An investigation of cotton for parachute cloth

Wm. D. Appel, R. K. Worner
Sep 1931

This is a resume of the work of the Bureau of Standards on a cotton parachute cloth for use as a substitute for silk in the event of an emergency curtailing the supply. Cotton yarn of high strength in proportion to its weight and otherwise specially suitable for parachute cloth was developed. Cloth woven from this yarn in the bureau mill was equal or superior to parachute silk in strength and tear resistance, met the requirements with respect to air permeability, and weighed only a few tenths of an ounce per square yard more than the silk cloth. Practical trials of cotton parachutes carried out by the Navy Department clearly indicate that the cotton parachute closely approaches the silk parachute in performance as to rate of descent, opening time, strength and ability to function when stored in the pack for sixty days. The increase in weight of the equipment resulting from the use of cotton cloth instead of silk is considered to be well within practicable limits. A specification for cotton parachute cloth and the way in which the requirements of the specification have been met are given. Cotton yarns suitable for parachute cloth are now being woven commercially in the United States.

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