General Outdoor and Sports Apparel Seam Taping
Our knowledge of the outdoor waterproof garment manufacturing industry is considerable. Seams are commonly known as a major point of weakness in all jackets.
Seam Seal will give free consultation and advice to manufacturers and designers who need to make sure that they are water-tight. Using our proven specialist tapes we can ensure 100% water proof seams for your production process.
Our wide selection of different tapes are used for each different fabric – for a basic PU coated nylon, a single layer PU or a 2 layer PU is melted onto the seam thereby sealing it against incoming moisture. In the case of Neoprene, coated nylon and the 3-layer laminate fabrics, it is a 3 layer fabric tape or one or our PTFE seam tapes. These are constructed with glue on one side, a thin, breathable membrane inner layer, then a fabric layer heated by hot air which adheres to the back of the fabric seam again making it waterproof.
If required on the higher end garments we can recommend attention to critical seam taping areas such as crossover points can be further enhanced with our re-enforced patches that can be applied by a simple crossover press.
Basic Fabrics Types
Laminated waterproof membranes These are thin films bonded to the jacket with microscopic pores that are large enough for body-generated moisture to go through but small enough to keep rain droplets out. A membrane will outperform a coated jacket by about 25-30% efficiency of moisture control.
Waterproof coating technology jackets use what’s known as a durable water repellent (DWR) liquid coating on the jacket, but the coating can wear out over time and has to be replenished with sprays to keep the DWR coating effective. These treatments can make it tough to seal.
Waterproofing standards MVT
Moisture vapor transfer or MVT which is a measure of how much moisture a jacket fabric will transfer inside within a day. This is measured is grams per meter squared, and a figure of 10,000-20,000 will suffice for most outdoor activities.
Manufacturers use approximately five different tests to check the waterproof-ness of jackets and other protective clothing. Another likely measure you’ll see on clothes and camping equipment such as tents is the PSI (pounds per square inch) pressure measurement, also known as the hydrostatic head (in millimeters) the higher the number the more waterproof it is. For example the minimum for 3 layer fabrics and our seam sealing tapes to be called waterproof is 3 PSI or have the ability to cope with 1500 mm of continuous water pressure; in most cases this is greatly exceeded.
Seam Seal can provide a range of semi and fully automatic Hydrostatic head testing machines if required.