Pneumatic fabric stiffness testers are used to quantify the stiffness of textile materials like fabrics. The device consists of a cylindrical plunger and a gauge. A fabric sample is placed between the plunger and a flat board, and the cylinder is pushed down onto the fabric with increasing pressure until a predetermined depth is reached. The gauge measure the force in units of grams or Newtons.
The testing process allows for a standardized measurement of a fabric's stiffness, which is important for a variety of reasons. The stiffness of a fabric can affect the garment that it is used in, for example, a pair of stiff denim jeans versus a pair of soft cotton pants. Stiffness can also impact the draping effect of a garment, and can even affect the aesthetics and functionality of non-garment textiles such as curtains or upholstery. Additionally, stiffness can impact the manufacturing process by affecting the ease of cutting or forming a material.
Measuring the stiffness of fabric is an important part of quality control and product development in the textile industry. By using a standardized tool like a pneumatic fabric stiffness tester, manufacturers and designers can ensure that their products meet certain aesthetic and functional standards, and can also make improvements to their manufacturing processes.