Ropes and Tackle (continued)
Do not let synthetic rope touch very hot surfaces, which will melt the fibres.
Do not store synthetic rope in direct sunlight, which can damage the fibres.
Synthetic ropes are stronger and last longer than natural fibre ropes. However, they are not suitable for some jobs. Synthetic rope should never be thrown over the side, and should be used with caution on a winch drum.
There are many different types of synthetic rope.
Nylon ropes are very strong and elastic. They can withstand shock loads that would break other fibres, but if they do break, the "snapback" can be dangerous. They resist weather and abrasion.
Dacron is second to nylon in elasticity, and it withstands abrasion very well. It will stretch only half as much as nylon under heavy loads.
Polyester ropes are slightly less strong than nylon or dacron, but they resist sunlight better.
Polypropylene ropes are the lightest kind of synthetic rope. They are reasonably strong, but deteriorate with sunlight. They should not be used with lifesaving devices.
Polyethylene ropes are not quite as strong as polypropylene ropes, but they float, which is an advantage for some jobs.
- Blends of nylon, dacron, polypropylene and new fibres such as kevlar and mylar have the advantages of all these different fibres. Blended fibre ropes are being used more frequently, especially for rigging trawl nets.
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