Forum Index » GEAR » Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008?


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Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008? on 08/27/2012 10:57:34 MDT Print View

There was a large thread about cuben fiber from 2008 and one of the main points is that none of the manufacturers would provide a warranty regarding fabric failure.

I think I'm ok adding cuben fiber in a stuff sack or a pack but the risk of fiber failure in a TARP is too great.

If you're in a bad storm and your tarp fails it could mean your death (hypothermia).

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008? on 08/27/2012 11:31:57 MDT Print View

There are probably over 100,000+ miles of trails around the world being hiked by hikers using CF shelters.

Get over it. Move on. Close thread.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
logical fallacy... on 08/27/2012 12:26:23 MDT Print View

Not trying to be rude at all but this is not very helpful. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Better data would be:

- stats from vendors in total number of reported fabric failure vs silnylon fabric failure

- modern stress testing of cuben fiber to determine rate of failure , etc.

- anecdotal reports from users reporting their usage (though this isn't very solid data)

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Alaska
Interesting on 08/27/2012 13:07:38 MDT Print View

Thanks for starting the thread, Kevin. I've been wondering the same thing myself. Threads like the ones you mention and comments from Ryan Jordan about the long-term durability of cuben (and construction methods used by cottage manufacturers) make me hesitant to spend the big bucks for a cuben shelter or pack without knowing more details.

Edited by aaronufl on 08/27/2012 13:11:15 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
haha on 08/27/2012 13:42:57 MDT Print View

Cuben is about 5x stronger than silnylon!


/ thread

Devon Cloud
(devoncloud)

Locale: Southwest
cuben failures on 08/27/2012 13:51:46 MDT Print View

Cuben failures are not occuring due to wind stress unless you are in a hurricane. This is the same matterial that is used in wind sails, so whoever told you they were failing in wind were either wrong or had sewn areas of the tarp without reinforcing the puncture holes well enough. What causes cuben fiber failures is if you set it up and a hole gets poked in the material from say, a heavy tree branch falling on it or someone thinking that putting a needle and thread through it whithout reinforcing the material around the needle hole is okay. This causes the strength of the material to drastically reduce at the puncture point however, and will run along a straight line agross the puncture point, so the sew job (and the reinforcement thereafter)has to be done correctly which most folks that are selling cuben fiber currently have learned to do.

Cuben fiber itself, with no punctures, is stronger than any other ultralight material out there, no doubt. I would not be afraid of them as long as you purchase your tarp from someone that is reputable.

Edited by devoncloud on 08/27/2012 13:53:54 MDT.

Erik Hagen
(EWH100) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
re: Cuben fiber failure on 08/27/2012 13:53:34 MDT Print View

I think the earlier failures were due to stitching the fabric together. The tiny holes created would stretch and eventually fail under load. Seam sealing helped but did not prevent the problem. I believe all manufacturers have now switched to either taping or bonding the seams. Bonded seams are the strongest; however, I have not head of any failures using either method. Like silnylon, CF is available in different thicknesses. Most shelters are made with either .51 oz. or .74 oz. I've owned 2 shelters made with .74 and would have no problem recommending it.

Advantages of CF over Silnylon include (for shelter material):
1) It does not stretch, once your shelter is setup you don't have to continue to retention like silnylon
2) Its truly waterproof, you will not get "misting" effect in rain like silnylon
3) Better UV resistance, I've retired a few silnylon shelters due to this
4) Lower weight.
5) Easier to field repair, can use most any type of tape.

Disadvantages:
1) Less abrasion resistance, silnylon much better. This of course is less of an issue for shelters.
2) Costs, yep way more expensive

Edited by EWH100 on 08/27/2012 13:55:36 MDT.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Sources? on 08/27/2012 14:00:01 MDT Print View

Lots of stuff claimed here. Any sources?

Devon Cloud
(devoncloud)

Locale: Southwest
sources on 08/27/2012 14:04:14 MDT Print View

There are a ton of sources, including pressure tests by all sorts of different people that have worked with the material righ here in this community. All you have to do is search for cuben fiber and you will see all sorts of test on the material and how much weight it whithstood prior to tearing.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Re: Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008? on 08/27/2012 14:15:40 MDT Print View

I have over 1,000 miles of hiking with a 0.34 cuben fiber tarp. I have probably 2k miles with 0.51 cuben fiber shelters. I have probably around 250 miles with 0.74 cuben fiber shelters.

