General Information on Nylon Ropes
Nylon was invented in 1935 by Wallace Carothers whilst working for DuPont in Delaware. Sadly the long standing story that the name originated because it was simultaneously invented in New York NY and London LON doesnt appear to be true. Nylons first use was for toothbrush bristles in 1938 then it soon became a replacement for silk fabrics and traditional ropes. Nylon is a very strong material but its main unique feature is its unusually high elasticity which makes it the preferred rope for climbing and industrial access and some mooring lines.
Technical Specification on Nylon
Material: Polyamide. Abbreviation PA
Specific Gravity: 1.14 Sinks
Resistance to Acid: Resists weak solutions
Resistance to Alkali: Good
Resistance to Solvents: Good but soluable in some.
Resistance to Heat: Up to 130°C Short exposure
Resistant to UV: Good
Resistance to abrasion: Very Good
Affected by Moisture: Absorbs 1-7% and loses 5-10% strength
Stretch: Very high (16-27% at break). Creep: Slight under load.
Knot holding: Excellent in matt ropes
Washing temperature: 50-60°C
Approximate Melting Point: 215°C
Three Strand Nylon
Nylon rope is traditionally used for mooring lines and anchor warps because of its high stretch characteristics which help to prevent snubbing. Nylon is also one of the strongest rope materials available without the extra expenditure of Dyneema and such like. It is the rope of choice for climbers who need the stretch to reduce impact loads during a fall. It was simultaneously invented in New York and London, hence the name. It is also technically called polyamide.
Although stretch is very useful to reduce high impact loads and snubbing it can also cause some mooring problems. Spring lines can stretch so far that the boat may bump into ajoining pontoons during strong winds. Perhaps an ideal combination would be Nylon for the bow and stern line but polyester for the springs?
Although nylon is very strong it does weaken slightly when it is wet or even damp by between 5 and 10%. Unlike polyester Nylon does absorb some moisture at between 1 and 7%. Nylon has good resistance to abrasion and UV.
These ropes are supplied by Marlow Ropes. An UK based company with full ISO9001 certification.