UV Exposure: The Effects on Fiber Performance

1 November 2023

At Lift-Tex®, we understand that choosing suitable materials for your applications is crucial to ensure longevity and performance. We know that UV resistance is a key concern for many of our customers, and we’re here to provide you with the insights you need to make informed decisions.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the UV resistance of three fibers: Aramid, HMPE/UHMWPE (Dyneema®), and Cordura. We’ll discuss the science behind UV resistance and its practical implications for your projects. Whether in construction, manufacturing, or any field where durability matters, this information will help you select the suitable materials to meet your needs.

Let’s dive in and discover how each of these fibers fares in the face of UV exposure and how you can optimize their performance and lifespan. Your success is our priority, and this knowledge will empower you to make the best application choices.

Aramid Fibers

Aramid fibers are known for their strength and durability, but they are less resistant to UV radiation when compared to materials like HMPE/UHMWPE fibers. UV exposure can lead to reduced strength, especially at the fiber level. Fortunately, for most practical applications, this UV exposure doesn’t significantly impact the sling strength.

The core yarn, protected by the jacket material, is not affected by UV exposure. When aramid fibers serve as both the core and the sleeve, UV resistance issues primarily affect the outer layer of the sleeve. Prolonged UV exposure over a year can affect the sleeve material’s performance and result in discoloration, however, with minimal impact due to the UV’s limited ability to penetrate only half the thickness of the thread on the sleeve material. Storing Aramid in a dark, dry area when it’s not in use can extend its lifespan.

However, there also is Black Aramid, which is specially dyed, giving it UV resistance. It’s important to acknowledge that this enhanced UV resistance comes at a slightly higher cost. Nevertheless, for applications where UV protection is essential, Black Aramid is the best choice.

A close up of knitted Aramid

HMPE/UHMWPE (Dyneema®) Fibers

UV resistance varies depending on the type of fiber. For instance, HMPE/UHMWPE fibers, such as Dyneema®, are known for their higher UV resistance than Aramid. This resistance depends on various factors, including sunlight intensity, temperature, and humidity.

When exposed to UV rays, UHMWPE fibers may exhibit some changes. UV exposure can lead to a slight increase in modulus (stiffness) while causing a decrease in tenacity (strength) and elongation at break (stretchiness). However, it’s important to note that the outer part of the fiber exposed directly to UV light is more susceptible to damage than the inner layers. It is advisable to take precautions to enhance the longevity of these fibers in areas with high UV radiation. Increasing the thickness of the material, and using protective measures like jackets can significantly extend the lifespan of the fibers. 

Nevertheless, when HMPE/UWHMPE fibers are dyed, they exhibit resistance similar to Black Aramid. A prime example of this is our XS range, featuring dyed HMPE jackets that offer UV resistance.

HMPE bobbins made

Cordura Fibers

Although people widely recognize Cordura’s durability, it doesn’t naturally resist UV radiation. However, our Cordura products are UV-resistant because our nylon undergoes an UV protection process at the filament level. This process ensures that our materials maintain strength and longevity even when subjected to extended periods of sunlight.

Achieve More with Informed Choices in Materials

In conclusion, at Lift-Tex®, we are dedicated to helping you make well-informed decisions when selecting suitable materials for your applications. We understand that your time and resources are valuable, and choosing appropriate materials is crucial for ensuring longevity and performance. We have designed our comprehensive guide on UV resistance in Aramid, HMPE/UHMWPE (Dyneema), and Cordura fibers to give you the knowledge and insights you need.

By understanding the intricacies of UV resistance, you can make choices that will not only optimize the performance and lifespan of your materials but also save you time and resources in the long run. 

Your success is our primary focus, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. We believe that well-informed decisions are the key to achieving the highest levels of performance and durability, and we’re committed to helping you achieve just that.

Contact us

Feithspark 9-1


The Netherlands

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