Sturges Manufacturing’s In-House Testing Capabilities for Industrial Webbing and Sewn Products

Webbing testing and product verification play a crucial role in the industries we serve, including Firefighting, Fall Protection, Parachute, Aerospace, and more. At Sturges, not only do we design and manufacture our webbing and sewn products, but we conduct extensive testing to ensure adherence to numerous industry standards.

At our U.S. manufacturing facility, we take great pride in our in-house testing capabilities. With two in-house test labs, we have the ability to test our products to a wide range of standards. These tests are crucial to ensuring the quality and reliability of our webbing products. In this blog post, we will be discussing some of our testing capabilities and the standards we follow.

Please note that if you require compliance with additional standards, we have established strong partnerships with reputable testing facilities throughout the country. Through these collaborative relationships, we can facilitate the testing of your completed product.

Abrasion Resistance – ASTM D6770

The abrasion resistance test measures the ability of webbing to withstand wear and tear when rubbed against a rough surface. The testing involves mounting and cycling the webbing over a certified hex bar with the weight and tensions adjusted accordingly. The testing continues through a specified number of cycles, and once completed, the wear is inspected and breaking strength is tested accordingly. This test helps us determine the durability and lifespan of our webbing under abrasive conditions.

Tensile and Elongation of Webbing – ASTM D6775

This test measures the maximum force that a webbing can handle before it breaks, as well as the amount of stretching or elongation that occurs before the webbing breaks. The test involves fixing one end of the webbing to a stationary object and gradually increasing force to the other end until it breaks. By understanding these tensile strength properties, we can ensure that our webbing can withstand the necessary forces without failure.

Vertical Flame Resistance – NFPA 1971

This vertical flame resistance test is a test used specifically in the Firefighting industry but can be helpful for other industries as well. The test determines how webbing resists ignition and spreads fire when exposed to vertical flames. The webbing is clamped vertically and exposed to a flame for 12 seconds. Once the flame is shut off, the webbing has to extinguish within 2 seconds, and the measured char length should be less than 4 inches. This test is crucial as it ensures that the webbing is safe to use in applications that involve exposure to flames or heat.

Heat Resistance – NFPA 1971

The heat resistance test assesses how webbing performs when exposed to high temperatures. For this test, 5 samples of webbing are laundered 5 times, and 5 samples are left non-laundered. The 10 total samples are then put in a 500℉ oven for 5 minutes, and once removed, they must have less than 10% shrinkage and no evidence of melting, dripping, ignition, or separation. By observing any changes in the webbing’s properties, we can ensure its suitability for applications where heat resistance is crucial.

Flammability of Interior Materials – FMVSS 571, Standard 302

This test determines the flammability characteristics of webbing used in automotive interiors. A small sample is exposed to a controlled flame source, and parameters such as burn rate and after-flame time are measured. The materials should self-extinguish within a certain time frame and should not spread the flame. By meeting this standard, we ensure the safety of our webbing in automotive interior applications.

Water Repellency – TSL2100 G, Section 4.36

The water repellency test evaluates how well the webbing resists the penetration of water. The webbing is subjected to a specified amount of water, and we observe if it beads up and rolls off or soaks into the material. This test helps us provide webbing suitable for outdoor or wet environments.

Wet Yarn on Yarn Abrasion Test – ASTM D6611

This test assesses the abrasion resistance of wet yarn. It involves rubbing two wet yarn samples against each other under controlled conditions, measuring any damage or yarn breakage. By conducting this test, we ensure that the yarn is suitable to be woven into a webbing that will be exposed to moisture.

Energy-Absorbing Testing Standards

Our energy-absorbing webbing is subjected to a dynamic load by simulating a fall. A weight is dropped from a specified height, creating a sudden force on the webbing. The force generated and the elongation of the webbing are measured and analyzed. Our dynamic webbing testing capabilities encompass a comprehensive range of energy-absorbing testing standards, including ASSP/ANSI Z359.13, CSA Z259.11-17, EN 355, ABNT NBR 14629, and AS/NZS 1891.

These standards, although distinct, share common threads in their evaluation of energy-absorbing properties. Our proficiency in dynamic testing allows us to rigorously assess the performance of various safety equipment. Through the execution of these tests, we ascertain the capacity of the webbing to efficiently absorb and dissipate energy during potential fall scenarios, ensuring optimal protection for workers at elevated heights.

The testing standards include the following requirements:

  • Drop Test Height: This is the distance of a dynamic test in which a weight that is connected to the energy absorber is dropped from creating a force. This is generally determined through various industry standards however, custom heights can be used.
  • Test Weight: The weight used in a dynamic energy-absorbing webbing test is typically a standardized mass that is dropped to simulate a fall. Weight is an essential component of the testing process as it generates the force needed to assess the webbing’s energy-absorbing capabilities. The weight represents the falling body and should be chosen for the appropriate weight range of the end product.
  • Maximum Arrest Force (MAF): This is the peak force experienced by the webbing during the fall arrest event. It is a critical factor in determining the effectiveness of the energy-absorbing properties of the webbing material.
  • Average Arrest Force (AAF): This represents the average force exerted on the webbing during the entire fall arrest event. It provides insights into how the webbing distributes the forces over time.
  • Elongation: The amount of extension or stretch the webbing undergoes during the fall. Adequate elongation helps dissipate energy gradually and reduces the impact on the user’s body.
  • P Factor (Performance Factor) – P is derived from the formula P=1+(h (drop height))/(Xa (length of deployment of energy absorber)) and essentially lets you calculate the maximum elongation allowable for a given worker weight range.
  • Ag – Also known as deceleration factor, is derived from the formula Ag=(P*Mmax (Maximum Weight Worker))/(Mmin (Minimum Weight Worker)). The deceleration factor has been established so that the worker will never see a force greater than 7g’s.

The chart below outlines the specific parameters evaluated for each standard (Ambient Dry Condition), including drop height, test weight, maximum arrest force, average arrest force, p factor, Ag, and elongation. By adhering to these testing standards, we guarantee a thorough and consistent evaluation of energy-absorbing characteristics. This approach not only demonstrates our commitment to precision testing but also affirms our dedication to upholding the highest safety standards within the industry.

Standard Drop Height Test Weight MAF AAF Elongation P Factor Ag
ASSP/ANSI Z359.13 6 feet 282 lbs (127.9 kg) 1,800 lbs (8 kN) 900 lbs (4 kN) 48 inches - -
ASSP/ANSI Z359.13 12 feet 282 lbs (127.9 kg) 1,800 lbs (8 kN) 1350 lbs (6 kN) 60 inches - -
CSA Z259.11-17 6 feet Maximum Weight Worker Requirements for Ambient Dry Condition - - > 2.30 < 7
EN 355 4 meters 220 lbs (100 kg) 1,350 lbs (6 kN) 900 lbs (4 kN) 1.75 meters - -
ABNT NBR 14629 4 meters 220 lbs (100 kg) - - - - -
AS/NZS 1891 4 meters 220 lbs (100 kg) 1,350 lbs (6 kN) 900 lbs (4 kN) 1.75 meters - -


In conclusion, our in-house testing capabilities play a vital role in ensuring the quality and reliability of our webbing products. However, we understand that different applications may require additional standards. That’s why we have established close relationships with other testing facilities around the country. As mentioned above, through these collaborations, we can ensure your completed product undergoes the necessary testing to meet the relevant standards.

Our goal is to provide established OEMs with exceptional webbing solutions that prioritize safety, performance, and compliance with industry regulations. If you need help designing, manufacturing, and testing custom products, reach out to our team.

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