/ Not all rope dry coating is equal

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needvert on 02 Feb 2013
"A study of dry proofed ropes from thirteen different manufacturers, using a variety of test methods, shows that only a very few ropes do indeed repel water well. The rest are bunched together with much higher absorption rates. One may say that many of the claims hold no water, but the ropes do.
One of the presenters felt that climbers do not want ropes with water resistance treatment, because they only climb when it is sunny and are unwilling to pay for the added cost. Until there is an accepted standard, it may indeed not be worth the money to buy a dry treated rope.
"
http://www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/services/safety/forms/Nylon%20and%20Ropes%20Turin%202002.doc


Anyone happen to know whose dry coatings actually work?
LJC - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to needvert: Only anecdotal evidence, but I've managed to soak several Beal golden dry ropes, and compared to the untreated Beal static I once threw in the sea, they seemed to absorb less water. Also, had a totally untreated, very basic, Mammut rope wet through in literally minutes, where as a friends Mammut dry treated ropes survived an unpleasant day climbing Diffs in the driving drain without feeling too bad (not too much water squishing out when rapping on them etc).
In reply to needvert: That's over ten years old, it would be interesting to know if it has changed much since. In this review http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3765 of similar style of ropes I noted that the Mammut one seemed to get much wetter than the other two. Of course that's anecdotal evidence, maybe it was just chance, but it happened on more than one occasion.
floss_81 on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to needvert: I have mammut ropes and have always considered them quite good. Where as a friend has eldridge and they get very heavy and absorb loads in the wet. I think a lot of it is down to age, how clean they are ect.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to needvert:

- after only 50 descents with a figure-eight, the dynamic resistance of a rope is reduced by one third (number of drops). The descents were undertaken with extreme care - slowly and without impact,

Is that true? If so that's fairly worrying
needvert on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Was writing up a post on such things in the is my rope safe thread, but haven't finished it.

It fits in the ballpark with other things, such as 80 top ropes dropping it by half.
Pete Potter - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to needvert: This paper is so out of date and the technology has moved on. I believe that a standard is about to come into force on dry treatments as there isn't one at the moment. I also believe that nearly all manufactures apart from Beal could not pass the new standard and are having to re think their coating or treatments so your heading was correct, not all rope dry treatments are equal and this so often explains price differences, if its cheap there is a reason why!
markus691 on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:
Depends what you mean by "dynamic resistance". I know, that 20 year old heavily used ropes almost certainly hold the requisite number factor two falls, so are perfectly safe. You'd maybe not want to take the number of factor two falls in the manual minus one, but they're safe.

What's probably the case is that they stretch less, so the fall is harder on your body. If you're expecting to take really big falls (Rhapsody level), use a new rope. And more importantly, let any rope that has absorbed a huge fall rest for up to two weeks to recover its dynamic stretch.

Based on research done by the alpine clubs, it is also true, that ropes shear more readily when loaded over a sharp edge after relatively little use. This is where your 50 descents might come from. The conclusion from that research was, that for a maximum of safety you'd want to get a new rope every week. Since nobody has that kind of money, another way of looking at it is that loading the rope over an edge is always dangerous and where talking about a subgroup of duller edges where in some cases the new rope might hold while the old wouldn't. It isn't as if one would kill you, the other wouldn't, but that with a brand new rope your chances are better in a specific range of cases. Outside that range you're dead or fine either way.
As the reduction is asymptotic, it doesn't matter all that much whether you replace your rope after 4 or 5 years.

If you go by handling and gut feeling, you'll be replacing your rope far sooner than necessary anyway, so it's best to stick to that any not worry about marginal properties in special circumstances.


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