Polypropylene rope is a cordage variety that is characterized by its light weight and its buoyancy in water. Ropes and cords are very important industrial utilities; they serve a variety of functions across industry, commerce and consumer products contexts.
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Polypropylene Rope Marine Applications
Some of the biggest consumers of ropes are marine operations; all watercraft, when mooring or connected to a dock, must be secured somehow. While recent advances in pressure pad technologies as well as other non-line-mooring advances have displaced mooring lines to some extent, ropes and cords are still widely used to secure even very large vessels to docks and piers. A wide variety of rope compositions and configurations are appropriate for securing watercraft, but polypropylene is the only material among all rope materials that floats in water. This makes it extremely useful in the securing of small watercraft, particularly recreational watercraft, to docks and piers. That said, polypropylene ropes are rarely used for the securing of vessels beyond a certain size because of their reduced strength compared to other rope compositions. Nylon, for example, is more likely to be used for the mooring of large vessels because of its excellent qualities of strength and resistance to stress.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Polypropylene Rope
Polypropylene rope can float as a result of its very light weight. Polypropylene rope is available in monofilament fiber, which is smooth-surfaced, or multifilament fiber, which has a somewhat velvety appearance and feel. Polypropylene rope is also the most popular all-purpose rope for the average consumer because it is quite inexpensive. While polypropylene rope is rot-proof and unaffected by water, oil, gasoline, and most chemicals, it is highly susceptible to UV-induced degradation. Polypropylene rope also features comparatively poor heat resistance; its melting point is 150° F, the lowest of all synthetic rope materials. It is not as strong as nylon or polyester, but it is still two to three times stronger than manila.
Braided and Twisted Ropes
Like all other rope varieties, polypropylene rope is available in two main configurations: braided and twisted. Braided ropes feature several fibrous strands interwoven with each other in order to enhance the rope’s strength qualities. Twisted ropes feature several strands twisted around each other. Both configurations are widely used in all kinds of contexts. It is important when selecting a rope, polypropylene or otherwise, to carefully match the demands of its intended application with the material’s capabilities. No rope is suitable for every context in which ropes are employed; polypropylene can be generally described as a medium-duty, medium performance buoyant rope.