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A zipper, zip, fly, or zip fastener, formerly known as a clasp locker, is a commonly used device for binding together two edges of
fabric Textile is an Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term that includes various Fiber, fiber-based materials, including fibers, yarns, Staple (textiles)#Filament fiber, filaments, Thread (yarn), threads, different #Fabric, fabric types, etc. At f ...
or other flexible material. Used in
clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the human body, body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textiles, but over time it has included garments made from animal skin and other thin sheets of materials ...
(e.g. jackets and
jeans Jeans are a type of pants or trousers made from denim or Dungaree (fabric), dungaree cloth. Often the term "jeans" refers to a particular style of trousers, called "blue jeans", with copper-riveted pockets which were invented by Jacob W. Davis ...
),
luggage Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and containers which hold a travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical Location (geography), locations. Travel can be done by Pedestrian, foot, bicycle, automobile, ...
and other bags,
camping Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home, either without shelter or using basic shelter such as a tent, or a recreational vehicle. Typically, participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natur ...
gear (e.g.
tent A tent () is a Shelter (building), shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over, attached to a frame of poles or a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usual ...
s and
sleeping bag A sleeping bag is an insulated covering for a person, essentially a lightweight quilt that can be closed with a zipper or similar means to form a tube, which functions as lightweight, portable bedding in situations where a person is sleeping o ...
s), and many other items, zippers come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. Whitcomb L. Judson, an American inventor from Chicago, in 1892 patented the original design from which the modern device evolved.


Description

A zipper consists of a slider mounted on two rows of metal or plastic teeth that are designed to interlock and thereby join the material to which the rows are attached. The slider, usually operated by hand, contains a Y-shaped channel that, by moving along the rows of teeth, meshes or separates them, depending on the direction of the slider's movement. The teeth may be individually discrete or shaped from a continuous coil, and are also referred to as ''elements''. The word ''zipper'' is onomatopoetic, because it was named for the sound the device makes when used, a high-pitched ''zip.'' In many jackets and similar garments, the opening is closed completely when the slider is at the top end. Some jackets have double-separating zippers with two sliders on the tape. When the sliders are on opposite ends of the tape, the jacket is closed. If the lower slider is raised then the bottom part of the jacket may be opened to allow more comfortable sitting or bicycling. When both sliders are lowered then the zipper may be totally separated. Bags, suitcases and other pieces of
luggage Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and containers which hold a travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical Location (geography), locations. Travel can be done by Pedestrian, foot, bicycle, automobile, ...
also often feature two sliders on the tape: the part of the zipper between them is unfastened. When the two sliders are located next to each other, which can be at any point along the tape, the zipper is fully closed. Zippers may: * increase or decrease the size of an opening to allow or restrict the passage of objects, as in the fly of trousers or in a
pocket A pocket is a bag- or envelope An envelope is a common packaging item, usually made of thin, flat material. It is designed to contain a flat object, such as a letter (message), letter or Greeting card, card. Traditional envelopes are mad ...
; * join or separate two ends or sides of a single garment, as in the front of a jacket, or on the front, back or side of a dress or skirt to facilitate dressing; * attach or detach a separable part of the garment to or from another, as in the conversion between trousers and
shorts Shorts are a garment worn over the human pelvis, pelvic area, circling the waist and splitting to cover the upper part of the legs, sometimes extending down to the knees but not covering the entire length of the leg. They are called "shorts" b ...
or the connection or disconnection of a hood and a
coat A coat typically is an outer clothing, garment for the upper body as worn by either gender for warmth or fashion. Coats typically have long sleeves and are open down the front and closing by means of Button (clothing), buttons, zippers, Velcro, ...
; * attach or detach a small pouch or bag to or from a larger one. One example of this is military rucksacks which have smaller pouches or bags attached on the sides using one or two zippers; * be used to decorate an item. These variations are achieved by sewing one end of the zipper together, sewing both ends together, or allowing both ends of the zipper to fall completely apart. A zipper costs relatively little, but if it fails, the garment may be unusable until the zipper is repaired or replaced—which can be quite difficult and expensive. Problems often lie with the zipper slider; when it becomes worn it does not properly align and join the alternating teeth. With separating zippers, the insertion pin may tear loose from the tape; the tape may even disintegrate from use. If a zipper fails, it can either jam (i.e. get stuck) or partially break off.


