What do the numbers in the material specifications for tent poles mean?
The aluminium alloys used to make our tent poles are characterised by their high break resistance and flexibility at a low weight.
Numbers such as "7001" refer to the composition of the alloy (i.e. the type of alloy and which other metals are added). “7001” aluminium means the alloy is composed of 87% aluminium, 2.1% copper, 0.25% chrome, 7.3% zinc and 3% magnesium.
The "T6", "T9" and "T10" designations indicate the type of heat and/or artificial ageing treatment of the poles. This treatment alters the structure of the alloy at a molecular level in order to achieve specific mechanical values (high flexibility combined with good resilience).
Important: the heat treatment and type of alloy must be perfectly coordinated. Both values together determine the most important parameters for tensile strength, yield strength and elasticity. It is therefore not possible to say that “T9” is better than “T6” or vice versa! Although T6 does not represent the highest grade of toughness, it is significantly more flexible and therefore less prone to breaking.