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All natural fibre rope is manufactured from manilla, sisal, hemp, coir, cotton or

flax fibres.The process of manufacture consists of twisting the fibres into yarns
and turning the yarns in an opposite direction to establish the strands.

LAY OF ROPE
The lay of rope is a term used to describe the nature of the twist that produces
the complete rope.The purpose of alternate twisting of fibres, yarns and strands
is to prevent the rope becoming unlayed when in use.

Ropes may be of a right-hand lay or left-hand lay, but the most common is
right-handed. It is essential to realise that each of the components is turned
(twisted) up in an opposite direction to that of its predecessor,
e.g. in right-hand lay, strands are laid up right-handed (clockwise), yarns laid up
left-handed, and fibres laid up right-handed.

HAWSERLAID
The most common form of rope at sea is known as ‘hawser laid rope’
comprising three strands laid up right- or lefthanded.

Eight Strand Plaited


Many mooring ropes used at sea today are ‘eight strand plaited’, constructed by
laying two pairs of strands left-handed, with the other two pairs right-
handed.This type of lay has the advantages that it does not kink and also, with
eight strands, has increased flexibility

Shroud Lay
Another type of lay found at sea is ‘shroud lay’ (Figure 3.2), consisting of four
strands, sometimes being laid about a central heart, right-handed
NATURAL FIBRE ROPES
Manilla
Manilla is obtained from the abaca (wild banana) plant. Manilla rope is most
certainly more pliable and softer. It is gold-brown in colour, and never tarred.
Unfortunately it swells when wet,

Sisal
Obtained from the leaves of the plant Agave sisalana, The sisal rope is hairy,
coarse and white. It is not as pliable as manilla nor as strong.When wet, it swells
up more than manilla, as the water is absorbed more quickly, and it becomes
slippery to handle.

Hemp
Hemp is obtained from the stem of the plant Cannabis sativa, The hemp fibres
are a light cream in colour when supplied to the rope manufacturer.They have a
silky texture and are of a very fine nature: hence the extra flexibility . The
advantage of hemp rope is that it is impervious to water and does not shrink or
swell when wet.

SYNTHETIC FIBRE ROPES


Nylon
This is the strongest of all the man-made fibre ropes. It has good elasticity,
stretching up to 30 per cent and returning to its original length. Nylon ropes are
light to handle, twice as strong as an equivalent sized manilla and give the
appearance of a smooth slippery surface. They are impervious to water, have a
high melting point, 250°C, and in normal temperature are pliable, being suitable
for most forms of rigging.
The disadvantages of nylon ropes are that they do not float, and in cold climates
they tend to stiffen up and become difficult to handle. They should not be left
exposed to strong sunlight or be stowed on hot deck surfaces, as their natural
life will be impaired.. when great stress occurs. Should they part under such
stress, there is a tendency for them to act like elastic bands, an extremely
dangerous condition to be allowed to develop.The nylon rope will give no
audible warning when about to part;

Polyester
A heavy rope compared to the nylon and not as strong, but nevertheless some of
the polyester’s properties make it a worthwhile rope to have aboard. It is
considered to be more resistant to acids, oils and organic solvents than its nylon
counterpart, while its strength remains the same whether in a dry or wet
condition. Its disadvantages are very similar to nylon’s. It will not float. The
melting point is between 230° and 250°C.

Polypropylene
.The ropes are cheap, light to handle, have the same strength whether wet or
dry, and they float.They are used extensively for mooring ropes and running
rigging.The melting point is low compared to nylon, 165°C. Friction-generated
heat should be avoided with this man-made fibre, which is extremely
susceptible to melting and fusing.
It is resistant to chemical attack by acids, alkalis and oils, but solvents and
bleaching agents may cause deterioration. It neither absorbs nor retains water,

Precautions When Handling Synthetic Man-Made Fibre Ropes


1. carefully inspect a rope, both internally and externally, before it is used. Man-
made fibre ropes show deterioration after excessive wear by a high degree of
powdering between the strands.
2. Ropes should be kept out of direct sunlight. When not in use, they should be
covered by canvas
3. When putting a splice in a synthetic fibre rope, use four full tucks, followed
4. A stopper should be of the same material as that of the rope being stoppered
off, and should preferably be of the ‘West Country’ type.
5. A minimum number of turns should be used when heaving manmade fibre
ropes about winch barrels or capstans. Friction-generated heat should be
avoided, and to this end no more than three turns should be used on drums.
6. Never surge on man-made fibre rope. Should it be required to ease the weight
off the rope, walk back the barrel or drum end, as when coming back to a
stopper.
7. When making fast to bitts,make two round turns about the leading post, or
two turns about both posts, before figure-eighting

STEEL WIRE ROPE


A steel wire rope is composed of three parts – wires, strands and the heart. The
heart is made of natural fibre, though recently synthetic fibre has been used
when resistance to crushing is required.

Construction of SWR
Steel wire ropes are composed of a number of thin wires whose diameter will
vary between 0.26 and 5.4mm.The thinner wires are made of hard drawn plough
steel and the thicker wires of rolled steel. The individual wires are twisted into
strands about a fibre core or a steel core, or even laid up without any form of
centre heart.
These strands are in turn laid up about a fibre or steel heart, or just laid up
together without any centre core.The direction of laying up the wires and laying
up the strands is critical.

Standing Rigging
This will be of 6 x 7 (6 strands, 7 wires) construction, or, with a steel core,
7x7 construction. For larger sizes 6x19 or 7x19 may be encountered.
Running Rigging
These are flexible ropes of 6 x12, 6 x18, 6 x19, 6x 24, 6 x36 or
6x37 construction.
Lubrication
Steel wire ropes are lubricated both internally and externally in the course of
manufacture, to provide the wire with protection against corrosion. During its
working life the rope will suffer pressure both externally and internally as it is
flexed in performing its duty. The original lubricant may soon dry up and it will
be necessary to apply supplementary lubricant at periodic intervals.