DYNEEMA® COMPOSITE FABRIC (DCF)
The Superhero of Outdoor Materials:
Dyneema® composite fabric (formerly called Cuben fiber) is a high-performance fabric made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers. These fibers are non-woven and heat-pressed together between two sheets of polyester film. The manufacturing process is highly innovative.
The result is a very high tensile strength, non-stretching, waterproof, and UV and chemical resistant fabric. Dyneema® Composite Fabric (or DCF for short) bends and flexes freely without creating weak points. Just for comparison, the strength to weight ratio of DCF is about 15 times greater than that of steel. It is widely viewed as one of the biggest advancements in outdoor fabrics that is revolutionizing outdoor gear designs. We will leave it at this. But polymer chemistry buffs are encouraged to research the technical specs further, which can only heighten the appreciation for this material.
Just like any true superhero, this superhero fabric is not without its Kryptonite. DCF does not do well against sharp or pointy objects. Because DCF is not elastic, pressing a pointy edge at just the right angle with enough force may puncture the material. Just be mindful of that around sharp rocks, thorny vegetation, or cooking utensils. If you already treat your gear with moderate care and common sense, simply doing the same with your DCF products is more than sufficient. The good news is that small tears and punctures can be quickly and soundly fixed right on the spot by gluing a patch over the affected area. Consider adding a few Repair Patches to your next order.
As with many synthetic materials, extreme heat will melt DCF. High temperatures (exceeding 125 degrees C / 260 degrees F) will melt or permanently deform the fabric and denature its structural integrity. So keep your DCF gear away from heating elements, cooking stoves, and open flame.
DCF comes in a variety of thicknesses. Thicker DCF is more durable and puncture resistant, but also weighs more. So products that generally take heavier use are made from thicker DCF. Most of our products are made from super-light DCF_0.51oz or DCF_1.0oz, and slightly heavier DCF_1.43oz. The "oz" designation refers to the weight per square yard. For items such as packs, we also utilize a very strong and puncture resistant two-layer DCF/Polyester hybrid material. It has the appearance of a more traditional fabric on one side, and a 'shiny' DCF finish on the other side. The weight of this hybrid is 2.92oz/sqyd. Note: product descriptions on our website show rounded-off values (e.g. 0.5oz, 1.0oz, 1.4oz, 2.9oz).
Washing and Care:
DCF is very easy to care for. Unlike conventional fabrics, it will not absorb moisture or any other particles along with it. This means it will not get soggy, stained or moldy. Nothing sticks to it, so even the heaviest mud splashes will come off easy by simply rinsing with water. If you must wash your DCF gear, do so by hand in warm water and hang to air dry. Do not machine wash or place in dryer. And whatever you do, do not iron; the heat will melt the fabric.
* * *
CORDS: Click here for information on our choice of weather-resistant outdoor cord.
For more specific questions, or if you plan to use your DCF gear in unconventional applications, get in touch with us, we will be happy to assist!