Zipper’s Sturcture and Working Principles

How do zippers realize their closure and opening?

Zipper is a kind of fastener composed of tape, teeth, slider and puller, functional accessories, etc. However, there are subtle differences between different zippers. For instance, nylon zipper tape are normal and teeth are attached by sewing, while the inner edge of tape for plastic zipper and metal zipper has additional cord so that teeth can bite the tape tightly.

The main advantage of zippers lies in their convenient closure and opening function. What is more, the closed zippers can still keep the meshing stability under certain external force, which stems from the special concave-convex structure of zipper teeth.plastic zipper

When zippers are meshed correctly under the guide of external force, gaps of teeth of each side will be full filled with the opposite side teeth, forming a completely enclosed condition. Furthermore, the enclosed condition is stable enough, hence the teeth will not detach from each other automatically. Only when we open zippers by a slider manually can the locked teeth separate from each other.

Therefore, it is a slider that plays an important role in closing and separating zippers. The inner cavity of a slider has a big top and a small bottom, which looks like the letter Y. When zipper teeth penetrate the slider, the upper part is big enough to let teeth pass through easily. Then, the inner cavity is smaller and smaller to squeeze teeth and finally combine them together. Conversely, when opening zippers, the parting angle of the slider can separate meshed teeth.zipper slider

In general, the key to the closure and separation of zippers lies in the coordination between zipper teeth and the slider, that is, the coordination between teeth size and slider shape, which is also regraded as the size accuracy requirement to be controlled in zipper manufacturing process.

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