What Type of Ropes are Available?
The Cordage Institute has been in existence since 1920 and is an international association dedicated to the dissemination of information to industry regarding rope, cord and twine products. When it comes to rope access & rescue, rope is of course what makes it all work & typically we talk about using either Nylon or Polyester ‘kernmantle’ type rope. Have you ever wondered just what these terms actually mean…? Below are the definitions (shown in inverted commas) from The Cordage Institute’s website.
Kernmantle Rope:“A rope design consisting of two elements: an interior core (kern) and an outer sheath (mantle). The core supports the major portion of the load; and may be of parallel strands, braided strands or braided. The sheath serves primarily to protect the core and also supports a portion of the load. There are three types: static, low stretch and dynamic. (CI-1801, 2005)”
Both nylon and polyester ropes, as used for rope access and rescue, are kernmantle ropes.
Nylon(PA) Rope:“A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance (polyamide) is characterized by recurring amide groups as an integral part of the polymer chain. The two principal types of nylon fiber used in rope production are type 66 and type 6. The number six in the type designation is indicative of the number of carbon atoms contained in the reactants for the polymerization reaction. (CI-1201, 1303, 1306, 1310, 1312, 1321,1601, 2003)”
Nylon ropes are generally available as either static, low stretch or dynamic.
Polyester(PET) Rope:“A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance (polyester) is characterized by a long chain polymer having 85% by weight of an ester of a substituted aromatic carboxylic acid. The most frequently used acid is terephthalic acid in the presence of ethylene glycol. (CI-1201, 1302A, 1302B, 1304, 1305, 1307, 1311, 1322, 2003, 2009)”
Polyester ropes are generally only available as a static type rope.