Over the years, ropes have gone from being pretty simply constructed items to technological works of art. The only times people now days need to worry about a rope breaking is if they are putting way more pressure on it than it is designed to take. Advances in rope technology have changed the way we do a lot of things, though whether you are using a “dyneema-ropes” winch rope, a climbing rope or are using ropes to try and position underwater pipes, one thing you can be sure of is that you have a better product now than was available twenty years ago. The following are some of the ways that ropes these days are far superior to those of days gone by.
Light and Strong
The introduction of synthetic products like Dyneema ropes has meant that the weight and strength of rope has changed drastically and most definitely for the better. Dyneema is fifteen times stronger than steel, and using a Dyneema rope can be saving you a massive amount of weight. Stronger and lighter always means more versatile, and using a synthetic “dyneema-ropes” can mean you are able to use thinner ropes that are lighter, less bulky and easier to both use and store. No longer does being prepared have to mean being seriously weighed down, so everything from your 4WD trips to your mountain climbing adventures will have you with a far lighter load with these great new synthetic rope options.
One advancement that has been making an enormous difference for rope users everywhere is the use of sheaths to protect the integrity of the rope, as well as to help avoid twisting and abrasion. Several different companies are now producing ropes this way, which essentially involves having an outer sheath protect the rope while also being securely attached to the inside layer to increase strength. This helps not only to protect the rope from deteriorating as fast, but also makes it easier to deploy and recover your rope without the issue of having it get tangled.
Not everyone wants their rope to have much give, though for those who do, the use of nylon in synthetic ropes has done wonders for the elasticity and therefore shock resistance of rope. This has been especially useful in the sport of mountain climbing, and has meant far less injuries sustained from falling while attached to rigid ropes. When you think that we used to use vines for rope back in the day, we really have come a long way.
New technology fibres like Dyneema are actually hydrophobic, so you no longer have to deal with the extra weight of a waterlogged rope. Your rope will also last considerably longer without having water infiltrate its structure, so you won’t have to be replacing your ropes anywhere near as often. Another big advantage is that being hydrophobic the ropes will actually float rather than sink, making life way easier for anyone needing to be using rope in the water.
Thomas Neal was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was a bookseller before shifting to publishing where he worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for millennials, and as a book reviewer of adult and young adult novels. He lives in New York City and is obviously a voracious reader. He has just released his debut novel and working on his second already!