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Why is Nylon the best Batting Cage Netting material?

We covered the history of Polyethylene in Batting Cage Nets a few weeks ago, and now it’s time to take a look at nylon and how and why it’s used as a batting cage netting material.

Nylon is a polyamide invented by the DuPont Corporation in the late 1930’s. Nylon was intended to be a synthetic replacement for silk. During World War II nylon was substituted for silk in parachutes ropes, flak vests, vehicle tires, combat uniforms, and many other military uses. Nylon fibers are now used in fabrics, carpets and ropes.  Solid nylon is used for mechanical parts and as an engineering material.

Nylon is stronger than sisal, hemp or cotton. It is stronger than most Polyethylene. Nylon has tremendous shock absorption properties, and it is this elasticity that gives it its tremendous strength. Nylon stretches before it breaks. This makes it an excellent netting choice for use in batting cages. Our 36 gauge nylon is by far our most popular batting cage material. You can see a photo below:

36-nylon

 

 

Breaking Strength and Abrasion Resistance

Breaking Strength is an important feature in the netting industry as a whole. We publish the breaking strengths of all of our nets on our Net Examiner. Nylon netting is known for its high break-strength. However, when used as a batting cage net, Breaking Strength becomes a less important statistic, because the net will rarely, if ever, be tested to it’s breaking point.

A much more important feature to consider is abrasion resistance. The spinning ball actually wears the netting down by abrasion and heat. In the past, hardballs were used exclusively and the need for very abrasion resistant netting was a must. As PVC and Poly balls become more common, net life has been greatly extended. Nylon has very good abrasion-resistant characteristics on it’s own. This abrasion resistance makes it an excellent material for batting cage nets. When coated in an oil based net coating, like NetSeal™, Nylon becomes the longest-lasting material available for batting cage nets.

UV Protection

Nylon, in it’s natural state, is a white fiber and must be treated to keep out UV rays. The most common treatment for UV protection is a black dye. All of our baseball nets feature uv protection.

Water Absorption and Resistance

Nylon has a Specific Gravity of 1.14. This means that Nylon sinks in water. Nylon also absorbs water. When nylon is soaked in water, or rained on, for example; the H²O molecules penetrate into the polyamide molecules and cause the fibers to slip and slide. This sliding motion keeps the fibers from locking fully and wet nylon becomes weaker by approximately 10%. Consistently using water-logged nets lowers the strength of the fibers, causing the net to deteriorate quicker.

All of our Nylon FlexNets and custom nets ship standard with a 10% Resin Bonding Coat. This Resin Bonding Coat makes Nylon an acceptable material for use in an outdoor batting cage net by preventing rapid water absorption compared to uncoated nylon, but to truly make your Nylon net water-resistant in the long-term, be sure to add NetSeal, which can usually be added to any nylon net for an additional cost.

 

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