TUBULAR POLYAMIDE (NYLON) WEBBING “NOVA”
Material: polyamide nylon, Minimum Breaking Strength 27kN;
Weave: inNOVAtive tubular body technology, quite stretchy with puffed outlining for extra pillowed edges; Extreme-stretch: 14,9 @ 5 kN responsive, intense rebound, more than traditional "bounce-lines";
Abrasion resistance: dense weave increases abrasion and water resistance;
Anti-twist: two different coloured sides (red & green), in order to avoid twists during installation.
On the 20th of August, we got alerted by a customer, Adam Kaminski, who had tested himself the breaking strength of our webbing NOVA, after it had been rigged over 4 days at a highline festival. His test results had shown him a much weaker breaking strength (17kN) compared to the MBS of a brand new webbing, stated at 27kN in our online store.
First of all, we would like to thank Adam and all others of our community, who have started testing their NOVA webbing, which helped us getting further to the ground of this very unusual, fast and premature aging process of a tubular nylon webbing and which alerted us generally about potential adaption of our quality control inhouse.
We have passed the last couple weeks doing intensively, different sorts of tests and further going quality control concerning the NOVA’S MBS and its production. We’ve stopped its immediate sale online and published right away a warning going to all NOVA owners, to not use this webbing for highlining until further notice.
It was important to us to test differently used NOVA strands, we had therefore a short waiting period before receiving all different types from our community and athletes. Thank you for your patience at this point.
With big regret, we had to learn from the results of our study, that we are dealing with a wrongfully implemented method of quality control, which didn’t correspond to actual, real life usage of our webbings (details below).
PRESENTATION OF OUR PROCEDURE TO COMMERCIALIZE OUR WEBBINGS
Just like most slackline brands, we don’t own our proper weaving machines inhouse. This means, we create a certain demande page with all desired specifications, but leave the production of the actual slackline webbing to specialized manufacturers. These specifications contain characteristics like: MBS, material, weight, color, stretch and geometry.
The manufacturers of webbings own their proper tensile test machines using very specific “weblocks”, in order to test all their developed products inhouse and to hand out a certificate of conformity for each batch. After receiving the new series, including the conformity certificate, our general quality control process includes a following, second test of the webbing’s resistance, which we perform generally on the webbing’s sewn loop and not constantly on a weblock.
In case of the NOVA, the first produced batch in 2019 was measured at 27kN by the manufacturer and actually confirmed by our inhouse tests, which had shown as well 27kN. Due to the high stretch of the NOVA, we considered 27kN still acceptable and big enough of a safety margin, in order to commercialize it as a suitable webbing for highlining.
TEST OVERVIEW OF AUGUST 2020 AND ITS RESULTS:
Transparency is of big value for us, please find therefore below all detailed results from each of our tests done on differently used and aged NOVA webbings inn the last couple weeks, as well as our statement surrounding these findings and our consequences as a company who truly cares about our client’s safety.
We tested 4 different NOVA webbings, using two “Slackijump” weblocks, our strongest ones:
NOVA 1) Was a brand new strand from the first series produced in April 2019:
NOVA 2) Was a brand new strand from our second series (never sold);
NOVA 3) Was a heavily used strand, which was rigged permanently from the 10/12/2019 to end of 08/2020 (8 months). This webbing we tested at different sections of the strand:
- NOVA 3a) Was the section, which was constantly under tension;
- NOVA 3b) Was the non-tensioned extremity, which was protected from sunlight;
- NOVA 3c) A T-loop, protected with tape from any sunlight exposure;
- NOVA 3d) A T-loop, which was exposed to direct sunlight during the whole time;
NOVA 4) Was a strand that was permanently rigged, for over 3 months and even froze a few times in winter; In all cases, we always tried testing the worst looking sections of each webbing.
Even brand new, inside weblocks, the webbing’s resistance seems to be significantly weaker than the value stated by the manufacturer. Why is that?
