Aluminum deposits on rope

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Postby Squirrel Girl » Sep 22, 2005 2:19 pm

hank_moon wrote:Been around folks that really "freak out" if the rope gets stepped on.
OMIGOD!! :eek: :shocked: :shock:

Someone has stepped on your rope?!?!?!?! Tell me it isn't so. What a bummer. Gad, and now you've got to retire your rope. I'd be POed.

Tis a tragedy. My condolences. :cry:
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Sep 22, 2005 2:43 pm

Squirrel Girl wrote:
hank_moon wrote: Gad, and now you've got to retire your rope.

Please send it to me. As a service to the caving community, I will collect all stepped upon ropes to.... ummm.... ensure they are disposed of properly. :wink:

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Postby NZcaver » Sep 22, 2005 2:54 pm

Y'know, making a rack with magnesium bars would be fun. :kewl:

Once those particles get ground into the rope, you could spark 'er up as your third source of light. It would make good motivation for slow rope climbers too. :woohoo:

Then you could simply stomp on it to put it out, and it would be ready for the next trip. Minimum care, maximum entertainment! :D
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Postby Scott McCrea » Sep 22, 2005 3:03 pm

NZcaver wrote:Then you could simply stomp on it to put it out

:yikes: :shocked: Stomp on rope!? What are you crazy! :nyah: :rofl:
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Postby NZcaver » Sep 22, 2005 4:02 pm

:rofl: We all have to be a little crazy :nyah: to do what we do :yikes:

:twisted: --- Damn! There's no "stomping on the rope" emoticon. With a little imagination, Calvin might work... :calvin:
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Postby Adam Byrd » Sep 22, 2005 6:13 pm

Thanks for all of the info and opinions everyone!
It has always freaked me out after a rappel on a wet dirty rope to look at my rack (5 bar Petzl) and see that little pile of aluminum shavings sitting on the top 2 bars. I want to upgrade to a SS SMC, but I still have to save up for a STENLIGHT!! Ah, the joys of being a broke grad student.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jan 10, 2007 8:55 am

Cheryl Jones wrote:But what a great photo op as the flame races up the rope in a deep pit.... :kewl:
Cheryl

What new climbing records will be set as you ignite the rope while someone is climbing on it :kewl:

Video and a stop-watch will record the event!
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Postby MUD » Jan 10, 2007 9:36 am

That would work a little quicker than a :carbide: assist! :shock:
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Postby kmstill » Jan 10, 2007 9:10 pm

In my mind, stepping on rope's a no-brainer. Does it really cause significant damage compared to the unavoidable abuse of routine use - probably not. But not casually tromping on a piece of life-safety equipment (an expensive one at that!) shows a degree of respect for that equipment, and respect for the equipment likely goes hand-in-hand with other details of rope care (proper storage, protection from chemicals, thorough inspection...) consistant w/ safe caving. Besides, since my rope tops out at 200' I'm counting on buddies to set me up for the long drops, and I want to be invited back!
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Postby NZcaver » Jan 11, 2007 12:21 am

kmstill wrote:In my mind, stepping on rope's a no-brainer. Does it really cause significant damage compared to the unavoidable abuse of routine use - probably not. But not casually tromping on a piece of life-safety equipment (an expensive one at that!) shows a degree of respect for that equipment, and respect for the equipment likely goes hand-in-hand with other details of rope care (proper storage, protection from chemicals, thorough inspection...) consistant w/ safe caving.

:exactly: Couldn't agree more with you there.

But how do you feel about aluminum descenders coating the rope black, versus stainless devices that impart far less material into the rope? Do you consider aluminum bars/devices "necessary" in routine use because they are lighter and provide greater friction - or are they just another source of avoidable rope damage (and/or a cause of less desirable rope handling properties)?

