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Rope Abrasion (Durability & Wear) Resistance Test

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by jsb4g, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. jsb4g

    jsb4g

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  2. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Hiding the brand names kind of defeats the usefulness of the study. Can anyone interpret?
  3. jsb4g

    jsb4g

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    My guestimate by ranking number on a few:

    1. CE4Y Thickline
    2. CE4Y Pickline
    3. Sterling C-IV
    4. BW Canyon Pro DS
    5. CE4Y Sickline
    6. Imlay Canyonero
    7. Imlay Canyon Fire
    8. Sterling Canyon Lux
    9. Bluewater Canyon DS
    10. BW Canyon Pro
    11. Sterling Canyon Prime
    12. Sterling HTP

    I don't think Canyon Extreme is listed. Note the role diameter plays.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
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  4. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Interesting bit of research.
    It appears this gentleman is making canyon ropes with sheaths woven from combinations of dyneema/aramid and
    dyneema/poly. I am very curious to know the type of dyneema.
    Seems like the fiber might be on the slippery side for a rope sheath?
  5. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I can't imagine needing a rope more durable than Canyonero, but if you could get me the same durability in a thinner rope that'd be great.
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  6. jsb4g

    jsb4g

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    The technora sheeth ropes would qualify, but they cost a good bit more.
  7. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    Have over 100 descents on a 65m BYCE; zero coreshots, and still not a wire. Brand new, it was paired with an Atwood bag; both are about the same - definite signs of abuse, but far far from retirement.

    The kevlar sheaths are difficult to cut, even when you are trying to cut them. Had to cut off a bit of hollow sheath (few inches), took 20+ seconds with a stanley knife on concrete.

    Expensive, but worth it. ^_^
  8. jsb4g

    jsb4g

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    Ive never heard of BYCE, but Ive read kevlar absorbs water more than technora and technora has improved fatigue resistance.
  9. pyle762

    pyle762

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    I think it is a typo

    BWCE Bluewater Canyon Extreme
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  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    It would be easier to note the role diameter plays if you included diameter in your post. Jus' Sayin'...
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  11. jsb4g

    jsb4g

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    Not for me. But I do like me some spreadsheets...But to anyone curious that didnt read the article at all, the diameter is in the spreadsheet created by the author and can be found by clicking the link in the original post.
  12. Disruptive_Rescue

    Disruptive_Rescue

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    Hey All - great post...the article and the follow on discussion brings up some interesting points. But before I ramble...
    DISCLAIMER / DISCLOSURE: The testing, evaluation, and rope/gear development that I have been a part of has been focused on the operational requirements for organizations within the special operations community...although much of the "environmental pathology" is similar in some aspects to canyoneering, some of the pathology extends deeper down the threat pathway - which probably effects the choice of technique more but some of the technique selection drives the key performance parameters (KPP)'s of the rope design. The timing for this post is great because I just finished (2 weeks ago) a year long development of a new 8mm rope for a few vertical teams in SOCOM, and abrasion / cut resistance was of high priority. This is the 7th rope I have had the opportunity to design from the ground up and undoubtedly the most difficult due to using a relatively new fiber in the core. With all of that being said, my focus and knowledge is very context specific to the audience we work & consult for, I will absolutely defer to many in this group and specifically to Tom for his engineering, academic, and full-spectrum canyoneering experience.

    Rope construction take-home points: Like everything we do in the vertical realm, rope construction encompasses nonlinear behavior. The principles of reductionism / superposition don't adapt well due to all of the processes (fiber elongation, cyclic flex fatigue, coefficient of friction, manufacturing techniques - single vs double bobbin, core braid, etc) are all interdependent. If you change one variable input slightly - it can have disproportionate huge output...similar to changing one of the exponents (angle and coefficient of friction) in the capstan / belt friction equation. Also, due to it being innately nonlinear it's design topography and certain performance properties follow power-law / inverse power-law framework vs. Gaussian framework...but when listing its characteristics we have to use a Gaussian framework. I am not anti-Gaussian by any means, but some performance parameters don't linearize well or tell the full story...even those that do, like MBS have been compromised in the past. After being involved in rope development for awhile I was disheartened to hear stories about how some manufacturers find loopholes to "tweak" their numbers. If looking at CI1800 & CI1801...or NFPA 1983 (which typically defers to cordage institute) - the length of rope samples for testing is given as a minimum or "at least" IE 30 inches between terminations and then gives a pull rate speed between 1.5" - 6" per minute... so apparently back in the day (?) when more ropes were made with nylon - larger (longer) hydraulic machines were used - to get enough rope in it to engage it's elongation properties - and adjust the speed of pull slower to get the preferred MBS to surpass a competitor - but due to the required 3-sigma, they had to have good QC or the standard deviations would drop their numbers...This is kind of crazy considering most of these companies have to use 3rd part testing. This was obviously used as a marketing tool, hopefully most practitioners now realize that there are many other properties more important / critical than MBS (as recently seen with cyclic flex fatigue in 100% aramid ropes) - this is one example, definitely not even close to some of the other shenanigans utilized through the years and even recently concerning a few large rope manufacturers...

