Webbing is a woven fabric that is distinguishable by its various

material compositions, strength variations and widths. The webbing

process essentially involves yarns that are woven via looms to

create strips. While it is generally comparable to rope for its

harnessing function, webbing is an extremely versatile component

used in an array of industry applications, ranging from military

apparel to automotive parts. Typically, webbing is fabricated in

solid or tubular form, with each type having different applications

and functions. While ropes are typically thick in texture,

PRET webbing is

produced in extremely lightweight parts. The primary materials used

in the production of webbing include variations of polyester, nylon,

and polypropylene. Cotton webbing is also available and is commonly

used in commercial applications, including clothing apparel. Webbing

is also customizable in a series of colors, designs and prints, and

manufacturers can fabricate reflective webbing for safety


Standard Industry Applications 

Webbing is found across various sectors. Standard


applications and associated industries include:

Seatbelts and harnesses; automotive industry

Hiking, backpack and harnessing gear; sporting good retail


Safety bands and tapes; hospital and medical


Upholstery (seat bases); furniture manufacturing

Uniform (suspenders) and accessories for various professions,

e.g. police and military

Web Processing: Solid (Flat) and Tubular

Solid webbing is also known as flat webbing and is fabricated in

varying degrees of thickness. Distinguished by its flat aesthetic,

solid webbing is commonly used for applications like seatbelts. It

is lightweight though it is susceptible to tearing, as stress from

use tends to affect the outer surface of the material. Solid webbing

is generally too stiff to function in applications that require

knots, which is why this type of webbing is best suited for

applications where the material can be sewn into a larger product.

Backpack straps, for instance, are examples of this type of solid


Tubular webbing is thicker and more durable than solid

PP webbing

and is composed of two sheets of fabric. It is suitable for

knotting applications (like a rope for hoisting) and carries tension

better than solid webbing. For functions like climbing, experts

recommend utilizing tubular webbing that is woven into a continuous


Common Webbing Materials

Below are the common webbing materials and some examples of

webbing, and types and uses. While nylon and polyester have similar

properties to each other, there are some key differences.

Nylon Webbing
Nylon Webbing is a high strength elastic material that is commonly

used for belt applications (specifically, flat nylon). This material

tends to stretch approximately 2% the length of the webbing when it

is wet. When looking at how to make nylon webbing, experts warn that

nylon webbing should not be exposed to water continuously, as the

material tends to absorb liquid and may harbor mildew if it is not

maintained properly.

Polyester Webbing

Polyester webbing is durable and similar in aesthetic to nylon.

This material is suitable for use for applications that require

lifting heavy loads. Polyester webbing has low water-absorption and

is more mildew and rot-resistant than nylon. This webbing is

commonly used in applications including racing harnesses and


Polypropylene Webbing

This type of webbing is typically used for outdoor applications.

Some products fabricated with this


include window nets and plastic bags. Polypropylene

webbing is comparable to nylon, though it is generally lighter.

Additionally, it is fabricated with U.V. protection and is water-

resistant. This material is processed in varying degrees of

thickness, although it has low abrasion resistance. According to

experts, it is most suitable for medium-strength operations.

Additional Considerations: Replacement & Maintenance

Professionals recommend inspecting the material on an annual

basis, especially where the component is utilized as a safety

restraint application. Webbing installed as belts and harnesses in

the racing industry, for example, will begin to lose elasticity and

tear after consistent use and exposure to certain elements, such as

oil and heat. Replacement is recommended accordingly, ranging from

2-5 years or sooner if the application is used regularly, as with

seatbelts and chair seats (cotton chair webbing).

Maintenance is another essential webbing consideration. As a

rule, most webbing should be kept clean and dry, although some

materials, like polypropylene are water-proof. A mild detergent is

recommended to clean webbing, though it is also essential to

remember that the aforementioned materials are manufactured in

colors, which may fade or bleed when exposed to certain conditions

or cleaner treatments. Therefore, consult the manufacturer for the

best maintenance approach.

Textile webbing straps are usually connected to a load by

insertion of a bolt or fitting through a looped end in the strap.

The strength and efficiency of such a connection are analyzed in

this paper. Several simplifying assumptions, e.g., a linear

elongation- load characteristic for the webbing, negligible

friction, etc, are made. The analytical results are compared with

test data for Nylon and Dacron webbing straps with various end-loop

configurations. The comparison shows that the analysis of loop

strength and efficiency is approximately correct. Both theory and

test data indicate the need for close specification of loop

configuration parameters during design.

Webbing structures are essential to the safety of engineering

systems that routinely endure excessive sunlight exposure.

Particularly damaging is the ultra-violet (UV) component of sunlight

that may degrade polymer chains, thereby compromising mechanical

strength. Despite considerable progress in structural health

monitoring, UV damage sensors for


structures are still lacking. To fill this gap, we

propose a simple and fast fabrication process for a nylon webbing

structure that exhibits photochromic responses to UV irradiation.

The photochromic webbing structure is fabricated by coating a nylon

strap with a photochromic polymer. The photochromic webbing

structure demonstrates high sensitivity to a wide range of UV

irradiation energy. In addition, the webbing structure maintains

photochromism even after photodegradation due to extreme UV

irradiation (equivalent to 72 h of sunlight exposure). Our analysis

indicates that a photochromic dye concentration of 1.00% is optimal

for UV sensing. The proposed photochromic webbing could facilitate

health monitoring of industrial, aeronautical, and aerospace


The integration of digital tools in mathematics education is

considered both promising and problematic. To deal with this issue,

notions of webbing and instrumental orchestration are developed.

