Businesses are constantly trying to solve problems in creative ways while trimming down costs and materials. VELCRO® Brand Fasteners have been used to solve countless challenges across multiple industries for decades. At some point, you may have wondered, how do VELCRO® Brand Fasteners work and how can they best solve my challenges? To get the most out of a fastening solution, it’s important to understand how the fastener operates and what forces will act on it.
How VELCRO® Brand Fasteners are Secured
VELCRO® Brand fasteners were inspired by the shape of burdock burrs and their ability to easily cling to fabrics. This is the foundation that every hook and loop fastener is built on, a series of woven or extruded hooks that connect to textile-based loops. Over the decades, VELCRO® Brand fasteners have evolved to include different materials and strengths and can be disengaged and secured in various forms.
Since their inception, VELCRO® Brand hook & loop fasteners have included countless variations. The construction of a hook & loop fastener can come in different sizes, shapes, profiles and strengths to adapt to numerous applications within various indoor and outdoor environments.
How do you know what kind of fastener strength is needed for your application? This can be answered based on how often the fastener needs to be used and the direction of the acting forces on it as defined by peel, shear and tension.
What is the Cycle Life of a VELCRO® Brand Fastener?
Cycle life is defined by how many times a VELCRO® Brand fastener can be opened and closed before it loses 50% of its initial closure strength. A higher cycle life means it can be opened and closed more often and a lower cycle life indicates it can be used a limited number of times.
How does this apply to your project? If you need a strong bond that rarely needs to be released, such as a seat trim attachment or a roof membrane, then a low cycle life fastener is required. The lower cycle life connection will be much more difficult to open and close and the fastener will lose its bond if cycled too many times.
For more frequently opened connections such as a jacket pocket or a blood pressure cuff, then a flexible, high cycle life fastener will be best. This is much easier to open and close and the life of the fastener can last for thousands of cycles, depending on the hook and loop combination.
What is Peel Strength?
Peel is the force applied to the fastener as defined by disengaging the loops from each individual row of hooks. This is when you pull back on the fastener and it is commonly associated with applications such as opening a jacket pocket, disengaging a high temperature insulation sleeve or unwrapping a cable tie.
To put this into perspective, a hook and loop fastener that has a peel strength of 4.2 PIW means that for every inch of a 1” wide product, 4.2 pounds of force is required to disengage the fastener.
What is shear strength?
Shear strength is defined by sliding the hook and loop apart from each other in opposing directions. This is a big factor when securing components at a 90° angle such as hanging signage and displays on a wall and securing building materials, but it can also be used to prevent surfaces from sliding apart such as carpeting or securing attachments for abrasive tools.
A hook and loop fastener that has a shear strength of 12 PSI means that each square inch of material requires 12 pounds of strength or pressure to disengage.
What is Tension Strength?
Tension strength is the act of pulling the hooks and loops directly apart from each other. For instance, if you are securing a ceiling light fixture or solar panels, you are going to want to prioritize tension strength. Watch how the strength of VELCRO® Brand Fasteners keeps this roof membrane secure for Carlisle Roofing Systems.
A hook and loop fastener that has a tension strength of 7.5 PSI will require at least 7.5 pounds of force to disengage.
VELCRO® Brand Custom Strengths & Options
We know every application has its own set of unique requirements and that is why we have been innovating our fastening systems for decades. Our teams can work closely with you to procure the right materials and build a tailor-made fastener that is as unique as your company’s solutions.