"Smart Rope"

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"Smart Rope"

Postby Wayne Harrison » Sep 22, 2005 9:27 am

Group from MIT invents something cool -- rope that can tell you when it's fraying...

http://wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,68871,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Sep 25, 2005 1:55 pm

Heh, cute idea.
Now lets take that rope (and the electronics) and put it in real-world caving applications... wet, muddy, high tension with tandem climbers in a deep pit and see how well it all holds up.
I'm guessing the rope will probably hold up... but the electronics might fizz out in the first couple 100 feet.
Thing is it said
The rope, which can be cut and generally used like normal rope, has a display out the end that tells how much load it's carrying and even how frayed it is.
so...umm, which end has the display? Bottom or top end... and does it mean that there has to be one person on that particular end watching the display?
"Hey! Better climb faster, you're showing high yellow on the warning lights!"
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Postby angus » Sep 26, 2005 10:38 am

They "boast" in their brochure that it can be used in marine applications so it has to be able to live up to some hardship!

Seriously, the conducting fibres have to be at least as strong as the surrounding polymer fibres. Also in sufficient quantity for at least some to get broken.

As Ralph points out the wisdom of taking a monitoring unit down a seriously wet and muddy cave might be dubious. However, as part of a club's rope maintenance programme, a monitoring unit might have a place.

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