INTRICACIES OF ROPE
From time immemorial ropes have been an essential part of the life of man macrame cord In the past, they have had diverse uses ranging from acting as pulleys in water wells to facilitating gruesome executions. These strong and thick cords are classified according to the fiber, the construction style and the material used to suit various purposes.
There are two categories of fibers namely the natural and the synthetic. Natural fibers are mainly plant based. They can be obtained from hemp, sisal and cotton. Such ropes are environmentally friendly because they do not produce chemical byproducts during manufacture. They are strong and less prone to slipping after knotting. This makes them ideal for packaging because they provide a good and secure grip.
They are biodegradable which makes them easy to dispose. Exposure to high heat does not damage them. Unfortunately, wetness causes shrinkage which makes them difficult to work with. However, they also have a shorter life span as compared to synthetic fiber.
Synthetic fibers are manufactured in factories. They consist of nylon, polyester and polypropylene. Their long life span makes the ropes a popular choice. They are not prone to damage by mildew, water and Ultra-Violet rays which makes them a great choice for outdoor use. Moreover, they are less likely to shrink when wet. They are shock or absorbent and elastic which makes them good for towing and lifting applications.
However, synthetic fibers have a number of downsides. The key one is that they are not bio-degradable. This makes disposal a major difficulty. Slipping makes tying knots tricky. Dangerous byproducts are produced in the manufacture of synthetic ropes which makes them a hazard to the environment.
Classification of ropes according to construction style refers to the patterns in which the strands are arranged. There is the plaited style. Different sets of strands are intertwined with each other to wrap around the core. The end- product tends to be coarse to the touch. This makes it very flexible and durable. Knotting is easy.
The twisted pattern is formed by coiling together strands and ensuring that they are in the same direction. The finished product tends to be fairly inexpensive. Unfortunately, there is limited flexibility and a lot of stiffness.
The hollow design has an empty center. This makes splicing quick and easy. This produces a light rope that is easy to work with. It is an ideal option for anchor lines and ski tows. The synthetic option of this design is resistant to water damage.
Lastly, there is classification according to material. Material determines the texture of the rope. The manila material is obtained from the Abaca plant. The end product is strong and durable making it ideal for farm work and fishing nets. It is soft to the touch but gets shrunken if wet.
Nylon is a strong and durable material. It has a smooth surface and is resistant to abrasion and Ultra-Violet rays. Unfortunately, absorption of water weakens it.
In conclusion, in order to acquire a good type of rope, the quality of material and pattern used should be major areas of focus.