Nylon or polyester rope… which one to use?
Not so long ago ‘kernmantle‘ (core/sheath) ropes used for climbing, rope access & rescue work were all predominantly nylon. Recent fibre and rope manufacturing developments have seen significant changes not only in the way these ropes are constructed but also in what they are made of. A wide array of work and rescue ropes are now available in polyester… so why would one choose polyester over nylon?
Work and rescue ropes constructed from ‘high tenacity polyester’ or HTP offer quite different characteristics to nylon. Polyester is typically used in ‘static’ type ropes or those with minimal elongation under load. Minimal elongation is ideal for vertical mobility, load raising & lowering and high-line rigging. Polyester is typically more abrasion resistant that nylon (the fibre has a higher denier) making it more able to deal with the demands of rope access & rescue work. Polyester does not lose any strength when wet (unlike nylon which does) & is somewhat more resistant to chemicals.Nylon or Polyester… which one to use?
While there is no definitive reason why one might adopt polyester over nylon there are marked differences between the two & for work & rescue, polyester has become a solid contender to the time proven nylon rope.
To find out more about the ropes that we recommend for working at heights, technical rope rescue and rope access, visit our equipment pages.