I have been reading with interest the threads on sil-nylon, and how to diy coat sil-nylon. I thought someone might be interested in this new fabric I came across.
It is a PU/PA[Al] coated ripstop nylon. I came across it when Skywalk started using it in their paragliders. I thought it might have some use as a tent fabric so I contacted Aeroix and asked them for more information about it. The fabric is washable, whipable, but in their words 'perhaps not entirely waterproof'. When I saw the other threads about hydrostatic testing of sil-nylons and how porous some of them are, I thought that this fabric might be good for tarps and tents after all. I was originally going to have a shelter custom made for me using a sample of the material obtained for free from Aeroix. Aeroix were very enthusiastic about it, but I abandoned the idea when I found out the fabric 'may' not have an adequate hydrostatic head (not an issue for MYOG!). What Aeroix really want, is somone in the tent/tarp industry to share the cost of a trial run of fabric that has 5 coatings (silicone on one side, PU/PA[Al] on the other) instead of 3. The fabric would weigh about 35 gsm, not as light as this fabric (29 gsm!) but still light compared to some. I sure, however, Aeroix would welcome any input on coatings, and are quite open to suggestions from manufacturers who have more experience with technical outdoor fabrics. Ideally they wanted a partner in Europe because of communication issues, but again, I sure they're flexible on that front. If you have time their website is well worth a look; some of the thermal imaging shows just how amazing this fabric is in terms of low thermal emissivity. Even if the effect was of no practical use in tents you would still have a superb heat shade for very hot environments and very high UV resistance. Then of course there are possible applications in quilts and clothing; if the fabric is not entirely waterproof perhaps it is sufficiently breathable for a quilt. I'm sure Aeroix will be happy to provide samples for free (a contribution to postage may be appropriate). I supply Dr Alexander Bormann's email address below so you can contact him directly. I remain convinced that the full potential of this fabric is yet to be realised.