Rope, composed of fibers twisted together to make strands, is a highly versatile cordage, has been in use since pre-history. They serve a variety of industries all over the world, but they’re especially useful to rigging, safety, arborist, construction, manufacturing, recreation, hobby, defense contracting and sporting goods industries.
Rope suppliers craft rope from a variety of different synthetic and natural fibers. Examples of synthetic rope fibers include: nylon, polyethylene, polyester, polypropylene, Kevlar and the like, and examples of natural fibers include: sisal, jute, manila, linen, cotton. Ropes are woven or twisted cordage varieties that have been used as hauling, suspension, watercraft mooring line and in many other capacities.
Fiber variety like this allows rope suppliers to make ropes that fit many different application requirements related to stretch, resilience and chemical and exposure resistance. Nylon rope offers high elasticity, good shock absorption, strength and longevity. In addition, it is resistant to damage from the sun, chemicals and abrasive action. For these reasons, it’s quite popular with applications related to lifting and towing. In contrast, polyester rope is less elastic, less shock absorbent and has a shorter lifespan than nylon rope, but since it has a superior resistance to chemical damage, weathering and abrasion, it is one of the most commonly used ropes in the boating industry. Read More…
Polypropylene stands alone as the only synthetic rope variety that floats, and is therefore used widely in watersports, light watercraft mooring and in pools. However, it cannot be used for more heavy-duty tasks because it has the lowest melting point and UV resistance of all rope types. In the world of natural fibers, sisal rope, a medium-strength rope made from agave fibers, is used for gardening, bundling and other knot-holding related applications.
Manila rope, made from abaca leaf fibers, is much stronger than sisal rope. Because it is hard, resistant to sunlight, stretches minimally and does not melt, it is very popular in construction. It’s also very resistant to saltwater, which lends it to some marine tasks. Cotton rope is weaker than most other ropes, both natural and synthetic. However, it is soft, pliable and easy to handle, making it perfect for small and light-duty applications.
Rope suppliers manufacturer some speciality ropes that are application-specific, rather than fiber specific, such as twine, marine rope and elastic cord. Twine is a thin, twisted rope usually made from natural fibers like linen or cotton. Twine is commonly found around the house as clothesline or package typing rope and at butcher shops, where it is used to tie stuffed poultry together. It may also be used to make sporting goods like basketball nets. Marine rope is used for water, most often saltwater, related applications, like docking, boating and pontooning. Marine rope must be made from material that stands up against salt, water and other elements, like nylon. Finally, elastic cord is made for applications that need to be able to stretch. It can stretch up to 125% of its original length. Its multi-strand rubber core is covered in braided cotton or synthetic fibers like nylon or plastic.
There are two main types of rope construction: braiding and twisting. Though historically twisting has been the most common form of rope construction, over time, braiding has risen to the top spot. This popularity is due to its ability to stay true to its form, rather than spin or untwist, while holding a load. Rope may be braided using one of four styles: diamond with cores, hollow diamond and solid braid. A diamond braid core is solid material positioned in rope’s center, underneath its braid, that increases strength.
Hollow diamond braids do not have this core, but are rather manufactured simply through the weaving of strands over and under each other. Solid braided rope has a tightly woven lock-stitched construction that resists unraveling, even when cut. Finally, double braided ropes have both a braided rope and core. They are the strongest and most expensive braided rope available.
Note that neither solid braid nor diamond braid cores can be spliced. The second rope construction method, twisting, involves coiling, or twisting, three-plus strands tightly in the same direction, using strand fibers that are twisted in the opposite direction. Counter-twisting is healthful, reinforcing strength and creating a balanced rope that with hold together without kinking. After the strands are twisted, rope suppliers fuse each rope end to deter unraveling.
To make sure a rope lasts and maintains both its usefulness and its safety, users must treat it with proper care and store it properly. Care for your rope, and it will prove itself time and time again.