Chapter 3


Hardware, as defined in the context of parachutes, is “all metal parts associated with parachutes, their systems, and their suspended loads.” Most riggers identify hardware as the snaps, adapters, rings, links, and releases commonly used on harnesses. In addition to these components, other hardware includes items such as lightweight links and snaps, ripcords and handles, stiffeners, grommets, springs, and snap fasteners. [Figures 3-44 through 3-78]


















Most load bearing hardware consists of drop forged alloy steel, sheet alloy steel, or forged aluminum alloy. Lightweight hardware may be stamped from the sheet alloy steel, or in rare instances, cast. The majority of the load bearing hardware is forged carbon steel with either cadmium or zinc plating.

In recent years, there has been a movement to produce newer design hardware of stainless steel. This removes the problem of plating and the environmental problems associated with it. However, stainless is harder on the forging dies and the finishing processes take longer. Consequently, stainless hardware is generally more expensive than carbon steel.

All specification hardware has the appropriate number stamped or marked on it. The MS prefix is on those with the MIL-SPEC certification. All with the newer PIA certification have the mark with the PS (Parachute Standards) prefix. [Figure 3-43] Most of the current hardware has the mark with the MS prefix. As current stocks deplete, the mark on new production is with the PS prefix.

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