The use of rope for any purpose subjects it to varying levels and modes of tension, bending, friction, and mechanical damage, as well as a wide range of environmental variables such as temperature, and chemical exposure. Regardless of the application, as fiber rope is exposed to particular service conditions, it will begin to suffer some level of degradation. Maximizing rope performance and safety involves selecting the correct rope, using optimal handling during its use, and retiring it from service before it creates a dangerous situation. Ropes are serious working tools, and when used properly, they will give consistent and reliable service.
Rope Inspection & Retirement
One frequently asked question is, “When should I retire my rope?” The most obvious answer is, “Before it breaks.” But without a thorough understanding of how to inspect it and knowing the load history, you are left making an educated guess. Factors such as load history, bending radius, abrasion, chemical exposure, or some combination of those factors, make retirement decisions challenging.
Inspecting your rope should be a continuous process of observation before, during, and after each use.
In synthetic fiber ropes, the amount of strength loss due to abrasion and/or flexing is directly related to the amount of broken fiber in the rope’s cross-section. After each use, look and feel along every inch of the rope length inspecting for cut strands, compression, pulled strands, melted or glazed fiber, discoloration, degradation, inconsistent diameter and abrasion. Glossy or glazed areas, inconsistencies in texture, and stiffness are indicators that the rope has been subjected to elevated temperatures, has embedded grit, or has been subjected to shock loading and possible loss of strength.
Download the Samson Inspection & Retirement Pocket Guide to keep on hand for your daily inspections.
Please note that these are general rope care guidelines. For application-specific instructions and guidelines, you should always refer to the most current governing regulations and guidelines published by your particular industry.
Content provided by Samson Rope