Our patio awnings feature between 2 – 6 (depending on model & width) folding arms each containing 2 heavy-duty double coiled internal springs. These springs are stretched (put under tension) when they are folded back and therefore want to push the patio awning open so they can return to their natural (un-stretched) positions. This is what extends the patio awning when operated and what ensures the fabric stays taut at every position.
There are two key ways to tension the springs within a folding arm, via either a chain (similar to a bike) or tear-resistant stainless steel cables. Whilst both methods of tensioning the springs can put the same tension on the fabric, there is one big difference – the weakest link.
In cable tensioned folding arms, the tension the springs create is spread throughout the entire length of the intertwined stainless steel cable, with the cable directly connecting and looping around the end of the spring, returning back on itself.
On a chain-tensioned arm, the tension the springs create is put on the links between each section of the chain, with the highest pressure on the first link, meaning the arm is only as good as the weakest link.
All our patio awnings feature cable tensioned arms using between 2-4no. heavy duty tear-resistant stainless cables for optimum tension, which are sheathed, so if the patio awning is used only part open they are visually pleasing to the eye.