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Puzzle: Breaking Things, 1

Posted in Puzzle

A rigger invested in serious quantities of 1” Nylon and Dacron rope for some destruction testing. The ropes included single-braid, double-braid, and 3-strand. Multiple samples of each type. It was a lot of work to put the splices in, and it had to be done around a full schedule of paying jobs. To make matters worse, the only day that could be arranged for breaking all the pieces was one with heavy, driving rain. So the rigger had to lug all this heavy rope out of the shop, dump it in the bed of a pickup truck for the drive over, and then lug the even-heavier, soggy rope into the testing facility.

At the end of the day, the lab technician said, “I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that all of your Dacron pieces show very good efficiencies, approaching 100%. But I’m afraid that all of the Nylon pieces broke at about 15% short of that. We did a couple of independent tests with some of the same size and brand rope that we had in-house, and I can tell you that the problem isn’t with the rope.”

“Actually, that is great news all around,” said the rigger, to the surprise of the technician. “My Nylon samples were just as good as my Dacron ones.”

How could this be true?

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  1. Cole

    I suspect it has to do with wet fibers and how they handle steam

    February 14, 2018
  2. Hi Brion

    Nylon loses about 1/4 or so of it’s rated strength when wet… but you know that 😉

    February 14, 2018

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