Hey Brasscap...I know this is real late (I have got to get out of the office more often), but to respond to all these great comments-
1. Regarding UV protection, polyester is, by far, the best material for UV protection. It is also best for chemicals. Abrasion resistance still excels in polyester, but you have to compare apples and apples. That is, thick nylon can seem to have better abrasion resistance because it takes longer to get through the thicker material. The rate of abrasion is still higher in nylon or polypro than it is in polyester.
2. Fraying at the cut end-trailer use is the absolute hardest on any strap. We don't iron our straps due to the labor involved (sorry). We do cut all our straps with hot cutters. You can reinforce that with a quick touch up with a BIC lighter (good to have even if you don't smoke).
3. We have 2 styles of our polyester. The first is our utility style. This is the style recommended for cam straps as it grips in the buckle better. Our PQ style is an extremely tight weave and a smooth finish. The graphics really "pop" on this material, but it is better used in your belts, duffel bag straps, suspenders, etc. If you use our PQ in cam straps, it is advised to further set the cam lever once the strap is tightened. You would do that by reaching under the cam lever and lifting up to get the teeth more solidly set against the webbing.
4. Powdercoating-after experimenting for several years, the fact remains that powdercoating buckles is not the best way to go. Despite our efforts, it is difficult to keep the powder out of the cams teeth. When the teeth get powder baked on, they get really slippery. We do offer factory plated black buckles that grip just fine. Other colors should probably be avoided. Keep the creativity limited to the webbing.
5. Regarding chemical resistance-it is our experience that chlorine has a very bad effect on polypropylene webbing. If you use chlorine in the kitchen, or if you use your boating straps at home around a pool or hot tub, you are likely to see the webbing turn to powder over time. This doesn't happen with polyester.
6. Nylon is the worst material to select for straps. Debates on nylon vs polypro have been going on since the 80's. Nylon is more expensive, so I have no financial incentive to knock the material. Here are a few FACTS...Nylon fades and bleeds. Your straps will look beat in a very short time. Nylon has the least UV resistance, unless that material has been specially ordered with extra treatment. Nylon absorbs moisture, so it rots and mildews if not properly stored. Nylon stretches. When you tighten a nylon strap on a trailer, it's not just pressure changes that will affect the straps being tight. Cold or wet conditions will cause the webbing to stretch and an otherwise tightened strap can loosen up considerably.
7. Polypro and polyester are both great choices for rafting/kayaking straps. Polyester can be custom printed in a permanent process that does not fade or bleed. Polyester is stronger, but the strap strength is determined by the weakest point and that is usually the buckle. Polyester has better chemical resistance.
Thanks for the opportunity to provide some input. I'll try to stay a lot more current. I welcome personal e-mails if you have questions not suitable for the forum or if you want to design your own custom straps.
Tom Foster (the strapman is in)