YKK Stories

The Structure of a Zipper

July 19, 2022
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Author: YKK

Many of us use zippers in our everyday life without thinking much about just how all the parts work together. Whether it’s keeping your jeans or backpack closed or providing an airtight seal on a spacesuit, the structure of a zipper is crucial to its performance.

Let’s start with the basics. A standard zipper is made up of 8 key elements as listed in the image below.

A zipper consists of two rows of teeth on strips of tape and a slider that draws the teeth together. The slider joins or separates the elements when the zipper is opened or closed.

Various types of sliders are available depending on use.

Along with their different uses, there are also many different finishes and colors to choose from.

The teeth, also known as elements, are the parts on each side of a zipper that mesh, or engage, with each other when passed through the slider. When the left and the right-side teeth are engaged they are called a chain.

The tape is manufactured exclusively for zippers. It is usually made of polyester, but depending on use, synthetic fiber tape, vinyl tape and cotton tape are also available.

To learn more about zippers, visit our digital showroom at YKK Digital Showroom.