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Cuben Tape/Adhesive vs. Sewing
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Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
Cuben Tape/Adhesive vs. Sewing on 01/30/2012 19:23:27 MST Print View

I've been playing around with a couple of ideas and some include using various types of cuben. I am wondering how strong tape/adhesive would hold up in heavy winds on a tarp?

Pros/Cons of tape/adhesive over sewing?

After receiving my Hexamid solo in the mail and inspecting it, I noticed how large the sewn holes are in the cuben and of course now understand the necessity to seam seal. However, I can imagine these sewn holes to weaken the fabric and I just don't like seam sealing (adds weight, time...etc).


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Cuben Tape/Adhesive vs. Sewing on 02/02/2012 18:57:02 MST Print View

A lot of threads on this for you to look up : )

Use 1/2 inch tape:

Spinnaker makers also do a seam down the middle of the tape

Good video:

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Cuben joinery on 02/03/2012 12:17:56 MST Print View

Yes, there are a plethora of threads on this topic in the MYOG forum. You will have hours of reading to do if you search for this topic. I am one of those who believes that no method for joining Cuben panels can match the strength and waterproofness of bonding with a liquid urethane adhesive (ie Hysol U09LV), but good arguments have been made for taping and sewing as well.

brent driggers
(cadyak) - MLife

Locale: southwest georgia
Dispensing Hysol. on 02/03/2012 15:21:55 MST Print View

Do you have to have some special dispenser for the hysol other than the device that is in the foil packet?

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Hysol on 02/03/2012 15:51:37 MST Print View

Brent, I do have a system for dispensing the hysol, but it isn't convenient. I've learned that using a very small amount of glue (a very thin threadlike bead), using a precise mixing ratio, and clamping very tightly during curing are important to getting a strong, flat, flexible, and invisible seam. It is desirable to use a very small quantity of glue. About 3/4 of a ml of each component (to give 1.5ml of mixture) will be plenty for a six foot seam.

I use the low viscosity Hysol (U09LV), and I refrigerate it to increase the open time. I use 1 ml syringes with large blunt-end 15 gauge steel needles to suck out 0.75 ml of each component. I squirt these into a single 1.5 ml eppendorf tube. I mix with a clean piece of wire for about 30 seconds, and suck out the mixture with a curved-tip irrigation syringe. The syringe has to be thoroughly washed out with very hot water and strong detergent beforehand, because irrigation syringes often have a little bit of silicone grease in them, which will ruin the bond. I then dispense a very thin, threadlike bead of glue on one of the pieces to be bonded, assemble the seam, put strips of LDPE painters plastic over it, and clamp it tightly with a dozen or more C-clamps between two pieces of smooth hardwood moulding.

I tried dispensing the glue by using a dowel marked with gradations as a plunger (watching the markings to push out equal amounts), but for small volumes of glue (less than 2 ml) this method isn't accurate. You could easily get 30% more of one component than the other and not know it if you are dispensing just a couple of drops.

So, it isn't a simple operation. Lawson Kline bonded his cuben tarps (no longer available), and I think Hyperlight Mountain Gear does some bonding and some sewing (and might use tape sometimes as well), but all other cottage manufacturers of cuben gear choose to only sew or tape. Those methods give a weaker, heavier seam than bonding, but they are far easier.

Brad Walker

Locale: SoCal
Hand Dispenser on 02/03/2012 17:07:14 MST Print View

Fair warning--I've never used this adhesive.

Advice--If you want to dispense in a controlled manner without paying $25-30 for an epoxy dispenser, you can buy a "hand plunger" for a about a buck. McMaster has them: . Maybe your local hardware store does too? You want a 1:1.

brent driggers
(cadyak) - MLife

Locale: southwest georgia
thanks for the info. on 02/03/2012 20:33:36 MST Print View

I saw on gear swap a fello has a dispenser, extra nozzles, etc for sale. I already have some of the u09fl but I didnt know if somehow didnt get all of the components that I need to dispense it correctly. I like the idea of the mini syringes.
I actually have a 2 man cat tarp made from 1.5oz cuben to which I want to add spinn-shelteresque front and rear closures.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
tarps with doors on 02/04/2012 20:31:55 MST Print View

Not on topic


Those end closures on tarps are called "doors" by hammock hangers. Zpacks sells cuben hammock tarps with, and without them. Someone with the trail name of 2QZQ has a cottage business of adding them to existing hammock tarps. At Hammock Forums, there are patterns for DIY tarps with doors, using dimensions that fit the doubled width of cuben fabric.

William Johnsen
(sixoclocknews) - F
Re: Cuben Adhesive on 02/04/2012 22:23:37 MST Print View

Straight from North Sails: They say the best way is to: Tape, sew, then seam grip over the holes. If it survives use as a sail, use as a shelter shouldn't be a problem.