Figure 4.2 British Standard BS EN 14704-1-2005 Determination of the elasticity of fabrics (BSi)
S (%): Elasticity of the bandage in %.
E (mm): Maximum length in mm after stretching it to its maximum extension 5 times
L (mm): Initial length of bandage in mm without being stretched
From here we see that the elasticity is measured in percentage (%). For example, using a bandage of 5 meters initially and without stretching, if after the five cycles of maximum stretching it has a length of 10 meters, the elasticity of the bandage would be 100%.
What is elongation?
When we talk about the elongation of a bandage, it is exactly the same as elasticity. Analyzing the European standard DIN 53504, this is confirmed. In fact the formula for the calculation of elongation is the same as for elasticity.
So when we talk about the elongation of a bandage or the elasticity of a bandage, we are referring to the same thing.
Extensibility of a bandage
Technically speaking, the extensibility is the property of the bandage to stretch to the point of rupture, hence its extensibility will be given by the point before that rupture occurs. But we must be careful since there is a clear difference between this and elasticity. While elasticity means the stretching and the return of the bandage to its usual position if there are no forces that stretch it, extensibility is not the same thing and only involves the maximum stretching capacity.
This is due to the fact that from the point of maximum elasticity to the point of maximum extensibility the bandage deforms and does not return to its original position even if there are no forces applied to it. If the maximum elasticity is exceeded by 10%, this is not recovered and the bandage without forces applied will have 10% more length. In other words, once the maximum point of elasticity is exceeded, extensibility begins, and it does not recover its original shape. The extensibility is measured until the fibers break.
In any case, these are technical and theoretical definitions; in everyday life, it is common to refer to elasticity, elongation and extensibility as synonyms.
No mention has been made of how to classify bandages according to their elasticity. As a simplification, since there is no consensus on the matter, a possible classification would be as follows:
- Inelastic bandages: elasticity < 10%
- Elastic bandages: elasticity >10%. Within this category we would also have:
- Short-stretch bandages: elasticity between 10% and 100%
- Long-stretch bandages: elasticity greater than 100%
However, as we have just mentioned, this is only an approximation based on the categorization made in the European standard DIN 61632 “Verbandmittel” (1985).