Comments? :?
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Postby kmstill » Jan 11, 2007 7:28 pm

I'm not convinced it's (aluminum) a significant issue - other than the dirtying your clothes (and who wears good clothes caving?). Yes, rope dirt happens (and less with SS), but no cave rope will ever look as good as it did the day off the spool, regardless of rack type. I have aluminum bars, frankly for no real reason other than that's what I got ($$ probably had something to do with it). Will likely get SS when I need to replace them (not for a while) but don't feel motivated to throw out 6 perfectly good bars and buy new; not at least until good proof is out that SS is SAFER to the rope. To a newer, cautious caver, greater friction may be a comfort. I don't think weight can justify aluminum as a "necessity" but certainly nice. Note, these are personal opinions, not expert testimony! I'd be glad to be educated more, but from what I see, the verdict's still out - meaning there's not likely a clear choice here anyway.

How much do y'all feel that aluminum deposits affect rope handling compared to inherent rope type (pit vs easybend, #mm....)? Anyone out there feel so strongly that they wouldn't let an aluminum user on their rope? If so, why?
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Postby NZcaver » Jan 11, 2007 10:00 pm

kmstill wrote:How much do y'all feel that aluminum deposits affect rope handling compared to inherent rope type (pit vs easybend, #mm....)? Anyone out there feel so strongly that they wouldn't let an aluminum user on their rope? If so, why?

Yes - me. There are a few others out there too. :wink: Check out the earlier posts on this thread if you haven't already.

Personally, I highly doubt "aluminizing" rope will cause a significant (dangerous) reduction in strength. But I do feel it's permanently detrimental to the handling properties, and that's enough for me to prefer aluminum bar racks and figure 8's not be used on my ropes. However I'm happy using combination stainless and aluminum devices, as long as the stainless surface absorbs most of the friction and wear (like with the Petzl Stop).

Once a rope is aluminum-black, there's almost no point in cleaning it at all. It's not about making the old caving rope look new again - we all know that isn't going to happen! But once rope gets really black, even after cleaning it's still difficult to properly inspect the fibers for damage... in my humble experience.

I know plenty of cavers are happy with aluminum devices on their ropes - and that's fine. Some even consider aluminum transfer from descender to rope to clothing to be a "status stripe" (see previous posts). Whatever BS floats the boat, I guess. :roll:
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Postby kmstill » Jan 11, 2007 11:15 pm

well, to each their own....the depth, variety, and strengh of our experiences is what keeps life interesting and with all the cavers out there, it certainly keeps me on my toes and always learning - usually over a friendly beer or two. maybe one day I'll be right there with you, but for now, I just don't see that the cost-benefit ratio favors junking good gear. happy caving :wtg:
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Postby David_Campen » Jan 12, 2007 12:22 pm

On my 6-bar j-frame racks the top 3 bars are steel (hyperbar and two half-rounds) while the lower 3 bars are aluminum. This puts steel with its lower coefficient of friction in the positions where friction is the greatest and perhaps helps even things out.
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Postby knudeNoggin » Jan 12, 2007 1:12 pm

9. Sea water did not affect the strength of ropes.

10. Ropes soaked overnight in urine had their strength reduced by 30%, however, only when loaded over a sharp edge would this matter.


One should question the nature of testing before swallowing its implied
or express conclusions. Quoting from Handbook of Fibre Rope Technology,
"After drying, salt crystals are known to cause internal damage under cyclic
or flex loading." (And they present two electron microcope images of Kevlar
ropes with fibrillated fibres from salt crystals.) So, we should question of the
UIAA what the basis for assertion #9 is--e.g., testing a rope that was just soaked
and dried, but not used in any way, would not disclose the potential damage
from salt water immersion & then drying.

As for soaking in petrol, a rope maker once told me that, while petrol itself
wasn't damaging, there was no assurance about whatever additives might
be in it--YMMV, you be the guinea pig.

There is also a curious way of wording w/the UIAA evidenced in the statement
about the urine only being of importance if loaded over a sharp edge; in their
report on rope-marking pens' affect on ropes, they seemed to loss of strength
with breaking over a sharp edge in fewer drops.

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