History

In 1851, Elias Howe received a patent for an "Improvement in Fastenings for Garments". He did not try seriously to market it, thus missing the recognition that he might otherwise have received. Howe's device was more like an elaborate
drawstring A drawstring (draw string, draw-string) is a string, cord, lace, or rope used to " draw" ( gather, or shorten) fabric or other material. Ends of a drawstring are often terminated with a sheath called an aglet. The ends may be tied to hold the ...
than a true slide fastener. Forty-two years later, in 1893, Cleb Cleberson, who invented a pneumatic street railway, patented a "Shoe-Fastening". The device served as a (more complicated) hook-and-eye shoe fastener. With the support of businessman Colonel Lewis Walker, Judson launched the Universal Fastener Company to manufacture the new device. Judson's "clasp locker" had its public debut at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and met with little commercial success. Judson is sometimes given credit as the inventor of the zipper, but his device was not used in clothing. The Universal Fastener Company moved to
Hoboken, New Jersey Hoboken ( ; Unami language, Unami: ') is a City (New Jersey), city in Hudson County, New Jersey, Hudson County in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2020 United States census, 2020 U.S. census, the city's population was 60,417. The United ...
, in 1901, reorganized as the Fastener Manufacturing and Machine Company. Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American
electrical engineer Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems which use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. It emerged as an identifiable occupation in the l ...
, was hired to work for the company in 1906. Good technical skills and marriage to the plant manager's daughter Elvira Aronson led Sundback to the position of head designer. The company moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania, where it operated for most of the 20th century under the name Talon, Inc. Sundback worked on improving the fastener and in 1909 he registered a patent in Germany. The US rights to this invention were on the name of the Meadville company (operating as the Hookless Fastener Co.), but Sundback retained non-U.S. rights and used these to set up in subsequent years Lightning Fastener Co. in St. Catharines, Ontario. Sundback's work with this firm has led to the common misperception that he was Canadian and that the zipper originated in that country. In 1916 newspapers in Australia reported displays of the "new hookless fastener", a device from America that "the world has been waiting for" by a live model in the store window of Raynor's, of Melbourne. Gideon Sundback increased the number of fastening elements from four per inch (about one every 6.4  mm) to ten or eleven (around every 2.5  mm), introduced two facing rows of teeth that pulled into a single piece by the slider and increased the opening for the teeth guided by the slider. The patent for the "Separable Fastener" was issued in 1917. Gideon Sundback also created the manufacturing machine for the new device. The "S-L" or "strapless" machine took a special Y-shaped wire and cut scoops from it, then punched the scoop dimple and nib, and clamped each scoop on a cloth tape to produce a continuous zipper chain. Within the first year of operation, Sundback's machinery was producing a few hundred feet (around 100 meters) of fastener per day. In March of the same year, Mathieu Burri, a Swiss inventor, improved the design by adding a lock-in system attached to the last teeth, but his version never got into production due to conflicting patents. In 1923 during a trip to Europe Sundback sold his European rights to Martin Othmar Winterhalter who improved the design by using ribs and grooves instead of Sundback's joints and jaws and started producing with his company Riri on a large scale first in Germany, then in Switzerland. The popular North American term ''zipper'', (UK ''zip'', or occasionally ''zip-fastener''), came from the B. F. Goodrich Company in 1923. The company opted to use Gideon Sundback's fastener on a new type of rubber boots (or
galoshes Galoshes, also known as dickersons, gumshoes, rubbers, or overshoes, are a type of rubber boot that is slipped over shoe A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the Foot, human foot. They are often worn with a sock ...
) and referred to it as the zipper, and the name stuck. The two chief uses of the zipper in its early years were for closing boots and tobacco pouches. Zippers began being used for clothing in 1925 by Schott NYC on leather jackets. In the 1930s, a sales campaign began for children's clothing featuring zippers. The campaign praised zippers for promoting self-reliance in young children by making it possible for them to dress themselves. The zipper beat the
button A button is a fastener that joins two pieces of fabric together by slipping through a loop or by sliding through a buttonhole. In modern clothing and fashion design, buttons are commonly made of plastic but also may be made of metal, wood, o ...
in 1937 in the "Battle of the Fly", after
French fashion French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ove ...
designers raved over zippers in men's trousers. ''
Esquire Esquire (, ; abbreviated Esq.) is usually a courtesy title. In the United Kingdom, ''esquire'' historically was a title of respect accorded to men of higher social rank, particularly members of the landed gentry above the rank of gentleman a ...
'' declared the zipper the "Newest Tailoring Idea for Men" and among the zippered fly's many virtues was that it would exclude "The Possibility of Unintentional and Embarrassing Disarray." The most recent innovation in the zipper's design was the introduction of models that could open on both ends, as on jackets. Today the zipper is by far the most widespread fastener, and is used on clothing, luggage, leather goods, and various other objects.


