A lateral arm awning is a fabric covered electro-mechanical device that owners ask to take more abuse over a longer period of time than any other item that they own. These units are out 24 hours a day/365 days a year and subjected to rain, sleet, snow, freezing, thawing, and wind. There are some good units in the marketplace, and a very few that have exceptional durability and strength. Also there are a number of units with cheap low quality construction, many with components made in the Orient. The customers’ knowledge of how their awning is constructed and the source of the components, especially the frame, is the best way to determine the quality of the product. We at Apple Annie are happy to disclose this information to every customer on every product we sell.
STRONG-ARM TACTICS: Eclipse leads the field with 600 lbs. of spring tension (on our 5′ arms) to 1800 lbs.
Proper and increased spring tension allows for the tightest fabric and increased use (when installed properly) in light rain and light wind. The arms are the heart of a retractable awning system. The strength of the arms dictates how well the unit can perform. The arms transfer tension from internal springs to the front bar creating a tight fabric and high-performance product. Unlike other systems offered today, Eclipse computer-tests each pair of arms to make sure the spring tension is perfect, thus ensuring the right strength for the right projection. Because proper arm strength is the deciding factor, this testing guarantees equalized tension, perfect fabric fit and no fabric sag.
Advanced Belt Technology (A.B.T. ®)
The longest lasting, best performing awning. Period. Most systems use exposed single or double cables and/or chains. NOT ECLIPSE! ABT® is made up of nine stainless steel cables totally sealed in a poly carbon UV resistant PVC coating. This state of the art tensioning system creates more stability at the front bar, resulting in a high performance awning. The A.B.T.® system also guarantees a long life for your awning’s arm. While cables have been tested to 5,000 cycles (a cycle is one time in and out) and chains have been tested to 8,000 cycles, the A.B.T.® system has been tested to an amazing 60,000 cycles. What this means to you is simply the best looking and best performing retractable awning available. If you live in a corrosive environment, the smooth finish of the ABT will decrease friction at the elbow and won’t allow salt or sand a place to compromise the painted finish. Each and every belt is tested to ensure strength and durability.
Injection Molded Installation Brackets and Frame Castings
The strongest possible frame in the industry. Our castings are done with an injection-molded process whereby each casting is inspected with laser technology to make sure it is within tolerance. On the rare occasion when a casting is out of specified tolerance, it is rejected and sold as scrap. All components are treated and finished with Eclipse’s unique QUAL-COAT powder coating process. The Eclipse Installation Bracket is also a state-of-the-art design: lag bolt spacing is maximized for greater fastening strength, yet the bracket remains compact to fit into tight spaces.
Computer-Controlled Qualcoat Frame Finish
The longest-lasting and most corrosion-resistant finish possible. First, a chemical-mechanical surface erosion treatment is performed on every component. This provides the perfect texture for the application of paint. Next, an antioxidant primer is applied and, finally, your frame is finished with our unique computer-controlled qualcoat powder coating process. Qualcoat requires that we randomly test our components for 1000 hours in a salt box to simulate the harshest of corrosive environments. Unlike other systems, the Eclipse retractable arms are coated after they have been assembled. This ensures that no seam or joint is unfinished and the entire arm is of uniform tone. Each component goes through a visual inspection to make sure the finish is perfect.
The Eclipse Torsion Bar
Strength and flexibility engineered in the 40mm steel square bar is the shock absorber for your retractable awning. The torsion bar flexes with the movement of the awning, and the large perimeter dimension of the torsion bar provides for a supremely strong foundation. That’s why we expand to a 50mm torsion bar on all 13′, 14’9″, and 16’6″ projections. The torsion bar is galvanized and powder coated. An aluminum torsion bar is available for ocean side installations as well.
“I” Beam Six Chamber Front Bar
This is the best-looking, best-performing awning. The front bar is, as its name suggests, located at the front of the retractable awning where the material connects to the frame. The valance is also positioned on the front and hangs off as a sort of decorative aesthetic. The front bar needs to be strong in order to make the retractable awning perform at its peak, and therefore ours has a larger perimeter for extra strength. This is often called “I factor” by engineers and other professionals in the field. The concept as it pertains to retractable awnings is similar to floor or roof construction where 2×12 boards are used (instead of 4×4) because they are stronger. Using larger front bars keeps them from bending and combines with an equally-strong roller tube to make one strong, functional and attractive awning.
Cold Rolled Galvanized Steel Roller Tube
Steel prevents bowing and fabric sag. Our high quality roller tube is made from cold rolled steel and galvanized inside and out. It has a 78mm diameter and a 1.25mm wall thickness for optimum strength. A strong roller tube works in concert with the arms and front bar for optimum fabric tightness.
Aluminum Qualcoat Powder Coated Extruded Hood
Virtually endless life vs. plastic and roll-formed hoods which will bow and sag. The optional Eclipse hood provides for year-round protection from the elements and gives the unit a finished, clean look. Our hood is made from extruded aluminum for effectiveness and sturdiness and is also powder-coated to qualcoat specifications to match the frame.
Computer-Controlled Double Needle Sewing
A perfectly square cover for the tightest, best-looking fabric. Eclipse Awning Systems uses state of the art sewing equipment designed specifically for the retractable awning industry. Trained and specialized operators make certain each cover is a perfect fit. A square cover works in concert with the frame for optimum performance. Beware of an awning sewn by any company who has not made the investment in the latest equipment and is not dedicated and committed to the retractable awning industry.
Ultra Sonic Cutting
Our ultra sonic cutting system seals each cut we make in the fabric. Cutting with ultra sound gives the same factory selvage edge as the mill applies. The sealed edge means your fabric won’t fray and/or unravel.
100% Solution-Dyed Acrylic Fabric on Each and Every Eclipse
Long life, fade resistant, and breathable acrylic fabric blocks 98% of UV and offers over 200 beautiful patterns to choose from. Plus, unlike cheap vinyl and old-fashioned cotton goods, they have no odor. Solution-dyed acrylics are warranted not to fade, rot, mold or mildew for 5 years. In fact, most awning lovers change the fabric for decorating purposes long before its useful life is over! Those who don’t can look for up to 10-15 years of function with proper care. Solution-dyed acrylic is a breathable fabric and does not trap the heat in, like vinyl fabric does. 98% UV blockage means you are safe under an acrylic, and many patterns to choose from means you can always find a beautiful pattern to match your house or décor. Unlike some laminated vinyl, acrylic does not have a pungent odor. Many unwitting awning buyers think the smell will dissipate over time, but we think they just get used to it.
Endura Gold Synthetic Thread
We sew all of our products with the finest synthetic thread available. Our synthetic thread is UV stable and far stronger than standard cotton threads. Synthetic thread is warranted to match the fabric. Beware of companies who use cotton or polyester threads.