I know of at least four triple crowners that have done all of their hiking (10,000+ miles) with nothing but cuben fiber shelters.

This material has proven itself the world over. Enough all ready with these posts here at BPL from the CF haters. Time to move on folks.

James Klein
(jnklein21) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008? on 08/27/2012 14:48:43 MDT Print View

"This material has proven itself the world over. Enough all ready with these posts here at BPL from the CF haters. Time to move on folks."

What posts? or What haters?
You'll have to forgive those who want to make an imformed decision beforedropping $$$ on a material they are unfamiliar with.

I have a tarp with .51 and one with .74 and judge them to be more than adaquete for my needs. The .51 hexamid is suprisingly strong/durable. I think the points about construction technique are important.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: haha on 08/27/2012 14:57:44 MDT Print View

"cuben is about 5x stronger than silnylon!"

What weight to what weight? What you are suggesting is that Cuben would have a tear strength of over 50 lbs per square inch.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 08/27/2012 17:01:33 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008? on 08/27/2012 15:00:08 MDT Print View

Which four triple crowners?

Edited by FamilyGuy on 08/27/2012 17:02:07 MDT.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: sources on 08/27/2012 15:01:15 MDT Print View

So you don't have any sources? Just making stuff up.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008? on 08/27/2012 15:06:06 MDT Print View

This is coming from a guy who just a few months ago was selling all of his gear.


I have sold four complete setups this year alone. So what. I had enough gear in my house to supply a small army of hikers it seemed like. So just because I sell off a bunch of gear and buy all new gear makes me a BS hiker? Ho-hum. There are enough guys out there (include a couple dozen from BPL) that have seen my gear on-trail with me. Call BS all you want.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008? on 08/27/2012 15:15:28 MDT Print View

Commentary out of line and removed.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 08/27/2012 17:03:01 MDT.

Erik Hagen
(EWH100) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Sources on 08/27/2012 15:20:26 MDT Print View

Per MLD's website:


"MLD has been building Cuben Fiber Tarps, Shelters and Accessories continuously for over 7 years. We have more experience than any other builder and we do all the work in our own shop. We use unique bonding tape with 3X the UV inhibitors vs other common 3M style tapes. We have never had a Cuben tarp returned for failure in the field. These type of commercially built Cuben Fiber tarps and shelters have been in use by many thousands of users worldwide though hundreds of thousands of nights of all types of weather with no online reports of undamaged material leakage in the rain."

Cuber Tech also list breaking strength of their material:
http://www.cubictechnology.com/CTF3%20PRODUCT%20INFO%20PACK%2007192010_4c.pdf

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008? on 08/27/2012 16:00:54 MDT Print View

"you don't have to continue to retention like silnylon"

Yes it makes it sound dramatic but it is simply not true.
Let's say that silnylon can stretch up to 5%, so from dry to wet a 1 meter piece of fabric stretches to 1.05 m.
At that point it can't stretch anymore, so if you set your shelter nice and taut ONCE it has stretched, it will remain nice and taut.
That can be taken as ONE time , not a synonym of "continuously" nor "continually"

This is my Contrail after it rained on it all night, it was set taut at 8PM the night before...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD5t3TOrUa0&list=UU0PuLUKvG7Fxxex5BMVK4vw&index=34&feature=plcp
And that is how it looks pretty much every morning I have had rain on it during the night.
Franco

Edited by Franco on 08/27/2012 16:06:28 MDT.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
questions on 08/27/2012 16:07:23 MDT Print View

"I think the earlier failures were due to stitching the fabric together. The tiny holes created would stretch and eventually fail under load. Seam sealing helped but did not prevent the problem."

Any examples of this?

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Cuben fiber failure? Any updates since 2008? on 08/27/2012 16:34:13 MDT Print View

If Ryan ever publishes his wind performance article Part 2 it could have some interesting data on cuben shelters.