SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 026/16

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In December 2015 European Standards bodies published a new specification for slide fasteners (zips): EN 16732. Based heavily on BS 3084, this new standard is updated and enhanced to give greater quality assurance to all users both domestic and commercial.

In December 2015, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) finalised the specification for slide fasteners (zips): EN 16732. The national standards bodies for the countries within the European Union now have the opportunity to publish their own national language versions of this valuable document. Previously no Europe wide specification existed and individual states published their own. However, under a mandate from the CEN, BSI was given the task of producing the specification, taking in to account existing specifications and test methods and producing this comprehensive document which has been accepted by all of the stakeholders.

This document has taken into account the following national and international standards amongst others:

  1. BS 3084:2006, Slide fasteners (zips) — Specification
  2. NF G 91-005:1984, Slide fasteners — Methods of testing — Mechanical characteristics
  3. ASTM D2061-07, Standard test methods for strength test for zippers
  4. EN ISO 7500-1, Metallic materials - Verification of static uniaxial testing machines - Part 1: Tension/compression testing machines - Verification and calibration of the force-measuring system (ISO 7500-1)
  5. ISO 2859-1, Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes — Part 1: Sampling schemes indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection

Those readers familiar with BS 3084:2006 will recognise much of the specification but will also see where improvements and additions have been made. The standard includes tables of requirements according to Performance Code as in BS 3084:2006 but with the addition of a torque test for the puller.

  • Slide fastener length measurement
  • Strength of puller attachment
  • Strength of closed-end
  • Strength of top stop
  • Strength of open-end slide fastener
  • Resistance to reciprocation
  • Lateral strength of slide fastener
  • Lateral strength of open-end attachment
  • Strength of slider locking device
  • Open-end slide fastener single stringer slider retention
  • Torque strength

This new version recognises that the resistance of the puller towards torque and the single stringer slider retention force are not dependent on the end use of the zip and so these do not have performance codes and have the same expectation regardless of end use.

Similarly, this new version recognises that colour fastness and dimensional stability are important whether the zips are sold for commercial use or singly to individual consumers and so in this version all zips are expected to perform equally in this regard whether sold to industry or to the public.

Meeting or failing to meet the performance codes and general requirements in this specification is reliant upon adhering to a sound statistical sampling based on ISO 2859-1 with acceptance/rejection levels based on lot size and AQL.

SGS Global Softlines has an extensive network of over 40 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Our internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. We help your company ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Discover more at

For enquiries, please contact:

Louann Spirito
Director Technical Support, Softlines
t: +1 973 461 7919

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