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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.

Term Explanation
Abrasion Resistance The 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 Strength The 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.

Creep Also known as the ‘taffy effect’, describing the slow flow of synthetic materials when exposed to high temperatures or a large amount of pressure.
Crimp The action of bending, kinking, curling, or waving a fiber, giving it greater loft.
Degradation The loss and limiting of physical properties by a material as a result of damage caused by natural or chemical phenomena, actions, processes, or reactions.
Elongation The 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.
Extrusion The process of producing polymer filaments by forcing the material through a die.
Fatigue Degradation of a rope or material caused by fluctuating loads over an extended period of repeated use.
Fathom Unit of measurement equal to approximately six feet.
Fiber A filament, either natural or synthetic, that can be spun into yarn.
Hydrolysis A 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.
Finish An 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.
Monofilament A term referring to a synthetic thread or yarn composed of a single strand rather than twisted fibers.
Multifilament A term referring to a synthetic thread or yarn composed of many fine, continuous filaments, produced by the spinning of polymeric material.
Polyester A 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.
Polyethylene A fiber similar to polypropylene, but heavier and not as strong.
Polypropylene The 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.
Polymer A long chain molecule which is used to create synthetic fibers. A polymer is produced when monomers are linked.
Rope A length of thick, strong cord manufactured by twisting strands of natural or synthetic materials.
Fiber Rope A length of thick, strong cord manufactured from strands of fiber that have been braided or twisted.
Splice A term describing the joining of two ropes by inter-weaving strands or braids.
Strand A strand is a collection of yarns twisted together. When strands are twisted or plaited together to form a rope.
Torque One or more force that can produce a twisting or rotating movement.
Twist A 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 Strength The weight, measured in pounds, recommended for safe working conditions.
Yarn A 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.