Rope Devices

  1. Rope Protection 101

    Rope is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in at-height work. Whether you are using it as a lifeline or for lifting and rigging, knowing and caring for your rope can often be the difference between life and death. We’ve discussed rope inspection and the importance of caring for your rope by washing it in previous blog posts. This week, our Gear Experts® are going to break down rope protection.

    Rope Protection: Overview


     

    Rope protection is, wait for it…, the act of protecting your rope from being damaged by things like sharp edges. It is done with the use of a piece of equipment that has been specifically designed to protect rope against edges. The most common situation that creates a need for rope protection is the inability to properly anchor your rope directly overhead. In many rescue and rope access situations your rope may have to come into contact with an edge that isn’t exactly designed to be safe for rope. Whether it’s a building, beam, or rock face, that type of contact can cause unnecessary abrasion and ultimately decrease the life of your rope.

    How to Protect Your Rope


     

    There are two major types of rope protection: rope guards and mechanical rope protectors.

    Mechanical Rope Protectors

    Petzl P68 Caterpillar Rope Protector

    Mechanical rope protectors, like the Petzl P68 Caterpillar or DBI Sala 8700302 Rope Protector, are usually made from metal links with rollers in the center. The metal links are connected by smaller links that allow for flexibility over edges. The rope can move up and down on the rollers as needed providing a smooth process and preventing any damage caused by the edges. Mechanical rope protectors are more expensive than rope guards because of their metal construction.

    Rope Guard

    Sterling SafeGuard Rope ProtectorRope guards, like the Sterling SafeGuard or the PMI Supermantle Rope Protector, are much more economically friendly and lighter than their mechanical counterparts. While each rope guard is constructed a little bit differently, the basic functionality is the same. They work by covering the rope (usually with some form of canvas) and allowing the rope to slide through the guard when it needs to move up or down an edge.

    For more information on rope protection solutions, or any questions about rope, rope inspection, or proper rope care, click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Click here to check out our rope focused blog posts.

    Click here to see our full selection of rope protection solutions.

    Rope Protection: The Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    Gear Up with Gear ExpertsIf you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

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  2. Rope 201

    When it comes to working in at-height, industry, and construction, one of your most important assets is your rope. The more you know about rope, how to use it, care for it, and what options you have, the safer you can be while on the job. This week our Gear Experts® are going to dive deeper into rope and talk about knots, termination options, and rope retirement.

    We Kid You Knot


     

    Knots go almost hand in hand with rope. And while tying knots is an important skill to have when working with rope, it’s equally important to understand and recognize the effects that knots have on rope. Knots can severely decrease the overall strength of the rope – which can be extremely dangerous. The decrease in rope strength isn’t only while the knot is tied but can be a lasting effect that continues after the knot is untied. This reduction in strength is due to crimping and twisting that is often irreversible.

    Serious, or Knot


     

    So, while we’ve established that knots decrease overall strength, we haven’t talked about how much of a decrease you will see. Knots can decrease rope strength by up to 50% - a number that can be catastrophic in a life safety or overhead scenario. It’s important to note that the decrease in strength can vary depending on the rope composition and manufacturer instructions should be followed.

    Recent studies have shown that a figure 8 knot (a knot commonly used to create a looped termination at the end of a rope) causes rope to break at 75-80% of their typical strength. This decrease in MBS (minimum breaking strength) could be enough to put the capacity of the rope below required safety factors.

    While the decrease in strength and other effects on rope can be serious, knots are commonly tied in ropes to create an attachment point to secure the rope to a structure or object. There are other options available for attaching rope to a structure or object that don’t decrease the strength of a rope by anywhere near the amount that a knot does.

    Termination Options


     

    Like we mentioned above, there are plenty of options for securing rope to objects or structures without using a knot. Those options are termination plates, factory sewn or spliced eyes, and factory installed connectors.

    Termination Plates

    A termination plate is a piece of hardware, typically made from milled aluminum, which has multiple holes. Rope is fed through these holes in a specific pattern, leaving the main hole at the end of the plate as an attachment point.

    Factory Sewn or Spliced Eyes

    Many rope manufacturers offer sewn eyes for kernmantle and double braid ropes, or hand spliced terminations for 3-strand ropes. These terminations are designed to drastically reduce the stress put on the rope to minimize strength loss. They also typically include a protective thimble or abrasion resistant sleeve to further protect the rope at the stress points.

    Factory Installed Connectors

    Rope manufacturers can also include hardware connection options. For example, snaphooks with swivels are included on many lifelines to make attachment easier.

    Retire Your Rope


     

    While terminations help maintain strength and add longevity to rope, it’s still important to regularly inspect your rope and retire it if the rope is not fit for continued use. For more information about how to inspect a rope and when it is time to retire the rope, check out our Rope Inspection 101 blog post.

    Free Poster


     

    We’ve also turned this blog post into a free downloadable poster available in our Knowledge Base. The poster includes all of the information and pictures included in this blog post.

    Click here to see our selection of rope

    Click here to see our selection of termination plates

    Click here to see our selection of rope accessories

    Click here to check out our rope related blog posts

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Rope: The Playlist


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

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