The failure of a rope in service is always something to be guarded against. However there are still occasions where events that were not anticipated occur and a rope breaks. In this situation it’s often important to reconstruct the causes of the failure so that lessens can be learnt and future failures can be prevented.
A broken rope always has a story to tell.
By careful examination of broken or damaged rope it’s often possible to tell a surprising amount about its life and the events surrounding its failure.
- Where did the break occur? What else is at that location?
- Was the rope under high load? The energy released at break can leave tell tail evidence like fusion of fibres, melted filament tips, even secondary damage from recoil.
- Was the rope damaged by an external source? Often abrasion or other damage can be seen in the regions adjacent to the break. Did this occur in one event? Or was it cumulative?
- Has the rope fatigued? Kink banding can demonstrate compression fatigue, inter strand abrasion can be caused by bending fatigue.
- Heat damage? Fusion on the core, or melted patches in the cover can sometimes be found.
- Chemical damage? Some types of chemical damage can leave characteristic discolouration or other evidence.
With decades of experience and a wealth of test data and case studies the Engineers at Marlow Ropes are ideally placed to perform this type of investigation. The ready access to test equipment also enables reproduction of specific conditions and scenarios, to test hypotheses and demonstrate the failure mechanisms. These resources are available to assist our customers in understanding in service failures,