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Testing & Failure Investigations


With a wealth of testing equipment and real-life experience at their disposal, Marlow’s Technical Engineers are able to offer a full range of testing services and investigations into product failure.


Marlow’s Engineers have at their disposal a considerable array of testing equipment with which to verify product performance and to develop new products. This testing includes machines that can perform:

  • Multiple tensile test machines with different bed sizes and capacities.
  • The ability to incorporate hardware like jammers, clutches and winches into tensile test machines.
  • Abrasion tests.
  • Bending fatigue tests.
  • Accelerated weathering
  • Drop tests
  • Sheath slippage tests


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.

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,


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 fibers, 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 discoloration or other evidence.

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