Types

* Coil zippers now form the bulk of sales of zippers worldwide. The slider runs on two coils on each side; the ''teeth'' are formed by the windings of the coils. Two basic types of coils are used: one with coils in spiral form, usually with a cord running inside the coils; the other with coils in ladder form, also called the Ruhrmann type. Coil zippers are made of polyester coil and are thus also termed polyester zippers. Nylon was formerly used and though only polyester is used now, the type is still also termed a nylon zipper. * Invisible zippers have the teeth hidden behind a tape, so that the zipper is ''invisible''. It is also called the ''Concealed'' zipper. The tape's color matches the garment's, as does the slider's and the puller's. This kind of a zipper is common in
skirt A skirt is the lower part of a dress or a separate outer garment that covers a person from the waist downwards. At its simplest, a skirt can be a draped garment made out of a single piece of fabric (such as pareos). However, most skirts are fi ...
s and dresses. Invisible zippers are usually coil zippers. They are also seeing increased use by the military and emergency services because the appearance of a button down shirt can be maintained, while providing a quick and easy fastening system. A regular invisible zipper uses a lighter lace-like fabric on the zipper tape, instead of the common heavier woven fabric on other zippers. * Reverse coil zippers are a variation of the coil zipper. In a reverse coil zipper, the coil is on the reverse (back) side of the zipper and the slider works on the flat side of the zipper (normally the back, now the front). Unlike an invisible zipper where the coil is also on the back, the reverse coil shows stitching on the front side and the slider accommodates a variety of pulls (the invisible zipper requires a small, tear-drop pull due to the small slider attachment). Water resistant zippers are generally configured as reverse coil so that the pvc coating can cover the stitching. A rubber or PVC coated reverse zipper is called a waterproof zipper. * Metal zippers are the classic zipper type, found mostly in
jeans Jeans are a type of pants or trousers made from denim or Dungaree (fabric), dungaree cloth. Often the term "jeans" refers to a particular style of trousers, called "blue jeans", with copper-riveted pockets which were invented by Jacob W. Davis ...
and pencil cases today. The teeth are not a coil, but are individual pieces of metal molded into shape and set on the zipper tape at regular intervals. Metal zippers are made in
brass Brass is an alloy An alloy is a mixture of chemical elements of which at least one is a metal. Unlike chemical compounds with metallic bases, an alloy will retain all the properties of a metal in the resulting material, such as electrical ...
,
aluminum Aluminium (aluminum in American and Canadian English Canadian English (CanE, CE, en-CA) encompasses the Variety (linguistics), varieties of English language, English native to Canada. According to the 2016 Canadian Census, 2016 cens ...
and
nickel Nickel is a chemical element with Chemical symbol, symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel is a hard and Ductility, ductile transition metal. Pure nickel is chemically reactive bu ...
, according to the metal used for teeth making. All these zippers are basically made from flat wire. A special type of metal zipper is made from pre-formed wire, usually brass but sometimes other metals too. Only a few companies in the world have the technology. This type of pre-formed metal zippers is mainly used in high grade jeans-wear, work-wear, etc., where high strength is required and zippers need to withstand tough washing. * Plastic-molded zippers are identical to metallic zippers, except that the teeth are plastic instead of metal. Metal zippers can be painted to match the surrounding fabric; plastic zippers can be made in any color of plastic. Plastic zippers mostly use
polyacetal Polyoxymethylene (POM), also known as acetal, polyacetal, and polyformaldehyde, is an engineering thermoplastic A thermoplastic, or thermosoft plastic, is any plastic polymer material that becomes pliable or moldable at a certain elevated temp ...
resin, though other
thermoplastic polymer A thermoplastic, or thermosoft plastic, is any plastic Plastics are a wide range of synthetic polymers, synthetic or semi-synthetic materials that use polymers as a main ingredient. Their Plasticity (physics), plasticity makes it possible for ...
s are used as well, such as
polyethylene Polyethylene or polythene (abbreviated PE; IUPAC name polyethene or poly(methylene)) is the most commonly produced plastic. It is a polymer, primarily used for packaging (plastic bags, plastic films, geomembranes and containers including bott ...
. Used most popularly for pencil cases, small plastic pouches and other useful stationery. * Open-ended zippers use a ''box and pin'' mechanism to lock the two sides of the zipper into place, often in jackets. Open-ended zippers can be of any of the above described types. * Two way open-ended zippers Instead of having an insertion pin and pin box at the bottom, a two way open-ended zipper has a puller on each end of the zipper tape. Someone wearing a garment with this kind of zipper can slide up the bottom puller to accommodate more leg movement without stressing the pin and box of a one-way open-ended zipper. It is most commonly used on long coats. * Two way closed-ended zippers are closed at both ends; they are often used in
luggage Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and containers which hold a travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical Location (geography), locations. Travel can be done by Pedestrian, foot, bicycle, automobile, ...
and can have either one or two pullers on the zipper. * Magnetic zippers allow for one-handed closure and are used in sportswear.


