Climb-spec webbing stronger than mil-spec?

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Climb-spec webbing stronger than mil-spec?

Postby ek » Apr 19, 2012 2:38 pm

Hi, everyone!

I've noticed that the BlueWater Ropes page describing their 1" tubular climb-spec webbing says:
Favored by professional climbers for its uncompromising construction, this webbing outperforms normal mil-spec webbing in strength, flexibility, knotability and durability.

Lower on the page it says:
Tensile Strength: 4,000 lbf. (17.7 kN)

That seemed exactly the same as 1" tubular mil-spec webbing, so I went and looked at other companies' mil spec webbing.

PMI's is listed as "18 kN (4000 lbf)."

Sterling's is listed as "4000 lbs".

Beal's 26mm tubular webbing is a little weaker at "1500 daN (kg)." By comparison, 1 in. is 25.4 mm, and 1500 daN is 15 kN or 3372 pounds of force. But this webbing is not stated to be mil-spec, and it doesn't look like mil-spec in the picture.

Does anyone know what's going on? Are PMI's and Sterling's mil-spec webbing just unusually strong? Or is the BlueWater Ropes' website mistaken?
Eliah Kagan
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Syracuse University Outing Club

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Re: Climb-spec webbing stronger than mil-spec?

Postby LukeM » Apr 19, 2012 3:29 pm

Doing a quick search for "tubular nylon webbing" on Google I found at least 4 examples of brands that few have likely heard of advertising 1" webbing with a 4000lb tensile strength. This was just on the first page of results. Seems like a very common figure. My guess is Bluewater has an overzealous marketing department. When so many brands are selling such a similar product differentiation becomes difficult.
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Re: Climb-spec webbing stronger than mil-spec?

Postby Scott McCrea » Apr 19, 2012 3:32 pm

All these webbings are different. I suspect that none of the these rope companies make webbing. They have contracts with mills that make it to their specs. I know PMI does this.

In order to call a specific webbing "mil-spec" it needs to fulfill all the specs for tubular (MIL-W-5625K) or flat (MIL-W-4088J). (I did not try to download these files, but they are easily available on the net, if this page doesn't work.

When researching webbing for pack straps and other stuff, I found that strengths from good US mills are all close enough to not be a major factor. The feel, stiffness, hand, color and durability are the real differences.

The Beal webbing is probably not mil-spec, since it is not a US company.

PS, good to see you back on Cavechat, ek.
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