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Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
What ate my jacket? on 02/12/2008 16:49:10 MST Print View

About 15 years ago, my mother gave me a jacket in lovely (ahem) shades of green and blue which has found a use in my trunk as my emergency jacket. It has lived there happily for a long time, and I see it now and then. Sometime in the last month or so, something must have gotten on it to destroy it.

I didn't knowingly put anything in the trunk which would have damaged it, so my main concern is learning what I did wrong, since I put my pack and all my other gear in the same trunk from time to time. I do carry normal household things and basic car repair things, but nothing particularly strange. I don't remember spilling anything.

This fine specimen of a jacket is made of nylon (non ripstop) over essentially a fleece full liner. There seems to be a very small layer of poly fill over the fleece in the sleeves only. It's supposed to be blue, but on all the damaged places it's white. The white doesn't look like it has dripped, so I'm thinking it's probably not bleach. It looks almost like it was sprayed, but there's no obvious scattering. Another thought it maybe something solid laid on top of it?

The damaged parts are very brittle and while still flexible, they have no tensile strength at all. This has caused lots of tears. No, I'm not weeping, I mean it tore. Nothing rubs off on my hand. The fleece doesn't seem to be damaged at all, only the nylon.

Now, the big question is, what could have done this? I will attach some pictures. This was taken with my cellphone, outside under parking lot lights at night, so the color is weird. Any white specs you see are just a dusting of snow.
jacket damage 1jacket damage 2jacket damage 3

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: What ate my jacket? on 02/12/2008 17:18:00 MST Print View

Leaky car battery in the trunk?

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: Re: What ate my jacket? on 02/12/2008 17:23:46 MST Print View

nope, no batteries. It's a pretty big area, but all on what would have been "up" as the jacket was laying in a random heap

thanks for playing...
next?

Edited by jaiden on 02/12/2008 17:24:21 MST.

Dylan Skola
(phageghost) - F

Locale: Southern California
A deduction from the clues on 02/12/2008 18:13:36 MST Print View

Given that the shell is presumably nylon, and that fleece is polyester, we can say we're looking for something that bleaches and embrittles nylon (amide bonds) but has no effect on polyester (ester linkages). Anyone take o-chem recently?

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: A deduction from the clues on 02/12/2008 18:17:05 MST Print View

A fair assumption. The fleece isn't brittle, but the little bit of poly fill was already white, so discoloration is harder to detect. Still, I think you're on the right track

Frank Perkins
(fperkins)

Locale: North East
Re: What ate my jacket? on 02/12/2008 18:49:27 MST Print View

Maybe the dingo ate your jacket

bobby c
(bobbycartwright) - F

Locale: i don't need no stinkin badges!
bugs on 02/12/2008 20:34:26 MST Print View

I'd try the entomologist at your local agricultural extension agency. I've had something similar happen before, sort of like a quick decomposition or deterioration of the fabric is what it looks like. Try someone through your local ag extension or if you're near a university send a biology professor an email, they should be familiar with the bugs in the area. My guess is a group of rogue ants that want to go UL and are stealing you nylon to make gear.

Gail Lusk
(AlohaTink) - F

Locale: In the Middle of No Where!
The heat on 02/12/2008 20:41:45 MST Print View

Looks like what happens to all of our things if left in the sun too long or stored in car/van for months/years on end.
The heat that builds up melts most things, especially nylon or anything poly etc...

next...

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
jacket -- Re: The heat on 02/12/2008 21:14:26 MST Print View

Except that it has been in my trunk, which doesn't have UV exposure. And, I have a garage, so the temperature is pretty stable. If it got overly hot (could it have been last summer? I don't think so, but I guess it's possible), it would have gotten hot all over.
Anyone else? this is fun. thanks for the ideas.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: What ate my jacket? on 02/12/2008 21:35:42 MST Print View

It would be helpful to know if the damaged areas were on top, on bottom, or buried during storage. Also is there a pattern to the damage. A few potential sources of damage (with no basis for selecting one over the other cause) could be:
- damage due to direct contact with a solvent (e.g., gasoline, battery acid). I know you discounted this , but I have to mention it.
- damage due to vapors (gas can stored in trunk). This could be compounded by the jacket being stressed (i.e., folded).
- exposure to heat due to touching the florr of the trunk near the exhaust.
- Some combination.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
jacket eating on 02/13/2008 04:59:22 MST Print View

"It would be helpful to know if the damaged areas were on top, on bottom, or buried during storage. Also is there a pattern to the damage. "

I think it was on top. I didn't notice the exact placement before picking it up to look at it, but the worst part (the sleeve) was facing up for sure.

"A few potential sources of damage (with no basis for selecting one over the other cause) could be:
- damage due to direct contact with a solvent (e.g., gasoline, battery acid). I know you discounted this , but I have to mention it."

Well mostly I just didn't see any dripping/streaking. It probably had some crappy DWR coating on it, and even uncoated nylon deflects droplets a little.

"- damage due to vapors (gas can stored in trunk). This could be compounded by the jacket being stressed (i.e., folded)."

Gas can in trunk... This is a good one. I certainly have put gas cans in this trunk this winter. Does gasoline (with methanol) eat nylon this way? Does it eat fleece? The vapor would explain why it's not dripped on or soaked through.

"- exposure to heat due to touching the florr of the trunk near the exhaust."

The exhaust is on the other side of the trunk, and there's a spare tire in between.

I might consider testing gasoline vapors on another part of the jacket, since it's pretty much wrecked now anyway.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F - M

Locale: British Columbia
Mildew... on 02/13/2008 07:55:07 MST Print View

Does your trunk leak?

Mildew will do that. I have a floater coat that suffered the same fate from leaving it in my boat where it was damp. The heavy nylon layer on the outside of my jacket discolored badly and the nylon lining on the inside of the jacket rotted out just like your pictures. Your jacket looks like pretty light weight nylon (same as the lining of my floater).