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Synthetic winch rope

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Photoman, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    Anyone using synthetic winch rope, which one, and what do you think so far? I know Warn says NO!
    Bill
     
  2. Chris_Geiger

    Chris_Geiger

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    I have been using the Master pull cable. It's really come down in price in the past few months. You can't pull the cable over rocks but other than that they work much better than cable. They don't mind how they wrap on the drum and you don't have to worry about cable damage like with cable.

    Personally I think warn and the other winches will come around and offer the synth cables in the future. Several people have died as a result of cable breakage, I think it's just a matter of time before the legal department tells marketing it's time to change.
     
  3. Jim_Phillips

    Jim_Phillips

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    The most commonly known replacement rope is probably 'Plasma' which was origionally marketed in the US.
    In fact Plasma, Amsteel and the majority of fibre ropes suitable for wire rope replacement are manufactured from the same material: High Modulus Polyethylene (HMPE) known by the trade name of the producer: Dyneema.

    Dyneema is an extremely versatile synthetic fibre and most commonly known for its use as ballistic protection - for anything from vehicles to personal protection - it is the strongest fibre available.

    A 1mm diameter rope of Dyneema can bear up to a 240 KG (528 lbs) weight load. On the negative side it is an extremely soft fibre that is difficult to work with. To overcome this the rope manufacturers take the raw fibre and cover it with Polyurethane. As well as bonding the fibres this PU coating increases the UV protection - which is already very high for a man made fibre. It is the coating that gives the rope its waxy feel.

    There are countless variations on rope construction and each is suitable for specific purposes. For winching there are a few essential considerations.

    Abrasion Resistance:

    Winching inevitably subjects the rope to abrasion. Whether it be contact with the ground, roller fairlead or other parts of the rigging. PU coated Dyneema has excellent abrasion resistance.

    Strength

    Dyneema offers comparable (slightly higher) breaking load over the same diameter of wire rope. Because Dyneema is more flexible than wire, it wraps onto the drum more easily so an increased diameter can be used with no ill effect.

    One major advantage of fibre rope is the ability to let it wind onto the drum unevenly, cross over and bunch up - without any damage. One sure way to destroy a wire rope. However, you need to take care when rigging up. If the fibre snags, it will cut and break. Take extra care where it runs over the ground or around pulleys.

    I've heard many people comment on how much safer Dyneema is. 'It will just drop to the floor - unlike wire rope which lashes back' NOT TRUE! It is still subject to the laws of physics and will still recoil down the line of force in exactly the same way.

    Overall, to work with, my experience is that fibre rope leaves wire rope in the dark ages. To my mind, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. But, as I've already said, it must be respected, it must be looked after and it must be rigged to ensure that it can't be damaged.

    Cheers, Jim :beer:
     
  4. Junk

    Junk

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    Photo -
    I have the masterpull synth cable both on front and back. It's great as far as not having to worry how it feeds back in (although you still need to pay attention :insert own lesson here with big flipoff: ;) .

    I organized a group purchase of the masterpull for some guys that wanted it and still have 1 of 3/8x125' and 1 of 5/16x100' in bags in the garage ;) ;) - sorry, it's not the gay purple color though. :flipoff2: If you go synth, ditch the roller fairlead and get a hawse - synthetic preferred, but can use alum. Hit me up if you want any more info.
     
  5. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    I purchased mine thru rockstomper.com and love it. I run an alum fairlead right now, BUT might have poly fairleads available soon (and you help support the site!)

    IMO, GREAT stuff, and would never switch back.

    The heat issue with the drum occurs during braking situations....IE: power out only. The braking system is not in use during freespool or power-in situations, so no problems there.
     
  6. Junk

    Junk

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    Get on it Woodman :D - my marthastewart got hackered pretty bad and I need to get another one.
     
  7. upnover

    upnover

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    In many ways all of you are right about the synthetic winch line, we make our own synthetic winch lines and have found that like Jim stated "it leaves wire rope in the dark ages",  it not only is stronger than wire rope by several thousand pounds but it also only weighs 4 lbs per 100'.  And it does stand up to abuse very well unlike many people think.  We cover the first and last 5 feet of the rope in a very tough and rash resistant covering to ease the minds of many people dragging the rope over rocks or around trees, it also floats in water.  All in all this rope is very versitile and can be made to any length that you want and in many different thicknesses.  In many of the sanctioned events you are only allowed to use the synthetic rope because of safety purposes.  We also use the rope to make tow straps and spotter lines because of the overall strenth of it and the fact that it does not stretch.  So would we say that it is a good and wise purchase?  Yes.  It is safer, lighter, and easier to use.

