By H. A. McKenna, J.W.S. Hearle, N. O'Hear
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Extra resources for Handbook of Fiber Rope Technology
New catalysts in the 1950s, avoided chain branching and the product is known as high-density polyethylene; this is the form used in commodity PE ropes. There are premium grades of polymer known as UHMWPE, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, used in higher-performance plastics and in the HMPE or HPPE fibres described later. The other polyolefin used in ropes is polypropylene, PP, [–CH2–CH(CH3)–]n. This differs from PE in having a –CH3 side-group attached to alternate main-chain carbon atoms.
36 A fatal rope-break following the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. Whymper and the guide, Taugwalder, were joined by a large rope, but the connection to Lord Francis Douglas and three others was by a sash cord, which broke. Four climbers died. From Scrambles Amongst the Alps by Whymper, 1871. Fig. 37 A controlled rope-break – Highland Fabricators float-out ropes. Polyester superline ropes hold platform against quayside until tugs are ready to pull out. Then the ropes are blown apart by explosive charges.
Rope An article of cordage, more than approximately 4 mm in diameter, obtained when: (i) three or more strands are laid (see lay 3) or plaited (see braiding) together; or (ii) a core is covered by a braided or plastic film sheath. Types of rope are: braided rope; sennit rope; sinnet rope A rope formed by braiding or plaiting the strands together. cable laid rope A rope formed by three or more ropes twisted to form a helix around the same central axis. The ropes that become the secondary strands are ‘S’ lay and the finished cable is ‘Z’ lay, or vice versa.