Material science of climate membranes

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Material science of climate membranes


Material science climate membranes

Material science of textile climate membranes
Tutoring in terms of functional motorcycle clothing

Three out of four motorcyclist station wagons sold today are made of textile fabric. But only very few customers know exactly what.

October 24, 2007

It is telling: Almost all current catalogs of the relevant motorcyclist outfitters start with textile suits. The market is booming, especially in the mid-range prices up to 500 euros. Leather still offers better abrasion resistance in the event of a fall, but well-made textile clothing with high-quality protectors is now close. Comfort and all-weather suitability clearly speak in favor of the fine fabric, but many motorcyclists do not even know what exactly they are traveling with. Membranes are mistaken for outer fabrics (“My jacket is made of Gore-Tex”), and hardly anyone can explain the exact function. Some tutoring may be necessary.

Different types

Gore-Tex: The pores of this membrane are around 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water, but 700 times larger than a water vapor molecule

Sympatex: consists of 70% water-repellent (“hydrophobic”) polyester, too
30% made of polyether, whose water-loving (“hydrophilic”) molecules transport moisture to the outside in a physico-chemical way

The basic function is always the same:
The gradient between body temperature and outside temperature transports sweat and moisture outwards through evaporation, but wind and rainwater cannot get inwards due to the dense material. As a loose film (liner) or as a laminate, the membrane is connected to the upper and carrier material, which are intended to protect against mechanical influences. In addition, the outer fabric should be water-repellent and under no circumstances should it soak up completely, otherwise the best membrane will not work.
Microporous membranes allow water vapor molecules to pass through microscopic openings. Compact membranes, on the other hand, achieve their breathability chemically. They conduct water vapor to the outside by means of transport molecules, are usually less breathable than microporous membranes, but are easier to care for, as no pores can clog with dirt or unsuitable detergents.


Material science of climate membranes


Manufacturer Latin: Labels with cryptic names and information dangle from clothing. An overview helps to classify what kind of material is used where with which function.

Desired properties: Weather protection and air conditioning. Membranes should keep wind and rain out and at the same time transport moisture (evaporation) produced by the body to the outside

Typical raw materials: Polytetrafluoroethylene, polyurethane, polyester

Conventionally used membranes for middle class: mostly produced in the Far East by specialized manufacturers such as Hipora, Reissa or Toray. Some clothing manufacturers give them their own names, e.g. B. D-Dry, H2Out, Polo-Tex + Premium-Tex, Sheltex, Wind-Tex

Conventionally used membranes for upper middle and upper class: Gore-Tex and Gore-Tex XCR: microporous film made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), XCR stands for “extended comfort range” and is an even more vapor-permeable and therefore more suitable for summer version. Sympatex: thin, pore-free polyester-based climate membrane that transports water vapor along the molecular chains from the inside to the outside. c-change (since 2007): pore-free, air-conditioning membrane from Schoeller that changes its polymer structure depending on the temperature

Outer fabrics with a focus on comfort
Desired properties: soft feel, typically water-repellent, lighter fabrics (300 and 500 D) with high breathability. Abrasion and tear resistance values ​​must be sufficient. For summer: larger-meshed, air-permeable fabrics

Typical raw materials: Polyamide, polyester (UV-resistant, very tear- and abrasion-resistant synthetic fiber)

Commonly used materials for middle class: 300/500 D textile fabric: fabric made of polyamide fibers without its own trade name. 3M Scotchlite: reflective materials with a wide-angle reflective system. Cordura: see right. Oxford nylon: light polyamide fabric (210 D and 420 D) with significantly lower abrasion resistance than Cordura

Commonly used materials for upper middle and upper class: Cordura (see right) and Cordura AFT: an extremely light fiber for summer-suitable, tear-resistant fabrics. Lumidex: fabric with reflective properties made from cut 3M Scotchlite. schoeller-Reflex: complex fabric made from a 3M reflective yarn. Taslan: fabrics whose polyamide fibers are puffed up by steam and are therefore softer to the touch. Teflon: water, dirt and oil repellent, invisible covering of yarns

Interior and exterior fabrics

Material science of climate membranes


Desired properties: Insulation and air conditioning. Linings use bulky materials (usually synthetic fibers) to ensure that body heat is stored. More modern materials adapt to the outside temperatures so that there is no sweaty build-up of heat when it is warm

Typical raw materials:
Polyester, polyamide

Commonly used materials for middle class: usually nameless, quilted linings with unclassified synthetic fiber filling. Thinsulate: high-quality 3M hollow fiber padding. Thermolite: insulating microfiber padding from Du Pont

Commonly used materials for upper middle and upper class: Thinsulate and Thermolite: see above. Outlast and schoeller-PCM: temperature-compensating material with wax-like beads that change their physical state depending on the outside temperature and thus absorb different thermal energy.

Outer fabrics for areas at risk of falling
Desired properties: The fabrics should be extremely abrasion and tear resistant. As a rule, coarser, heavier fabrics are used, which only melt at temperatures well above 200 degrees Celsius. In addition, the fabrics should be water-repellent. Comfort and breathability play a subordinate role

Typical raw materials: Polyamide (very elastic, nonetheless tear and abrasion-resistant synthetic fiber with limited UV resistance), aramid (very strong and tough, as well as heat and fire-resistant fiber), leather applications

Commonly used materials for middle class: 500/600/900/1000-D textile fabric: fabric made of polyamide fibers without its own trade name. The number in front of the “D” stands for the textile unit of measurement “denier” and indicates the weight in grams per 9000 meters of thread length. The higher the number, the heavier the tissue. Cordura: fabric made from yarn made from cut and spun polyamide fibers. Duratec: developed for the motorcycle sector, made of special polyamide fibers. Dynax: A particularly large number of polyamide fibers are spun very tightly and firmly into yarn. Hitena: highly abrasion-resistant material made from twisted polyamide yarn. Kevlar: Para-aramid fibers with a melting point of 450 ° C. Nomex: heat-resistant material made from aramid fibers

Commonly used materials for upper middle and upper class: ARMACOR: Mix of Kevlar and Cordura. dynatec: Schoeller fabric with a melting point of 290 ° C. Dynax: see above. keprotec: Schoeller mixed fabric with high elasticity made from Kevlar and polyamide fibers

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