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Wick Materials

KEVLAR(R)

KEVLAR(R) is a para-aramid, a member of the aramid family of manufactured fibers. Aramid fibers have no melting point, low flammability, and good fabric integrity at elevated temperatures. Additionally, para-aramid fibers have excellent strength-to-weight properties.

Fire performance equipment manufacturers and wick suppliers deal mainly in materials that contain a blend of aramids (both para- and meta-aramids) and fiberglass. Aramids lend greatly to the physical structural integrity of a fabric, while the small amount of fiberglass adds somewhat to the thermal integrity of the fabric. Blends are also a cost-effective solution; while some retailers may deal in pure KEVLAR(R) fabrics, it is rare, as pure KEVLAR(R) is very expensive and an inferior thermal solution.

The firedancing industry generally lumps all aramid blend wicking into one category, and calls it "KEVLAR(R)." At Fire Mecca, you can find three types of wick material: two different aramid/fiberglass blends (called K1 and K2), and one of pure KEVLAR(R) (called KX):

  • K1 material is the blend most widely used as wicking by the fire-dancing community. Tapes are made of KEVLAR(R), NOMEX(R), and fiberglass. Ropes are a tubular blended braid with a fiberglass or K1 (i.e., blended) core. The braided ropes are not as flexible as the K2 ropes, but are generally more durable.
  • K2 material is woven aramid/fiberglass, and is the default for most of our equipment options. It is slightly better-priced, and, though rated as 1/8 in., it is slightly thicker than K1 tapes. Otherwise, the K1 and K2 tapes compare very similarly, performance-wise. Ropes are less durable than in K1series, but are, initially, much more sponge-like and flexible. The weave is more basic than the K1 weave, lending to increased fraying when cutting; glue or tape ends when cutting or storing. In finished products, this is not generally noticeable because ends are concealed or glued to limit fraying.
  • KX material is made of pure KEVLAR(R), and can be found in our threads and cords.

If you need assistance in choosing the material that is right for you, please give us an email or call, and we can help you select the style that best fits your needs.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass, also known as glassfibre, is a composite material made from very fine fibers of glass, and fabric made from it was one of the first popular alternatives to cotton. Fiberglass fabric is reasonably absorbent, and can continue operating at temperatures in the area of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit (540 C).


Rigging Materials

Steel and brass are among the most common and reliable metals available for poi construction. The most common steel components are made from stainless, nickel-plated, zinc-plated and galvanized steel. Stainless steel does not corrode as easily as regular steel, and, while there are specific grades of steel for particular applications, it is generally superior to other steel options for use in poi construction. Nickel and chrome plating offer some corrosion-resistance, but are mainly decorative, being shiny finishes. Zinc-plated and galvanized steel is good for situations where corrosion resistance is needed, but the expense for stainless steel is not warranted. For instance, stainless steel might be better in a humid or saline environments (e.g., near the ocean), whereas zinc-plated steel would be fine in a dry environment. In general, if you can afford it, stainless steel is your best choice. We offer stainless steel as options for quick links and ball chain, and it is standard for poi attachment rings, chains, and wire cable.




KEVLAR(R is a registered trademark of DuPont.
NOMEX(R) is a registered trademark of DuPont.

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