We trust our manufacturer for the accuracy of the results of their measurements. Our tests confirm rather the fact, that higher resistance values appear for the manufacturer, because of their way more efficient "weblock", which has a much bigger diameter than all our standard slackline weblocks (30 mm). This result of discrepancies in the values between our manufacturer and our inhouse control concerns however only the NOVA and not our other webbings sold online. Recent test results confirm this.
Considering the worst discovered decrease, the webbing did loose 39% of its resistance in the weblock (NOVA 1 weblock = 23.31kN vs. NOVA 3a weblock = 14.20kN) that is big, but it’s reasonable compared to the general polyamide fibre’s aging process ( 8 months when exposed to sunlight, rain and other natural elements);
The resistance on T-loops presents almost the same strength as the webbing itself;
We also notice that the first seria was significantly more resistant than the second one. We are working on it, but there is not impact as the second seria has never been sold yet;
Either way, in our opinion, NOVA it is too weak to be used for highlining. We decided therefore to stop selling it as an highline webbing and to organize a reimbursement process for our customers (find details below).
FURTHER ACTIONS AND CONSEQUENCES
Due to all detailed discoveries and results, we decided to take certain measures in order to increase our transparency, our clients safety and furthermore to avoid any repetition of a similar incidents concerning our product control again.
1.) CUSTOMER INDEMNITY & COMPENSATION
Each customer, who purchased a NOVA webbing, will get a dedicated email notice to stop its usage for highlining, including the tests results and our refund procedure.
All those clients will receive a voucher to replace the NOVA with any other webbing from our shop. The refund amount will depend on their date of purchase / the age of their webbing:
- If NOVA was purchased before August 2019: 50% reimbursement via voucher
- If NOVA was purchased before February 2020: 75% reimbursement via voucher
- If NOVA was purchased after February 2020: 100% reimbursement via voucher
2.) INTENSIFIED AND NEWLY ADAPTED TESTING FOR HIGHER QUALITY CONTROL
In order to achieve even more precised test results, properly adapted and specifically closer to real life situations - from now on, all webbings are going to be tested systematically in the same kind of slackline weblock, with a central diverter of 30 mm maximum. All webbings MBS values found on our webstore are going to take this testing configuration into account.
3.) MORE TRANSPARENCY AND ADVANCED INFORMATION ABOUT THE WEBBING
From now on, we will also introduce a new webbing measurements standard, stating more details on each webbing product page, for even more transparency and higher safety for our users:
- The MBS measured by our manufacturer’s test machines;
- The MBS in our inhouse 30 MM DIVERTER WEBLOCK;
- The MBS result from tests on the SEWN LOOP;
- The breaking strength value after 3 months of sunlight exposure;
4.) ASSURANCE OF QUALITY AND SAFETY
As an immediate safety measure, we have launched instantly an intensyfied and more precised testing process of all our other webbings, to exclude a general problem with the manufacturing or past resistance testing procedures.
We can already state, that even if tested with different diameters on weblocks between manufacturer and our inhouse tests on the sewn loops, a big concerning difference in the webbing’s BS results doesn’t appear for any of our other webbings. A more precised report with results from these tests will soon be published.
A PERSONAL WORD
Us, the team of Slack Inov', we all have learned with big regret from this inaccuracy of important safety values of one of our products and it is thanks to our community, that we were able to get to the ground of potentially too advanced trust from our side into values that we know now, need to be more adapted and controlled together with our manufacturers.
We highly appreciate your patience until the publication of this report and ask you, our clients, to be merciful with human imperfection. We are a small team, trying hard to create smart, useful but more important safe products out of pleasure and dedication to the world of slackline.
It is and has never been our first interest to create immense profit from this activity, but it is highly important to us to not loose your trust into the safety of our products and our personal concern.
It is gonna cost us a lot to retreat this webbing entirely, but we prefer to proof that safety of our community stays our first interest before profit.
Please, anyone having further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org under the subject line “NOVA”.
Thank you all for your understanding! Stay safe - slack safe.
Your Slack Inov’ Team