    If any one is interested in a winch, spotter, or tow line, please contact me.

    Chris
    www.upnover.com
    610-358-3179
     
  8. Junk

    Junk

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    Maybe you should pay for an advertisement or check out the VENDOR section? :flipoff2:
     
  9. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr SILVER Star

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    It's so good to have you back Junk! :D

    It was getting a little boring around here.

    -H-
     
  10. Junk

    Junk

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    :flipoff2: hope your momma can walk soon :eek: :D :D :D Now we just need to get Tyler back.
     
  11. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    Is this stuff "Spider Wire"? Lets go fishen :D
    kurt
     
  12. Jim_Phillips

    Jim_Phillips

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    upnover

    I took a look at your website and noticed that you state:

    'If the Synthetic Winch line were to break it just drops to the ground instead of whipping back'.

    Have you had experience of this?

    I disagree with you - I'm speaking as someone that has witnessed a synthetic rope snap. True, being whipped by synthetic rope is not going to hurt nearly as bad as being cut in two by a steel cable. However, I say again, it is still subject to the laws of physics and will still recoil down the line of force in exactly the same way.

    I believe you are misleading people with your statement and perhaps you ought to suggest people take the same precautions as they would using a steel rope (especially since you live in such a litigious country)

    If you have evidence to the contary I would be pleased to hear it..

    Cheers, Jim
     
  13. Keep

    Keep

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    Jim,

    I've heard others claim the same thing about synthetics. Something to do with the storage of energies... I'm bad with physics. Perhaps someone could explain how this works?
     
  14. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    I believe that statement is one perpetuated by Amsteel and the other manufacturers of the synthetic winch lines.
     
  15. Jim_Phillips

    Jim_Phillips

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    Keep... I think it is something to do with Newton's Law - whatever that might be!

    As the steel cable is stretched, it produces and stores an extreme amount of energy. When the steel line breaks, the stored energy is released and the line recoils back to its original twist. This results in a violent spiraling recoil that can result in injury or death. On the other hand, synthetic winch lines are safer to use because they have braided, low stretch characteristics.
    That's not to say thay they don't recoil - they do. but not nearly as badly as steel rope.
     
  16. upnover

    upnover

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    My experience comes direct from the company that I purchase the rope from. We have representatives that come to the shop that have talked with us about the saftey factors of the rope that we use. The reason that it does not whip back is because when the syn. line is pulled it does not stretch at all. So being that it does not stretch it does not store any energy from having a load placed on it.

    As I stated my experience comes direct from the company and being that they have countless hours in testing the safety of this rope, I will take their word for it.

    Chris
     
  17. Junk

    Junk

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    Yo Upnrover dude - maybe you need to find a new rope company ;) ..... Some of us have a lot of experience with rope and it's charachteristics. :eek: 8) I still vote that if you're going to push product you do it ala commercial :flipoff2:
     
  18. Chris_Geiger

    Chris_Geiger

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    As a rock crawling competitor I have seen many ropes and cables fail. When cables fails they often snap back with so much energy it can and does kill people.

    When snyth rope fails it has no stored energy and does not recoil much at all. It also is not sharp like cable is, so if it touches you it won't cut. I have yet to hear of anyone to get hurt by a synth rope failing.

    When pulling with cable I get out of the way. With synth rope I don't worry about where I am in relation to the rope. You can literally be standing over rope and not get hurt if it breaks.
     
  19. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Jim:

    Just curious, have you seen a synthetic winch line fail and recoil or have you just seen a synthetic rope fail? The reason I'm wondering is that many synthetic ropes do store energy and when they fail they can recoil :'( (I'm thinking of marine tow ropes I used to use) as can synthetic recovery straps/lines that have stretch built in.

    The reason I'm asking is that I thought the new syntehtic winch lines are of a new material (hence the relative newness on the market) that doesn't have any stretch?!?

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  20. Jim_Phillips

    Jim_Phillips

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    Unfortunately all the companies selling 'Plasma' will tell you that it won't recoil. It is b*****cks, They tell you it won't store kinetic energy.... TRUE 'cos kinetic energy cannot be stored, but it does store elastic energy... and it will recoil when it breaks. All fibre and wire will have a certain amount of elasticity, approx 3%.

    I had a line break with 2 tonnes load approx, sounded like a rifle shot and recoiled to full length, I have also seen simulated breaks on training courses, the fibre line will travel further than wire. It is easier to damp the recoil as it has less mass but do not believe what you're told to the contrary.... I'll prove it to anyone if I get the opportunity.