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Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Help me Brainstorm Fabric "Wear" Testing on 05/24/2011 10:27:50 MDT Print View

I have fabric, a DIY HH tester, and a 5 meter "Rain Tower" ready to go. Now I need to "age" the test fabric.

The standards to address this require washing the fabric for each "wear cycle" (of which there will be many). This is OK if you are Gore and have a bank of 100 washing machines at your disposal, but I don't. And I'm not convinced that washing mimics stuffing and walking for 8 hours. (I killed a Caldera Cone Fosters can by hiking with it unprotected in my pack. Just the jostling of each step over a 10 day hike was enough to flex it to death. Hence the "Caddy")

I'm using fabric samples that are 18"x18", so not a lot of bulk, even for many. My current thought is to stuff them into a small bag, attach it to a foam plunger connected to a variable speed jig saw set on "slow", and let it compress and release for some number of hours.

What I need are other ideas that approximate this short stroke compression cycle. A cheap sewing machine might work. There may be "hobby mechanisms", like a Legos windmill, that would work.

I'm open to any and all interpretations on how to get this done.
Wild and wacky. Toys. Tools.
Obviously "out of the box".

Thanks for your help.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Help me Brainstorm Fabric "Wear" Testing on 05/24/2011 10:34:35 MDT Print View

A rotisserie motor will give you a cheap, slow, rotating power source. Don't know about the rest of the contraption. How about a bass drum pedal?

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Help me Brainstorm Fabric "Wear" Testing on 05/24/2011 10:42:55 MDT Print View

How about your clothes dryer set on cool tumble ? If you need to add abrasion elements maybe line it with aluminum screening?

Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
re: fabric wear testing on 05/24/2011 10:46:39 MDT Print View

I like the above rotisserie-motor idea. My first thought was a giant rock-tumbler like device - a little rotating cement mixer thing with a bunch of tennis balls or whatever thrown inside with the fabrics. Something like that...

Using a dryer could get expensive but the added heat might help break things down a little faster?

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Help me Brainstorm Fabric "Wear" Testing on 05/24/2011 10:46:51 MDT Print View

Greg, you could get an old washing machine motor (out of a regular washer- free) on Craig's List. The gearing would be closer to what you would need and you won't burn out the jig saw motor. The jig motor and bushings won't last very long when run continuously.
Or a box fan motor with a pulley system to change the gearing.

Good luck.

Edited by bestbuilder on 05/24/2011 10:48:20 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Help me Brainstorm Fabric "Wear" Testing on 05/24/2011 10:49:14 MDT Print View

"A rotisserie motor" is a great idea. I currently have my variable speed drill driving a windmill like contraption, but it stall at slow speeds. A rotisserie motor, on the other hand is already there!

Abrasion per se is not the goal. What I am trying to mimic is the intra-fabric scrunching (technical term) that occurs with stuffing and hiking. Think "rubbing your hands together".

Edit: When I walk, I'm doing about 100 to 120 steps per minute. So I'm thinking of something that cycles in the 50 to 100 rpm range.

Edited by greg23 on 05/24/2011 11:00:39 MDT.