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How Long Do VELCRO® Brand Fasteners Last?

VELCRO® Brand fasteners have enhanced the way professionals secure objects and build products that change consumers’ daily lives. From clothing and accessories to aerospace and construction applications, VELCRO® Brand fasteners play a key role in keeping vital components together. 

How often can you pull a hook and loop fastener apart before it no longer engages effectively? This will help define how your consumers enjoy products such as packages of dry food or durable work wear.

The answer to this is cycle life and here is how to identify the best cycle life for various applications. Cycle life does not determine if the fastener is superior over others. This specification greatly defines how to find the right fastener for any given application.

What is Cycle life and How Does It Define How Long An Industrial VELCRO® Brand Fastener Lasts?

Hook & loop fastener disengaging

Cycle life defines how many disengagements can be completed until the closure loses 50% of its initial performance value. Every time hook and loop tape is opened, the hooks pull on the loops, contributing to a level of deterioration on those loops. This can impact the fastener’s performance depending on how often it is disengaged.

The type of materials can factor into a fastener’s cycle life. Woven hooks are very flexible and will typically put less strain on the loops, providing a longer cycle life. More rigid hooks, such as mushroom hooks or stainless-steel fasteners will be difficult to open. The rigidity of the hooks creates a more aggressive closure, putting more strain on the loops, contributing to a lower cycle life.

Another factor is hook shape and profile. Hook and loop combinations with similar profiles will have stronger engagement than those that are high and low. A stronger engagement will generally be lower for a pairing that has a stronger engagement.

For hook shape, a curved hook like a capital J, provides a higher cycle life for applications that require frequent disengagement. Palm tree shaped hooks have a stronger engagement and will include a lower cycle life for applications that require more strength over disengagement frequency.

How Cycle Life Defines Your Products

When thinking about cycle life, ask yourself: how often will the user open the fastener?

If the fastener will undergo frequent openings and repositioning, high cycle life is needed. If a closure is exposed to harsh outdoor conditions with infrequent openings, then a low cycle life fastener is the answer. Here are some examples of indoor and outdoor applications for all cycle life types.

High Cycle Life Applications

Disengaging closure on orthopedic brace

For high cycle applications, there are VELCRO® Brand fasteners that can be cycled up to 2,000+ times. Examples include medical cuffs, straps and wearables, jackets, shoes, bags, accessories and packaged goods.

Applications for medium cycle life

Hook & loop on abrasive tool

If closures need to be adjusted occasionally, then medium cycle life is necessary. This applies to cable management, high temperature insulation sleeves, wire harnessing and abrasive tools for construction. These applications can get 500 – 2,000 cycles out of a fastener.

When do you need low cycle life?

Secure Commercial Roof Installations with VELCRO® Brand fasteners

These are set and forget applications for under 500 cycles. They need rock-solid closures that will rarely need to be repositioned or replaced. This pertains to transportation seating attachments or interior paneling, roof membranes, wall paneling and field turf attachments. Disposable items such as diapers, medical gowns, ostomy bags and grocery produce ties won’t need the strength, but also don’t require a high cycle life.

How to Clean VELCRO® Brand Fasteners to Preserve their Lifespan

Industrial strength fasteners are exposed to a lot of dirt, dust and other particles that reduce holding power. The hook side of the fastener will grab onto these little particles, making it difficult to mate with the loops. This is why it’s important to keep VELCRO® Brand fasteners clean to preserve the fastening performance.

You can clean an industrial strength hook and loop fastener much like cleaning a hairbrush. You can use a brush tool or another hook fastener to remove lint, dirt and debris. The best solution is prevention. Keep the fastener closed as often as possible, especially while washing.

Whatever your application requires, there is an industrial strength VELCRO® Brand fastener that can meet the challenges. Are you looking for domestic suppliers? We have manufacturing locations worldwide to fill gaps in your supply chain.

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