A Brief Introduction to Rapier Tape

1 The Function of Rapier Tape in the Rapier Loom
Rapier loom is the most widely used shuttleless loom in the world. The rapier tape, or rapier band, is an essential accessory in the rapier loom. As one of the consumable parts, its performance directly affects the performance of the rapier loom. Rapier tape and rapier head together have replaced the traditional shuttle.

The rapier tape is classified into two types-rigid rapier band and flexible rapier tape. The rigid rapier band is made of metal or fiber-reinforced material, for rigid weft insertion; the flexible rapier tape is made of fiber-reinforced non-metallic composite material or heat-resistant steel tape. The latter has superior performance, with the advantage of lightweight, small volume, small opening height in the weaving process, less yarn wear, and low energy consumption. It has been widely adopted in the weaving of various fibers like cotton, wool, hemp, silk, etc. With the features of strong adaptability to the width and thickness of the fabric and the texture structure, high speed, high weft insertion rate, high production, good quality, low noise, improved working conditions, flexible rapier tape has been widely used in weaving.

2 Technical Requirements of the Rapier Tape
The unique working environment and working mode have brought up relevant requirements for the structure and materials of the rapier tape, summarized as high specific strength, high specific modulus, high wear resistance, high fatigue resistance, moderate toughness, and interlayer shear strength, low friction coefficient and low cost. With the improvement of the loom's production efficiency, the weft insertion cycle becomes shorter, bringing higher the rapier tape requirements. The non-metallic composite flexible rapier tape has been widely acknowledged for its multiple advantages in the application. 

We have been developing high-end rapier tapes in the past two decades, successfully released rapier tape for models like PGW, GA731, TP300, GTM, C401, GTM-AS, SM92/93, THEMA11E, GAMMA, PANTER, FAST, G6200, G6300, etc. Furthermore, to meet high-speed running, we have developed full carbon rapier tape series with excellent rigidity and strength, superior shear resistance, and heat resistance. After meticulous research in the aspects of material selection, formulation selection, curing molding, the tensile strength and bending strength of the material increase by about 20%, and the tensile modulus and bending modulus increase by about 40%. 

3 Main Technical Indicators of Rapier Tape 
1) Surface requirements
The rapier tape's surface should be flat and smooth, without debonding, delamination, wrinkles, or pits. 

The surface roughness of the bottom and the two sides of the rapier tape should be Ral.6; the surface roughness of the rapier tape tooth hole should be Ra3.2. Mechanical processing trace is not allowed on the surface of the wear layer. 

The straightness and warpage should be less than 3mm.

2) Technical requirement
The technical requirement that rapier tape should reach is listed below.

Technical requirement of rapier tape

3) Tolerance of form and location
The straightness tolerance allowed on both sides of the rapier tape is 0.20/1000mm.

The symmetry tolerance of the center of the tooth hole and the centerline of the rapier tape is 0.20mm.

4) Main fit dimensions

5) Service life
The average service life of the rapier tape should be no less than 5.8×10000000 times. 

6) Inspection
Items to be inspected are listed below.

7) Storage, packaging, and transportation.
Each rapier tape should be print the trademark and batch number logo on the fixed part of the tape body. Also, the rapier tape should be stored in natural indoor conditions. The storage period is maximum five years. Rapier tape products must be packed in a closed wooden box or a container made of other materials sufficient to withstand transportation, loading, and unloading.

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