What Are Seat Belts Made Of? (List of Raw Materials Mostly Used)

Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

In most cases, seat belts are made from 100% polyester. Sometimes seat belts are made from synthetic materials like polyester and nylon to withstand significant force and stretch without breaking.

Key Takeaways

  • Polyester has a resistance of more than 28 knw and it is one key reason most seat belts are made from polyester.
  • Seat belts are made in a web-like pattern to distribute the force of a collision or sudden stop over a larger area of the body
  • A seat belt also has metal hardware like buckles, anchors, and retractors
  • The buckles secure the seat belt and allow it to extend and retract as needed

Main Seat Belt Components

Webbing For Seat BeltsPolyester is used for manufacturing due to the resistance of more than 28 knw. This is the main tape and holds the person in an impact.
Retractors For Seat BeltsIt rolls up and unfolds the seat belt straps. There is also a sensor that blocks the safety belts in the event of an impact. 
Seat Belt BucklesThe buckle provides security by locking or releasing the seat belt tab. In turn, the use of this component of easy and highly resistant in moments of emergency. 
Seat Belt TonguesThe tab is a highly resistant metal piece that connects the strap to the seat belt buckle. 
Seat Belt Pillar LoopsThis is a 3-point piece that allows the strap to be guided across the chest and over the passenger’s shoulder. 
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List of Raw Materials and Stuff Used To Make Seat Belts

  • Polyester is a strong, durable, and flexible material but it has one major drawback: Because of the unique polyamide composition, the seat belt can be torn from the body even when the vehicle is in motion. Polyester-made seat belts are an innovative solution to this problem. They are made of polyester (a strong and flexible material) but we have replaced 95% of their nylon with RHI which gives a comfortable seat with high safety in the workplace.
  • Today, seat belt material is usually woven from polyester. Nylon used to be the most popular material, and now nylon stretch more than polyester and are more prone to damage (and Nylon is one of the strongest synthetic fibers). Tiny abrasions and damage to the belt reduce the tensile strength of materials.
  • “Star”, also known as “solid” or “hardness,” is the least common form of material used in car seat belts. It is the material that’s actually under the cloth padding and around the harness. This material is mechanical in nature and does not melt during heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 Celsius). It is also resistant to chemicals like bleach and ammonia, detergents, water, and many other chemicals. This material does all of the above, but it also provides benefits for people who use car seat belts; they don’t have to worry about wearing loose clothes or having their seat belt too tight because it doesn’t warm up when heated up, and they don’t need to worry about getting in a crash because the car will only push them back into the seat.
  • A Car Belt is made of cotton, polyester, nylon, and polypropylene which have different properties. Federal law has to be followed because even though CO 2 and PM are not regulated, they should be labeled as to the type of material used in the fashion.

How Is Seat Belt Webbing Woven?

One of the most important aspects of seat belts is undoubtedly the weaving technique used in them. It is a very important technique since it allows us to save a great number of lives every year. We can say that it has a special safety belt to offer excellent resistance in any traffic accident.

In these times, a great number of security elements are woven in some way. Weaving is a simple activity that is carried out by both industries and ordinary people. Therefore, a seat belt is also a safety element that is woven, even if it does not look like it. Among all the available elements, a seat belt is chosen because of its good qualities. 

This tape is specially designed to withstand a high level of tensile strength. In this case, we are talking about an extreme tensile strength that of course is needed inside a vehicle. In general, this resistance is around 3000 to 6000 pounds. Contrary to what some drivers believe, the truth is that seat belt manages to save many lives per year.

If we analyze the number of accidents and deaths in traffic, we’ll notice that the percentage has decreased since 1950. In particular, this was the decade when seat belts were massively implemented in the automotive industry. In some countries, this safety implementation was mandatory in the new vehicles.

The first units incorporated into the vehicles had to be woven with about 200 spikes per minute in shuttle looms. The seat belt webbing could be achieved in its first design.

However, since 1975, things have changed and industrial technology has advanced in large numbers. So, in these times, they achieved 1000 spikes per minute in most of the belts that were manufactured.

This is still a small amount compared to the modern looms of these times. It is possible to get 3000 spikes in the manufacturing process of seat belts. Besides, nylon is no longer used in manufacturing due to its excessive stretch and accumulated wear. Instead, the seat belts are made of 100% polyester.

Besides, this is important not only for the lifespan of the seat belt but for protecting people’s lives. In particular, damage to the belt causes small abrasions to significantly reduce the tensile strength. As a result, the seat belt is too old to protect a person in a traffic accident.

Also, specially designed run-away selvages for seat belts are often included. However, belts can be flexible for pregnancy beyond being reinforced with strong threads. In turn, research continues to advance to reveal new data to create better seat belts.

The threads can be packed closer together because the threads with less energy allow for longer-lasting safety implements. In most cases, 300 warp threads are required for each 46mm seat belt strap. In other words, it is 150 ends per inch in this type of seat belt.

To manufacture the seat belts, a variation of satin or 8-axis twill weave is usually woven. That’s why the next time you travel in a vehicle with a seat belt you will have the ability to denote the weaving technique used. This is important because polyester along with this weaving technique is what will save your life.

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Why Are Seat Belts Important?

As we have mentioned, the seat belt is one of the most important protective implements for a driver and passengers. A large number of people who do not wear seat belts are those who die in a car accident. In fact, in 2017, about 37,133 people died in a traffic accident in the United States.

Of that number, 47% of people were not wearing seat belts. Thus, the chances of suffering moderate, critical, or fatal injuries increase considerably. On the other hand, 14955 people saved their lives because they were wearing seat belts in 2017. Also, 2549 more people could have been saved if they had chosen to use seat belts.

That’s why we can mention here some consequences of not using a seat belt correctly, or not using it at all. 

1. First Of All, the seat belt is responsible for keeping the driver or passengers safe inside the vehicle. On the other hand, when the seat belt is not used, people inside the vehicle can be thrown out. Of course, in most cases, this usually results in a fatal injury to people.

2. Second, there are also airbags as additional protection in today’s vehicles. However, this is not enough to stop the kinetic energy produced by people from a traffic accident. People can be seriously or fatally injured by an airbag. This happens specifically when the person is not wearing a seat belt and is hit by the airbag. 

3. Third, also using a seat belt incorrectly can have some significant consequences. Here, the functionality of the seat belt is not used at all. So, people are still unprotected when they suffer a traffic accident.

In specific words, using the seat belt correctly can allow:

1. Reduce the probability of fatal injuries by 45%

2. Reduce the probability of moderate or critical injury by 50%

A very similar situation occurs when using the seat belt inside a van. Here too, it is possible:

1. Reduce the probability of a fatal injury by 60%

2. Reduce the probability of moderate or critical injury by 65%

As anyone can see, this is a set of aspects that can be very important to know before suffering a traffic accident. In other words, wearing a seat belt correctly can save your life when you least expect it.