Shock Absorbing Nylon Webbing?

A large industrial supply company advertises “shock-absorbing nylon webbing”.What is it and how does it differ from standard nylon webbing?

All nylon products stretch. That is the nature of the material and if we were talking about rope, it would be described as a “dynamic” product. If you were rock climbing and fell, you wouldn’t want to be tethered to the mountain with a steel cable where there would be no give when it got fully extended. Your body would be a wreck. One climbing rope manufacturer says their dynamic ropes provide a “soft catch”. In the marine industry nylon is used for anchor and mooring lines but never as a tow line.

Polyester fibers provide little stretch. In the rope world they comprise what are known as “static” ropes. Sheets and halyards on a sailboat along with tow lines all need to be static ropes.

In the webbing world the terms static and dynamic are rarely used. If you are designing a dog leash there will never be enough of a load that the user could tell the difference. Other factors are more important, how does it feel in your hand, does it come in the right color and what is the cost are all common areas of interest. Unless you are making fall prevention or load securing gear, static or dynamic hardly comes in to play.

Now to answer the question-

All nylon webbing is shock absorbing, or dynamic. You can check out our nylon webbing options to see what we stock. The thinner the webbing, for example #630 is thinner than #7400, the more it will stretch for a given load but they all stretch- or are shock-absorbing.

Interested in ‘static’ webbing? Polyester is the way to go. It is more expensive than nylon and color options are very limited.

Berry Compliant Buckles & Webbing

The Berry Amendment mandates that the Defense Department gives preference to items made in the United States out of domestic materials when purchasing fabric products (and others).

In the case of webbing and buckles, that means that not only does the product need to be made in the U.S.A. but all of the raw materials must be made here. Nylon fiber, raw plastics for buckles, dyes, the list goes on. Once a manufacture has their raw materials they must be converted to a finished product in the United States.

Some products are easy to source. Most of the plastic buckles that we purchase from American Cord & Webbing (ACW) are Berry Compliant. Webbing is more difficult. Polypropylene webbing is for the most part imported. Manufacturers will import nylon fiber and convert it in to webbing in the US. That product is not Berry Compliant since the fiber is imported. It can be labeled as Made in the USA which only requires that the majority of the cost is based in the USA.

All of this started in 1941 by Representative Ellis Yarnall Berry and it has been amended several times since then. In 2009 Congressman Larry Kissell brought similar requirements for textile and apparel products purchased by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  • If your customer is asking for Berry Compliant products they should come with a Certificate of Compliance.
  • Made in the U.S.A. is not a guarantee that the product is Berry Compliant.
  • If your supplier does not know about Berry Compliance it is doubtful that their products make the grade.
  • Expect to pay more for Berry Compliant products, especially webbing.
  • You might run in to minimum order quantities greater than for non-Berry products.