A short overview to tell you what we inventory at Sound Horse & to suggest a couple of ways to use these fabrics:
Polyester. Supplied as a 45 degree braided tube — cut to open the tube prior to use…. it will spread to 3 inches wide. Polyester is flexible, quite strong & suitable for a broad array of simple repairs.[divider_flat]
Polyester/Vectran. This is a flat 45-degree braided, tape that is 4 inches wide (it requires no cutting). The blended material combines the bonding & structural strength of polyester with the structural strength & superior abrasion resistance of Vectran™. The white fibers are polyester and the light yellow fibers are the Vectran™. An excellent all-round repair material for almost all problems.[divider_flat]
Cobra-sox. This is a Kevlar/carbon fiber 45 degree braided tube — cut to open the tube before use. This material is particularly useful for the loads associated with larger horses and severe cracks. Individually Kevlar™ & carbon fiber possess great structural strength…. combined they are quite extraordinary. We suggest using this in 2 layers when doing serious repairs on larger animals.[divider_flat]
We suggest using these fabrics with epoxy-methacrylate repair adhesives (EquAcrylic, Equilox, Equibond, Hoof-Lite, etc). This adhesive type gives you adequate time to saturate the fabric and carefully place the patch allowing it to be moved and repositioned during the repair process. Do not use polyurethane adhesives with these fabrics as they do not give you adequate working time to saturate the fabric and will not allow repositioning after application.
Thoroughly saturate the fabrics with the adhesive and make sure that you use adequate material to overlap the crack, extending well beyond the edges or area to be repaired by at least 2 inches — this will help the repair share the load over a broad area and prevent localized stresses that could cause another failure. Generous use of stretch wrap will secure & cover the repair while it sets and help deliver a smooth hard surface after cure.
For those of you using a mixture of adhesive and loose fiberglass fibers as a repair material — this works well in some configurations but lacks the integral strength of a fabric-laminated repair. A suitable fabric is more useful in repairs of cracks and absolutely necessary for bridging large areas of a broken hoof wall — it provides great structural support and also provides the necessary stabilization to offset the hoop stresses in a loaded hoof (think of a barrel strap keeping the barrel staves from separating). With the low cost of an appropriate braided fabric (you don’t use very much in a repair) it makes sense to use these materials when doing most repairs. Also, when you use the braided fabrics supplied by Sound Horse you get a very strong repair that is relatively thin & tight to the hoof…. no need to use a thick layer of adhesive & chopped glass to try to build adequate strength.
FYI — the fabrics we use in our Sound Horse Series I horseshoe cuffs and repair fabrics are a special 45-degree braid. We use this material because ALL of the fibers are working in supporting the cuff or repair. Braid is different than the typical woven material where the fabrics are at 90 degrees to one another along a “warp & woof”. When ordinary fabrics are laid on a repair, half of the fibers in these conventional materials do little to support the repair (since the the fibers are vertical on hoof). In addition the materials we use in Sound Horse braids are selected for their performance properties and tend to be quite strong. If you choose to use fiberglass repair materials you must be careful with your construction techniques, as the glass is relatively brittle, has no abrasion resistance and the fabrics are typically of a conventional weave type.
If you have any questions about repair fabrics, please contact us at the Sound Horse Technologies office.