    Okay, my adderall is kicking in, so back to abrasion / cut resistance...lots of variables, which in many cases are context specific to the environment you are operating in...sandstone, granite, urban (brick, concrete, metal, broken glass), limestone, etc. To address some comments, Aramids (technora, twaron, kevlar k-29 / AP, are very similar to one another when comparing fatigue & water absorption - the difference folks may be seeing with water absorption could simply be due to the braiding technique. All aramids are hydrophilic - so much so that many automotive shops utilize technora or kevlar mops to clean up oil. All aramids contain amide links which are hydrophilic but not all aramid products absorb moisture the same but this usually concerns organic solvents, salt, acids, etc. There are coatings some manufacturers use, but braiding patterns also can make a difference - IE, any braiding technique which decreases natural voids - like using a double bobbin with a higher tension. As far as aramid flex fatigue - the issue appears to really be with 12-braid cores, typically seen in firefighter bail out ropes. It was discovered early when 12-braid aramids were being utilized in parachute risers and appeared to be eating themselves - multiple studies have been done comparing technora / technora, technora/nylon, and technora hollow block ropes...the worst concerning strength deterioration was the technora / technora w/ the 12-braid core. Many of these studies can be found on ITRS. Technora, although expensive still is great in the sheath to either protect another fiber in core from heat or abrasion resistance.

    When looking at the Imlay series - Canyonero & Fire and the abrasion resistance, it is just a well designed rope. It utilizes polyester - much more static than nylon...so as you're descending...whether altering speeds or periodically offsetting weight with your feet against a wall - less bounce/rope movement over nasty edges. I have used them both on quite a few trips and think they are great, but don't have one in front of me, but when looking at the pics it looks like the the sheath is manufactured using a double bobbin...if not, it is definitely a higher tensioned full rope - which lends itself to better abrasion resistance especially when utilizing any cams with teeth. Think about a loosely woven sweater compared to a tighter weave - small things can pick at it...in ropes this can be hard edges, rock "grit", or teeth on a tibloc... the tighter weave produces a lower profile, some call it "slick" in feel but what you gain in abrasion is significant. Also Sheath percentage plays a big role - especially when combined with sheath braid technique - those 2 items are exponential...or contain an order of magnitude. I believe the Canyonero has a 60% sheath%. Concerning the double bobbin or double braid, they take the same amount of fiber (sometime a little more) and separate it into 2 bobbins. When looking closely, you can usually see the 2 fiber bundles side-by-side...See Pics of Imlay Canyonero & 8mm Canyon ..looks like a double bobbin or something more "voodoo" than I can appreciate, I am a product of southern education. Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.10.43 AM. Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.26.26 AM. Another 2nd order effect of the Imlay ropes and how well it handles abrasion is the polyester - I cant remember the exact % but Polyester is somewhere around 65-ish% more hydrophobic than nylon, so by polyester not swelling & absorbing the water...which can contain micro sediment (sandstone, salt, etc) which then gets trapped in the fibers and braids...then dries...then the rope bends over your DCD, edges, etc...and internally abrades - less likely to occur with the Polyester sheath and core...

    So the "Abrasion Test" Article author brought up some good awareness of fiber properties, specifically towards EN certification and many good properties of canyoneering ropes (very low elongation) can't be certified due to the EN requirement for elongation (unless it's a small diameter)...and the author also acknowledged that this was just his test and many properties weren't quantified in his test...which I applaud because the perfect abrasion test for everyone will never exist due to all the potential variables and their specific interactions in the very diverse environments in which canyoneering is practiced. Obviously this goes back to not meeting the Gaussian framework (due to the amount of variables) - we can look at one at a time and get an acceptable P-value - but can't get an accurate picture of multiple variables interacting...similar to evidence-based medicine (EBM) - which begins to fall apart with co-morbidities, due to the unpredictable disease behavioral interactions.

    Sorry for the length of post... but it is now almost 3 am EST and I can go watch the new Marvel Loki show with my daughter which is available in 11 minutes...I promise (maybe) not to post again for another year...
  13. jsb4g

    jsb4g

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    Hello DR, thank you for your post. Please dont disappear for a year. I had a couple of observations relating to your points.

    First, regarding rope stretch: ive noticed the CIV stretches a ton, presumably because of the polypro core. It almost feels dynamic. Ive also observed significant sawing action on edges due to this stretch. My BW Canyon Extreme with dyneema core/technora sheath and my imlay canyon fire are very low stretch by comparison. I am unable to feel a difference between them. So while technora may have some stretch, I think the dyneema core keeps the rope static. The manufacturer elongation specs are consistent with this observation.