Air and water tightness

Airtight zippers were first developed by
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the US federal government responsible for the civil List of government space agencies, space program ...
for making high-altitude
pressure suits Pressure (symbol: ''p'' or ''P'') is the force applied perpendicular to the surface of an object per unit area over which that force is distributed. Gauge pressure (also spelled ''gage'' pressure)The preferred spelling varies by country and e ...
and later
space suits A space suit or spacesuit is a garment worn to keep a human alive in the harsh environment of outer space, Vacuum (outer space), vacuum and temperature extremes. Space suits are often worn inside spacecraft as a safety precaution in case of l ...
, capable of retaining air pressure inside the suit in the
vacuum A vacuum is a space devoid of matter. The word is derived from the Latin adjective ''vacuus'' for "vacant" or "Void (astronomy), void". An approximation to such vacuum is a region with a gaseous pressure much less than atmospheric pressure. Ph ...
of space. The airtight zipper is built like a standard toothed zipper, but with a waterproof sheeting (which is made of fabric-reinforced polyethylene and is bonded to the rest of the suit) wrapped around the outside of each row of zipper teeth. When the zipper is closed, the two facing sides of the plastic sheeting are squeezed tightly against one another (between the C-shaped clips) both above and below the zipper teeth, forming a double seal. This double-mated surface is good at retaining both vacuum and pressure, but the fit must be very tight, to press the surfaces together firmly. Consequently, these zippers are typically very stiff when zipped shut and have minimal flex or stretch. They are hard to open and close because the zipper anvil must bend apart teeth that are being held under tension. They can also be derailed (and damage the sealing surfaces) if the teeth are misaligned while straining to pull the zipper shut. These zippers are very common where airtight or watertight seals are needed, such as on
scuba diving Scuba diving is a Diving mode, mode of underwater diving whereby divers use Scuba set, breathing equipment that is completely independent of a surface air supply. The name "scuba", an acronym for "Scuba set, Self-Contained Underwater Breathin ...
dry suit A dry suit or drysuit provides the wearer with environmental protection by way of thermal insulation and exclusion of water, and is worn by underwater diving, divers, boating, boaters, List of water sports, water sports enthusiasts, and others w ...
s, ocean survival suits, and
hazmat suit A hazmat suit (hazardous materials Dangerous goods, abbreviated DG, are substances that when transported are a risk to health, safety, property or the Natural environment, environment. Certain dangerous goods that pose risks even when not b ...
s. A less common water-resistant zipper is similar in construction to a standard toothed zipper, but includes a molded plastic ridge seal similar to the mating surfaces on a Ziploc bag. Such a zipper is easier to open and close than a clipped version, and the slider has a gap above the zipper teeth for separating the ridge seal. This seal is structurally weak against internal pressure, and can be separated by pressure within the sealed container pushing outward on the ridges, which simply flex and spread apart, potentially allowing air or liquid entry through the spread-open ridges. Ridge-sealed zippers are sometimes used on lower-cost surface
dry suit A dry suit or drysuit provides the wearer with environmental protection by way of thermal insulation and exclusion of water, and is worn by underwater diving, divers, boating, boaters, List of water sports, water sports enthusiasts, and others w ...
s.


