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Terminology Guide

Below you will find a list of words that are often used in the rope industry.  In order to help you understand what these words mean in the real world please take a look at the table below.  The words in the table appear in alphabetical order.

Abrasion ResistanceThe ability of an object or substance to resist surface wear caused by friction, rubbing, or contact with other objects.

A noun to describe the structure of a textile formed by the process of braiding.


A verb describing the process of intertwining strands in a to produce a tubular rope structure.

Breaking or Tensile StrengthThe measured load that would be required to break a tense rope.

A combination of rope mix of different synthetic fibers to form one rope.

A rope consisting of a mix of a number of different synthetic fibers to create one rope.

CreepAlso known as the ‘taffy effect’, describing the slow flow of synthetic materials when exposed to high temperatures or a large amount of pressure.
CrimpThe action of bending, kinking, curling, or waving a fiber, giving it greater loft.
DegradationThe loss and limiting of physical properties by a material as a result of damage caused by natural or chemical phenomena, actions, processes, or reactions.
ElongationThe deformation of the direction of load as a result of tensile load, usually measured in standard units or as a percentage of the initial length.
ExtrusionThe process of producing polymer filaments by forcing the material through a die.
FatigueDegradation of a rope or material caused by fluctuating loads over an extended period of repeated use.
FathomUnit of measurement equal to approximately six feet.
FiberA filament, either natural or synthetic, that can be spun into yarn.
HydrolysisA reaction that can lead to the decomposition of rope materials, involving the attack of water ions on polymeric molecules, leading to a loss of physical properties.
FinishAn oil, emulsion, or lubricant that is applied to fibers to prevent damage during the processing of textiles, or to improve the durability of the product during use.
MonofilamentA term referring to a synthetic thread or yarn composed of a single strand rather than twisted fibers.
MultifilamentA term referring to a synthetic thread or yarn composed of many fine, continuous filaments, produced by the spinning of polymeric material.
PolyesterA synthetic fiber notable for its strength and its resistance to UV deterioration. As a result of being less stretchy and elastic than nylon it often lasts longer.
PolyethyleneA fiber similar to polypropylene, but heavier and not as strong.
PolypropyleneThe most economical rope for most requirements which is lightweight, strong, and versatile, being useful for a range of purposes. It is also waterproof, resistant to rot, and it floats.
PolymerA long chain molecule which is used to create synthetic fibers. A polymer is produced when monomers are linked.
RopeA length of thick, strong cord manufactured by twisting strands of natural or synthetic materials.
Fiber RopeA length of thick, strong cord manufactured from strands of fiber that have been braided or twisted.
SpliceA term describing the joining of two ropes by inter-weaving strands or braids.
StrandA strand is a collection of yarns twisted together. When strands are twisted or plaited together to form a rope.
TorqueOne or more force that can produce a twisting or rotating movement.
TwistA term applied to a fiber, yarn, strand, or rope to describe the number of turns around an axis to combine the individual parts in to a larger object or structure.
Working Load or Working StrengthThe weight, measured in pounds, recommended for safe working conditions.
YarnA general term used to describe a continuous strand of fibers, filaments, or materials of textile which are suitable for forming a structure via any process.