We’ve all seen and used VELCRO® — the trademarked name of hook-and-loop fasteners, touch fasteners or hook-and-pile fasteners. You probably know how they work. Two strips of fabric, usually made of nylon. One strip has hooked threads and the other has a course surface of loops. When pressed together, they create a strong but temporary bond.
The original product was invented more than 60 years ago and has continually evolved ever since, serving industries like construction, footwear and apparel, industrial, medical, military and government and more.
What does Marking Systems have to do with VELCRO?
Being a 3M Preferred Converter, we sell and convert 3M’s hook & loop fasteners and Dual Lock products. Two very different products with a few similarities. Hook & loop fasteners from 3M are available in a variety of thicknesses and colors. These materials are available both with and without adhesive on the back and can be supplied in rolls or in die cut shapes.
Dual Lock, while similar to hook & loop, is a completely different concept. Rather than a side-A and side-B that lock together as soon as they are brought in contact, Dual Lock is made up of tiny interlocking mushroom heads that do not lock until you choose to snap them together.
Dual Lock products are differentiated by a number, which designates the number of heads per square inch – the higher the number, the stronger the bond. Different products can be used together to find the exact locking strength you need. This interlocking mushroom head design allows Dual Lock to have a very high tensile strength, while maintaining a very low peel strength. So when you are ready to separate the two parts, you just tilt them apart for easy separation. As with hook & loop, we can also provide Dual Lock in rolls or die cut parts, and can provide matched pairs or individual un-matched pieces.
Where can I use these products?
As with many of the unique materials Marking System converts, there are a world of possibilities, and we are constantly finding new ways for our customers to use them in their products. We see both Dual Lock and hook & loop being used in a number of applications that require a locking closure, while retaining the ability to open and close repeatedly.
Some examples would be medical devices that have to be secured to your body, the inside of an ambulance or a hospital bed. Toll tags or electronic displays that are mounted in the cab of semi trucks, but must be removable. Access panels that must close securely, but must also be removed for maintenance.
If you have a product you believe might be a candidate for a hook & loop or Dual Lock fastening system, reach out to your Marking Systems sales rep today for a meeting with our R&D team.