Anti-slide zipper locks

Some zippers include a designed ability for the slider to hold in a steady open or closed position, resisting forces that would try to move the slider and open the zipper unexpectedly. There are two common ways this is accomplished: The zipper handle can have a short protruding pin stamped into it, which inserts between the zipper teeth through a hole on the slider, when the handle is folded down flat against the zipper teeth. This appears on some brands of trousers. The handle of the fly zipper is folded flat against the teeth when it is not in use, and the handle is held down by both slider hinge tension and the fabric flap over the fly. The slider can also have a two-piece hinge assembly attaching the handle to the slider, with the base of the hinge under spring tension and with protruding pins on the bottom that insert between the zipper teeth. To move the zipper, the handle is pulled outward against spring tension, lifting the pins out from between the teeth as the slider moves. When the handle is released the pins automatically engage between the zipper teeth again. They are called "auto-lock sliders". A three-piece version of the above uses a tiny pivoting arm held under tension inside the hinge. Pulling on the handle from any direction lifts the pivoting arm's pins out of the zipper teeth so that the slider can move.


Components

The components of a zipper are: #Top Tape Extension (the fabric part of the zipper, that extends beyond the teeth, at the top of the chain) #Top Stop (two devices affixed to the top end of a zipper, to prevent the slider from coming off the chain) #Slider (the device that moves up and down the chain to open or close the zipper) #Pull Tab or Puller (the part of the slider that is held to move the slider up or down) #Tape Width (refers to the width of the fabric on both sides of the zipper chain) #Chain or Zipper Teeth (the continuous piece that is formed when both halves of a zipper are meshed together) and Chain Width (refers to the specific gauge of the chain – common gauge sizes are #3, #5, #7, #8 and #10, the bigger the number, the wider the teeth/chain width is) #Bottom Stop (a device affixed to the bottom end of a zipper, to prevent further movement of the half of the zipper from separating) #Bottom Tape Extension (the fabric part of the zipper, that extends beyond the teeth, at the bottom of the chain) #Single Tape Width (refers to the width of the fabric on one side of the zipper chain) #Insertion Pin (a device used on a separating zipper whose function is to allow the joining of the two zipper halves) #Retainer Box or Pin Box (a device used on a separating zipper whose function is to correctly align the pin, to begin the joining of the zipper halves) #Reinforcement Film (a strip of plastic fused to each half of the zipper tape to allow a manufacturer to electronically "weld" the zipper onto the garment or item that is being manufactured, without the need of sewing or stitching)


Manufacturing

Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family (publishers), Forbes family. Published eight times a year, it features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing ...
reported in 2003 that although the zipper market in the 1960s was dominated by Talon Zipper (USA) and Optilon (Germany), Japanese manufacturer YKK grew to become the industry giant by the 1980s. YKK held 45 percent of world market share, followed by Optilon (8 percent) and Talon Zipper (7 percent). Indian Tex Corp has also emerged as a significant supplier to the apparel industry. In Europe, Cremalleras Rubi company established in 1926 in Spain, continues to compete with the big multinationals selling over 30 million zippers in 2012. In 2005, ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
'' reported that China had 80 percent of the international market. Most of its product is made in Qiaotou, Yongjia County.


U.S. Patents

File:001 Sundback zipper 1917 patent.jpg File:002_Sundback zipper 1917 patent.jpg File:003_Sundback zipper 1917 patent.jpg File:004_Sundback zipper 1917 patent.jpg File:005_Sundback zipper 1917 patent.jpg * 25 November 1851 : "Improvement in Fastening for Garments" * 29 August 1893 : "Shoe fastening" * 29 August 1893 : "Clasp Locker or Unlocker for Shoes" * 31 March 1896 : "Fastening for Shoes" * 31 March 1896 : "Clasp-Locker for Shoes" * 29 April 1913 : "Separable fastener" (Gideon Sundback) * 20 March 1917 : "Separable fastener" (Gideon Sundback) * 22 December 1936 : "Slider"


