The average person probably doesn’t know as much about rope as you may think. Although rope seems pretty simple, there is wide variation across the construction of rope. Rope has a significant impact on our daily lives in one way or another. Therefore, it’s important we know how rope is made to ensure optimal usage. We have broken down the types of rope construction variations for you below along with the attributes they have.
What Is Twisted Rope?
Twisted ropes are recognized by their spiral shape. They are typically created by taking yarn fibers and twisting them into strands. Then, these rope strands are twisted into a larger rope. Twisted ropes are used for general and specific applications, indoors and out, and are typically available in various lengths and bulk quantities.
Twisted rope is generally less expensive than braided rope and has more stretch. It is also easy to splice. Triple-strand twisted rope is the most common form of construction, and is typically used in the following fibers: Cotton, Polyester, Nylon, Polypropylene, Manila, Unmanila, VETS Mooring Lines, Kevlar, and Chenille
What Is Braided Rope?
Braided ropes are made by braiding together yarns into a tube-like braid. It is known to be more flexible and smoother to handle than twisted rope and is perfect for practically any use you may have. Some examples of these ropes are solid, diamond, hollow, kernmantle, plaited and knit braid. Below are examples of the most common types of this cordage.
Solid braid rope is a complex braid with a filler core and a lock-stitch construction. This makes it a very flexible rope, but with a solid core, it is a rope that must be clamped--it cannot be spliced.
This construction is ideal for interior design and visual displays in theaters or commercial spaces. The combination of high-grade special torque-balanced construction and a unique stabilization process produces a long-wearing rope that stays firm, round and flexible while resisting abrasion.
Diamond braid rope is the lightest utility rope and is typically created with an inner core that provides additional strength. Ravenox’s diamond braid rope, also called plain braid rope, can be made with a core and is very easy to splice when made without a core.
This feel good rope is often described as soft on your hands, yet tough and sturdy while minimizing stretch for long lifespan and durability. Diamond braid is typically made with polypropylene, nylon, or polyester fibers.
Hollow braid rope is typically constructed of 8, 12, or 16 strands. It is virtually the same as the diamond braid on the cover with no core. Hollow braid rope is typically made using polypropylene or nylon and because it does not have a core, it is easier to splice.
Double braid rope is one braided rope wrapped around a braided core which provides extra strength and durability. In order for the braid to be balanced, half of the yarn is twisted into strands in the right hand direction, also known as an "S twist." Simultaneously, half is twisted into strands in the left hand direction, know as a "Z Twist." It also features excellent shock absorption and is torque free. Double braid rope are the best ropes for splicing. They are usually constructed using nylon or polyester.
Kernmantle braid rope construction involves loosely twisting fiber bundles to keep the rope flexible yet firm. These ropes have a tightly braided mantle or sheath that encompasses a twisted parallel Kern or center core. Kernmantle assembly is best suited for functions where safety is important. Most of the strength comes from the core while the sheath provides protection from wear and damage. These ropes are typically constructed using a combination of nylon and polyester.
Plaited rope features six sets of strands that are braided while maintaining the original twist in each strand together around the core. Plaited rope is easily spliced using a standard tuck splice. This torque free braided construction prevents kinks and hackles and supports easy handling. Plaited rope is found in nylon, polyester, VECTRAN®, BOB®, TORO, SPECTRA® and PLASMA®.
Knit Braid rope is created using three knitted strands that are braided together. Polyester is used for this ropes construction since it has abrasion resistance and low stretch. Knit braid ropes have great flexibility so they will not stiffen over time and will remain strong.
There you have it! With just a three minute read, now you know more than the average person does about rope. We hope that our guide to rope construction was simplistic yet detailed enough to help you purchase your next set of ropes. Stay tuned for our take on rope fibers.