5 Ways to Take Care of Your Aeronautical Fabrics.
If you own any aeronautical products such as parachutes, paragliders or hang gliders, there are a number of ways you can optimise their safety potential and extend their lifespan. Consider these 5 ways to keep your equipment in good condition and ensure that your aeronautical fabrics last longer.
1. Store Fabrics Properly
Care needs to be taken to store fabrics properly between uses. Any aeronautical product needs to be repacked correctly and stored in a protective carry bag. This carry bag should protect your equipment from excessive abrasion, tearing and UV degradation. Do not store your equipment in the boot of your car for long periods as the extreme temperature fluctuations will also damage the fabric. If you intend to store your parachute for a long period of time, please contact an aeronautical establishment to get guidelines on precautions that need to be taken to ensure there is minimal degradation of the canopy and supporting components over time.
2. Post/Pre Jump Checks
Most aeronautical products are comprised of a canopy and support components. It is important that all of these items are checked before and after each jump/flight to ensure that they function properly during flight. During these checks, it is essential that any tears, wear and abrasions need to be addressed before using the equipment again.
3. Keep the Fabric Clean
Often after landing, debris such as soil, grass, leaves and twigs can get caught in the canopy and supporting components. These need to be removed, and the parts checked for damage and correct range of movement before your next jump/flight. If you choose to clean your canopy, it is advisable to gently wipe the fabric with a clean, damp cloth, instead of using the washing machine to minimise abrasions and damage. Do not pack your canopy away if it is damp as this could damage the fabric.
4. Avoid Prolonged Exposure to Sunlight
UV light can do substantial damage to a canopy, not only to the bright colouring but more importantly to the fabric strength. We use UV resistant dyes on our polyamide aeronautical range which assists with increasing the canopy lifespan. Despite this, excessive exposure to UV light or leaving the canopy in a hot environment for long periods of time must still be avoided. Always store your aeronautical equipment in a cool, dry place free from sunlight, humidity and damp.
5. Service Your Chute
Send your canopy for regular servicing and checking by a qualified rigger. We strongly advise against servicing your equipment yourself, as conducting your own home repairs with solvent or acid based substances can damage your canopy and cost your dearly from both a financial and safety perspective. Finally, always remember to check and service your reserve chute!
Gelvenor Textiles produces a range of both military and sporting aeronautical fabrics suitable for parachutes, paragliders, hot air balloons, parasails and even kites. Please visit our aeronautical page for more information.