Mechanism

From , the following mechanism of the zipper improved by Gideon Sundback in 1917 is explained: The zipper is analogous in function to a
drawstring A drawstring (draw string, draw-string) is a string, cord, lace, or rope used to " draw" ( gather, or shorten) fabric or other material. Ends of a drawstring are often terminated with a sheath called an aglet. The ends may be tied to hold the ...
, but different in mechanism. A draw string works by tension in the string drawing together the eyelets of the piece together because the tension acts to straighten the string and so forces the eyelets toward a line. The zipper works by an elastic, that is, reversible, deformation of the "locking members" (teeth). The zipper teeth are shaped and sized so that the forces which act on the zipper when the garment it is sewn on is worn cannot unlock the teeth. The slider constrains the teeth positions, moves them along a given path, and acts on the teeth one-by-one in its "Y-shaped channel" and so can reversibly lock and unlock them. This is a lock and key design. In Sundback's invention the teeth are symmetric with "exterior and interior rounded surfaces" that are "elongated transversely". The teeth have a material part ("external projection") and a space ("internal recess"). The material part of one tooth is slightly smaller than the space on the other and so shaped to act as a "contractible jaw"--the jaw is elastically opened and then closed as it goes over the other tooth. The "snug fit" that results when "one member nests within the recess of an adjoining member" is a stable locked state. The maximum force when the slider operates is in between the unlocked and locked positions, giving two stable mechanical equilibria. The "snug fit" is stable not only to forces from wear that act in the same direction as those of the slider but to transverse and longitudinal (both
perpendicular In elementary geometry Geometry (; ) is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space such as the distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mathematician who works i ...
) forces. The zipper is analogous in mechanism to a
bobby pin A bobby pin (also known as a kirby grip or hair grip in the United Kingdom) is a type of hairpin, usually of metal or plastic, used in hairstyle, coiffure to hold hair in place. It is a small double-pronged hair pin or clip that slides into hair ...
, where the person's hand slides hair into and out of the pin's "contractible jaw".


In popular culture

Zippers have entered into urban legends. American folklorist Jan Brunvand noted that "The zipper has been the subject of jokes and legends since... the 1920s". Those stories reflect "modern anxieties and desires", emphasizing embarrassments and accidents, primarily involving the flies of men's trousers in stories such as "The Unzipped Stranger" and "The Unzipped Fly".


Durability and repairs

The zipper is often the least durable component in any garment or type of equipment. Most often the zipper fails to close due to a worn or bent slider not being able to apply the necessary force to the sides of the teeth to cause them to interlock. This problem can sometimes be redressed by using small
pliers Pliers are a hand tool used to hold objects firmly, possibly developed from tongs used to handle hot metal in Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of ...
to carefully squeeze the back part of the slider together a fraction of a millimeter. This can compensate for the wear of the slider. The slider is typically made as a
magnesium Magnesium is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Mg and atomic number 12. It is a shiny gray metal having a low density, low melting point and high chemical reactivity. Like the other alkaline earth metals (group ...
diecast which breaks easily. It is necessary to reduce the force on the pliers before it can be felt that the slider actually gives in. If it is not yet possible to successfully close the zipper, the pressure applied to the slider should only gradually be increased. Another way to reduce the gap of the open end of the slider is by preparing a small block of wood by sawing a slot into one end so that it fits over the upper arm of the slider. Then a hammer can be used to exact a force onto the slider by carefully hitting the wood. When the protective coating of the diecast slider has been worn off by prolonged usage, the material can corrode. The
corrosion Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable oxide. It is the gradual deterioration of materials (usually a metal) by chemical or electrochemical reaction with their environment. Corrosio ...
products are usually metal
salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in the form of a natural crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. ...
s which can accumulate and block the slider from moving. When this happens the salt can often be dissolved by submerging the slider in vinegar or another mild acid. Otherwise the slider needs to be removed and replaced.DIY Repair
COIL ZIP 2 – The slider is 'frozen' on the coil zip and can't be moved
on the webpage of Wilderness Equipment, Australia


See also

*
Funicular A funicular (, , ) is a type of cable railway system that connects points along a railway track laid on a steep grade (slope), slope. The system is characterized by two counterbalanced carriages (also called cars or trains) permanently attached ...
—A "zipper train" is a type of funicular train, sometimes called "cremallera" in Spanish * Zipper storage bag


References


Continue reading

*Petroski, Henry (1992). ''The Evolution of Useful Things''. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. . *Friedel, Robert (1996). ''Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty''. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. .


External links

*
How Zippers Work
by S. M. Blinder, the
Wolfram Demonstrations Project The Wolfram Demonstrations Project is an organized, open-source collection of small (or medium-size) interactive programs called Demonstrations, which are meant to visually and interactively represent ideas from a range of fields. It is hos ...

The History of the ZipperType of Zippers
*
Putting in a Zipper
', ca. 1962, Archives of Ontario YouTube Channel {{Authority control 1913 introductions American inventions Swedish inventions Brands that became generic Fasteners Textile closures 20th-century inventions