Testing: Abrasion Resistance

Words & Data: Sara Fleetwood, Sterling R&D Nov 5th 2016
Sterling Rope testing

Sterling is dedicated to producing the best possible product, and that means researching and testing our products thoroughly. Some testing is required for certification, but that’s only the beginning. We submit our ropes to a battery of tests, which simulate field conditions in a controlled environment, so we can have the highest level of confidence that they will perform when needed. The testing will vary depending on the questions we want to answer and the expected usage of the rope.

For years, we have known that the use of Technora® fibers in rope offered benefits in terms of strength and heat resistance. In addition, there was great evidence of increased longevity and resistance to cuts and abrasion damage that was more difficult to quantify. To prove greater durability, our engineering department devised the following test:
  • A mass of 315 lb was attached to the test rope.
  • This rope was run over a 150° bend, fitted with a steel file.
  • The other end was attached to our hydraulic tensile tester.
  • A load was raised up, dragging the rope 40 cm (160° bend) across the file, then lowered back to the ground. This process was repeated, with the file being cleaned every cycle until the core of the rope became visible.
Testing Diagram
We ran this test on a variety of ropes, but the benefits of the Technora fiber in the sheath were best shown in the following tests:
  • Our 9 mm HTP (polyester sheath) went through 9 cycles before the core was exposed. A similar diameter rope, our 9 mm C-IV, which has a Technora sheath, sustained 14 cycles on average.
  • Similarly, our 7/16" HTP (polyester sheath) rope lasted an average of 15 cycles.
  • The Tech11, with a Technora sheath, went for more than 27 cycles before the core finally showed through. In high-abrasion environments, such as limbs and tree crotches, this durability keeps the equipment in service longer and provides a higher degree of safety.
Abrasion Resistance Results