9/11/2012 2:30:00 PM

Top marks for LifeNet® in tests on strength and durability

A long-lasting insecticide treated net (LLIN) that provides effective and durable protection against malaria must be tough enough to withstand the stresses of everyday use. Many traditional nets, made of polyester or polyethylene, lack physical strength over time and that leads to tearing and the formation of holes. The new Bayer LifeNet is the first LLIN to offer the mechanical strength of polypropylene, featuring a strong multifilament construction that means it is highly tear resistant but still soft to the touch.
The World Health Organization’s Recommended Guidelines for LLINs include two tests assessing their physical characteristics. The bursting strength test evaluates how well a knitted fabric resists tearing as it is subjected to in a three dimensional push. The second test, known as the dimensional stability test assesses shrinking or stretching of the net after washing, which may weaken the fabric. LifeNet outperformed polyester and polyethylene nets in both of these tests, as well as in a series of additional tests commissioned by Bayer. These included the dynamic nail test, which simulates a sudden strong pull against a piece of the net fabric, in a similar way to the force applied to a net when it is pulled suddenly against an object such as a splinter on a bed frame.

Putting theory into practice
As well as showing superior strength and resistance in the laboratory, LifeNet was recently put to the test with distributors at a meeting organized by Bayer in the Tanzania. In addition to all stakeholders being impressed by the soft feel of LifeNet, one delegate from Zambia, Florence Chivembe, tried to pull a LifeNet apart. Ms. Chivembe warned that she was a member of the African Champions - Zambia won the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament earlier this year – but despite her credentials, the net resisted all her efforts to tear it. Not even the seams gave way to her powerful pulling and pounding! Quite clearly, LifeNet may be soft, but it is also very strong.