A few months ago we sent one of our Rigger Belts to the New Mexico State University Engineering Dept. They put our belt on a machine that pulled it apart and then measured the breaking strength. The belt was tested in two different directions. The first test was set up so that one end of the machine went through the 2″ channel behind the buckle. This is channel we leave open for the user to hook a carabiner through, rather than having a heavy steel D-ring. The other end of the machine simply went through the belt. The purpose of this test was to see how strong the channel would be while a user was clipped into it. For the second test the machine was hooked through opposite ends of the belt. The purpose of this test was to determine the overall strength of the belt. The sample belt sent was made from Type 13 webbing, a standard AL9 steel buckle, and our standardized stitch pattern. Below you will find a link to video of the the first test and several documents explaining the results. IMPORTANT NOTE: We do not claim to certify that our belts are rated for life safety. This is simply the result of an independent lab testing the breaking strength of a random production line belt. This test was done so that our customers can get an idea of how strong our belts are. Snake Eater Tactical and Seven Seas Canvas are not responsible for mishaps that occur while using our products.
The following graph shows the results of the first test. At 2768 lbs, the buckle began tearing through the first row of the box-X stitch. The stitch pattern on this belt has an initial three rows of stitching before the box-x starts. The top end of the box-X has an additional three rows of stitching for a total of 6. It took 2768 lbs of force to pull the AL9 buckle through these rows of stitching. From there it took much less force to pull it down through the 5 rows of stitches that run the length of the belt.
This next graph shows the results of the second test. This time the belt held 6655 lbs. max weight. The interesting thing about this test is that nothing actually broke or tore. At the 6655 lbs, the webbing simply began pulling back through the AL9 buckle. When it got to the end the belt, it basically skinned the velcro off. The listed rating of an AL9 buckle is 5000 lbs, so this test shows we have a 1000 lb safety margin.
The conclusion of these tests is that Snake Eater Belts are damn strong. Since this test, we have switched over to using FF nylon thread, which is considerably stronger than polyester. We have also added a 4th row of stitching near the buckle for a total of 7 rows when you include the top of the box-X stitch. In addition, we now sew 6 rows down the length of the belt for maximum strength and stiffness. Our next test will be to pull apart one of our Cobra belts. We are anxious to see how well the Cobra buckle holds up compared to the classic AL9.