However, the two seemed to be disconnected, and having different

cultural and theoretical roots. In this article, we investigate the

distinct and joint journeys of these two theoretical perspectives.

Taking some key moments in recent history as points of departure, we

conclude that the two perspectives share an importance attributed to

digital tools, and that initial differences, such as different views

on the role of digital tools and the role of the teacher, have

become more nuances. The two approaches share future challenges to

the organization of teachers’ collaborative work and their use of

digital resources.

The following guest article was inspired by an enlightening

conversation between SRN editor Denise Donaldson and Dave Sander,

CPST-I and engineer (formerly with Evenflo, but employed elsewhere

at the time this article was written).

Have you ever given close attention to the webbing used for car

seat harnesses, LATCH straps, or vehicle seat belts? If so, you may

have noticed that some are wider or feel thicker, smoother, or

rougher than others. You may have also noticed that some have

stripes (actually called panels), and that those panels vary in

appearance and number.

If you have noted these things, I congratulate you on your keen

sense of observation! These differences are not random or

decorative; each detail in webbing has been intentionally designed

to affect how it will perform, especially in a crash.

FMVSS 213 stipulates certain webbing characteristics of CRs. It

defines the minimum width of the


used in harnesses, tethers, and LA straps. It also

says that new webbing must meet a minimum strength requirement of

11,000 Newtons for harness webbing and 15,000 Newtons for LA and

tether webbing. To get an idea of how strong that is, you could

basically pick up a Honda Accord with a strap made out of LA or

tether webbing!

CR manufacturers purchase this strong webbing, and most also do

their own internal testing to doubly ensure compliance with the

standard. FMVSS 213 specifies that this be done using what’s called

a quasi-static test. This is simply a test in which the webbing must

not break, at the specified load, when a device attached to the ends

pulls it apart at a slow and steady rate.

The quasi-static test is beneficial as a consistent benchmark

for measuring performance criteria among all the different webbings

that a company might use. However, CR manufacturers also assess

webbing during dynamic testing of car seats during sled tests run at

a very high rate of speed. Quasi-static results typically do not

match these high-speed results, in that the amount of elongation (or

stretch) seen during the quasi-static test is likely to differ from

the amount during a sled test—it could be more or less. Since the

amount of stretch is a key characteristic with respect to how

webbing manages crash forces, it is helpful to know the results of

both types of testing.

Now back to the guts of the story. We’ve observed that webbing

comes in different styles with varying construction. Why? Because,

depending on the configuration of the fibers (threads), webbing will

stretch to varying extents when loaded by crash forces, such as in a

sled test or actual car crash. Rather than considering one type the

best, engineers make use of this variability.

Like car seats, webbing types can perform differently in FMVSS

213 crash testing, and the actual car seat it is attached to will

further differentiate the results.  Sometimes the webbing

selected during car seat design may even cause the CR to crack

during the development and testing phases. By simply making a better

choice for the type of webbing, the same car seat may pass testing

without any other changes to the CR being needed. When looking at

the performance criteria in FMVSS 213, differences in harness

webbing can influence the results of the test dummy head injury

criterion (HIC) score and Chest G injury criteria, as well as the

head and knee excursion (forward movement).

As CPSTs know, the management of crash forces requires give and

take.  While one goal is to hold a CR in place, injury may

result if the body isn’t allowed to slow down gradually enough.

Therefore, while webbing used for LATCH installation must be strong

and hold the car seat in place, car seat engineers carefully select

the kinds of webbing used for a particular car seat model to balance

the CR’s overall performance.

For instance, some car seat models may have tether or lower

anchor webbing that has a relatively high elongation in order to

enhance the performance of the CR structure.  While this would

increase some excursion measurements (a negative effect), this might

be a net-positive tradeoff if it lowers the dummy HIC or chest Gs

enough (a positive effect). In fact, because tethers do such a good

job of supporting a CR and controlling head excursion, there is

usually some room to use webbing that stretches more if the overall

effect is a more structurally sound CR that measures better HIC and

chest Gs in testing—a tradeoff that is likely to translate to

better outcomes for real children in crashes.

Webbing variations can also be especially useful to engineers in

the late stages of CR development. To CR engineers, these final

stages are all about tweaking or “turning the dials” until you get

the best performance possible in all the measurable categories: HIC,

chest G’s, head excursion, knee excursion, and structure. 

What does turning the dials mean?  Well, before a car seat is

even made, developers use a variety of tools, like computer-aided

design programs and 3-D printed models, to predict a CR’s fit,

performance, and function, because changes made after a CR is molded

are very costly. But, until it has been physically made, it is

difficult to really know for sure how a CR will perform in every

test configuration. So CR manufacturers have a few go-to ways to

tweak performance during the final development stage. Having a wide

selection of webbing to try is an important one of those, giving

them so-called “dials” to turn. By matching the right webbing to a

CR, manufacturers can fine-tune it so it performs to its best


I hope this sheds some light on how CR manufacturers choose

webbing, just one of the many factors that can influence the

performance of a car seat. In particular, consider this when asked

why owners are prohibited from swapping components of different car

seats, even if the parts are from the same manufacturer. When it

comes to webbing (and other parts, as well), rest assured that there

were important reasons the CR developers used the particular type

that they did for each model. So, even if parts seem similar to the

untrained eye, making changes to a CR that are not approved by the

manufacturer can truly have negative consequences on performance.

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