    Second, regarding water retention, I agree some of it has to do with braid. For sailing applications ( I also sail), water retention on rope (always called "line" in sailing) is also undesirable. Many manufacturers have different models of polyester ropes with some being more hydrophobic than others. Still, as you jave noted, fiber matters as well. An an example, Ive never seen a dyneema or spectra rope hold an appreciable amount of water. This brings me to aramids. While I agree that uncoated kevlar is hydrophilic, I disagree that technora is hydrophilic in the same sense that kevlar is. After soaking 100 ft Inlay Canyon Fire in water and 100ft of Bluewater Canyon Extreme for 10 minutes, the Canyon Extreme still seems to weigh less than the Canyon Fire. I will conduct this test in the coming days and post the results with corresponding wet and dry weights here.

    I wish the author would have tested Canyon Extreme, but Imlay Canyon fire remains the most cost effective option of the 8mm-ish ropes by a healthy margin. But durability is obviously only one aspect of a rope (for longer ropes in particular, weight is the other biggie for me), so I am sure the debate will continue....
  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Thanks Disruptive, for an amazing and detailed post. Just to clear up a few details:

    The Imlay Rope 'breakthrough' was to recognize that MBS is essentially meaningless for canyon ropes past an acceptable conservative level like 4000 lbs. So the core need not be fat - how much sheath can we pack onto that 4000 lb core? In order to do so we use a coarse sheath construction 8 x 8, 1 over 1. So no double bobbin. I know it looks like 2 over 2 - that is just an effect of the lighting.

    Canyon Fire worked well in the sheath heavy - and the most they could put on it = 56% sheath, 44% core. Canyonero was a bit less successful, and came out to 52%/48%. I learned that in the core and in the sheath, the thread bundles are available in steps. They tried the Canyonero with the next step up in sheath bundles, and it was just too loose on the core.

    Matthias is working on a new CE Standard for Canyoneering ropes. I think he mentions that the standard for static ropes comes from the Rope Access industry, where some degree of fall-catching ability is useful. Some Europeans have become fond of my ropes for their true-static nature.

    Tom
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  15. Disruptive_Rescue

    Disruptive_Rescue

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    You have designed some great "mindful" ropes - extremely durable, great feel, great fullness (maintains great efficiency in pulleys for rescue), and economical! When I first used your ropes and was evaluating durability I didn't know if I should be pissed at myself or applaud you for its resistance to my attempts to input/elicit "natural" environmental damage. Agree completely with your approach towards MBS...Large MBS numbers have become almost a false sense of security or maybe even a comparison to Linus's security blanket...but the surprising strength deterioration of 100% aramid ropes have opened some peoples eyes...acknowledging that it's huge MBS exists until you start using and bending it...keeping in mind the deterioration found in all of the research / studies is only evaluating the bending around a DCD and doesn't account for the harsher bends over edges...
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  16. qedcook

    qedcook

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    Helps me appreciate all the hard work that went into making the Imlay series - Canyonero & Fire ropes. IMHO there are no better ropes for canyoneering. Nothing even comes close.
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  17. Disruptive_Rescue

    Disruptive_Rescue

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    jsb4g - Will write down some ideas I have with your response - should be home in a few hours...you brought up some great points that illustrate some lessons I learned through the school of hard knocks...
  18. jsb4g

    jsb4g

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    To put some numbers to the water absorption aspect to DR's post, I offer the following. I had a few minutes of time today and two of my ropes needed cleaning anyway. I soaked and agitated a 105 foot canyon fire and a 110 foot canyon extreme in cool water for 10 minutes. Here are the weights of each rope:

    A.) At 5 minutes after removing from the water:

    - Canyon Extreme= 4.42 pounds
    - Canyon Fire= 5.05 pounds

    B.) At 60 minutes after removing from the water:

    - Canyon Extreme= 4.35 pounds
    - Canyon Fire= 4.97 pounds

    C.) Extrapolating for a hypothetical 200' rope of each brand 5 minutes after removal:

    -Canyon Extreme= 8.03 pounds
    -Canyon Fire= 9.62 pounds

    D.) Dry Specs from Rope Wiki for 200' (I think same as from BW and Tom/Imlay):
    - Canyon Extreme= 5.6 pounds
    - Canyon Fire= 7.7 pounds

    Conclusion: For a 200' strand 5 minutes after removal, Canyon Extreme holds 2.43 pounds of water (or 1.1 liters). Canyon Fire holds 1.92 pounds of water (or .87 liters). Sheeth mass for Canyon Extreme is 58%, and the dyneema core absorbs very, very little water. Comparing technora to polyester based on these results would have to account for the difference in water absorption between the technora sheeth and dyneema core. Regardless, the important metric to me is not water absorption in the sheeth per se, but rather dry and weight weight, and a particular fiber's water absorption properties are just one factor with weight in double braid rope.
  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Nice information thanks. I assume both ropes were moderately used. Not new, not close to death.

    Double-braid? nope. Kern-mantle. Neither rope has a braided interior. BW uses several twisted strands. Imlay used a straight bundle of fibers.

    Tom
  20. jsb4g

    jsb4g

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    Yeah. Both ropes solidly middle aged, like their owner.
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