cared for the same?

So if a PN1 last longer than PN9, and PN9 last longer than Apex standard weight, then it's correct to assume that a PN1 canopy will outlast a lightweight or standard weight canopy from Apex. Is there something I am mistaken on?

My thoughts on this started from a friend who'd been jumping non Squirrel canopies for years and recently got a Hayduke but was annoyed that the center cell came as standard weight. I told him I'm sure it was to prolong the life of the canopy a bit, especially because you touch that cell more than others while packing and the center cell matters more for porosity than others. He quoted the Apex article saying that wasn't a good reason because lightweight is actually better at not loosing porosity so really this made the canopy loose longevity and ad weight. So I dug into it and it seems that assuming the fabric is both PN9 and PN1, then the PN1 will be stronger in all categories, just have a volume and weight penalty. After reading Squirrel's article he was more stoked on the standard weight center cell.

You said the line "substandard materials" not me, but I agree with that term. What would you call a standard weight fabric that looses porosity faster than lightweight, and then even more faster than other brands standard weight? I definitely wouldn't call it better...


(This post was edited by DFR on May 19, 2019, 6:30 PM)

hjumper33
Moderator
May 19, 2019, 8:06 PM
Post #12 of 16 (2881 views)
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Re: [DFR] UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

Meh, I’ve seen multiple lightweight and full weight f111 go past 1000 jumps, all major canopy manufacturers included. I have a non zp full weight canopy with 700 jumps and it’s going strong. I think the answer to the original poster is “take care if your shit and it will last longer than most base careers”.

I’d be curious if the percentage of orders for UL vs standard f111 these days.

I have a proto canopy from about 6 years ago of an UL material that’s non porshcer p9. Going strong after 300 jumps, but I don’t think the strength tests were quite as good as Porscher for similar cost.

Does the proxy use the same UL material, or does PD have their own source? The optimum material always felt different, so not sure if this is the same stuff they use for the proxy.

TomAiello

May 19, 2019, 8:25 PM
Post #13 of 16 (2874 views)
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Re: [hjumper33] UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

hjumper33 wrote:
Does the proxy use the same UL material, or does PD have their own source? The optimum material always felt different, so not sure if this is the same stuff they use for the proxy.

According to PD its proprietary. I think the official line is that they have a mill that makes it under contract, only for them and to their specifications. PD will sell it though, if you want to buy it from them.

FWIW, the "F-111" from PD and Apex feels pretty similar to me, where the "F-111" (PN1) from Squirrel and Atair has a different feel.

bluhdow

May 19, 2019, 9:33 PM
Post #14 of 16 (2862 views)
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Re: [hjumper33] UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

It's pretty balanced between F-111 and UL orders, for us at least.

Because our pack volumes are small compared to the rest of the market (all around canopies, excluding slider-up and spectra "specialty" canopies), even Apex "standard weight" canopies are in the same ballpark as some other "UL" competitor canopies. That is, in many cases our F-111 volume is closer to a competitors "UL" volume, than it is to their "standard" volume (in the same make/model/size).

This is based on volume data from real canopies in our shop. Occasionally when a customer asks we'll share volume data and they are surprised to learn they can buy the cheaper (and less "fragile") canopy and still have a pretty slick little rig. This could skew our sales to F-111 a bit, but I wouldn't imagine it's much.

I think the truth is that UL is great for some, not as great for others, and indifferent to the rest. Like just about everything else, every jumper should understand the pros, cons, and how well they match the needs of said jumper.

My understanding is that PD has a proprietary fabric that the mill is contracted to produce only for PD. I've only heard that, and have no other info on it. I just know it feels a little different than PN9.

In reply to:
I think the answer to the original poster is “take care if your shit and it will last longer than most base careers”.

Boom. Everything else is just noise.

AntoineLaporte

May 20, 2019, 2:04 AM
Post #15 of 16 (2821 views)
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UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

I got to pack a lot of different canopies and yes the UL from PD is different from any other, I also think it is packing with a bit more volume, but not sure.

It's funny how a question like "is UL fabric durable ?" ends in a comparaison of the non UL fabric.

AntoineLaporte

May 20, 2019, 2:16 AM
Post #16 of 16 (2820 views)
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Re: [DFR] UL Durability [In reply to] Can't Post

DFR wrote:
Squirrel wrote:
In every category, PN9 scores lower than PN1, meaning that it tears more easily, becomes more porous over time, and is less stable, compared to PN1.

When both PN1 and PN9 are new, porosity tests show equal results. However, less material means less durability - remember that PN9 is made with thinner yarn. Over time, the porosity of PN9 will increase more than PN1, meaning that PN9 does not last as long.

To me, it makes sense that with an identical coating the thinner and less durable fabric would increase porosity at a faster rate than the thicker material.

I just read the article and even if they are saying that "PN9 will increase more than PN1", and even if it makes sense to you, there is no test that proves it.
Apex says in there article that they were surprised of the resuslt, maybe SQ would be surprised too if they try to do the same test.


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