A braided rope is considered to be stronger than that of a twisted rope made from the same material. Braided rope is usually preferred over a twisted rope in many applications for a few reasons: they will not unravel as easily as a twisted rope, they will not hockle and they will not twist under load. One of the only downsides of braided rope is that it is not spliced as easily as a twisted rope. In fact, there are a couple types of braided rope that cannot be spliced at all.
You will also find that within the braided category of ropes, there are several different types.
- Single/Hollow Braid - formed by an even number of stands which are braided into a circular pattern with half of the strands going clockwise and the other half going counter-clockwise. The strands can interlock with either a twill or plain weave. The central void may be large or small; in the former case the term "hollow braid” is sometimes preferred.
- Double Braid - also called "braid on braid”, consists of a braided core and a braided jacket, which can be of the same or different material. Most of the time, the core material is chosen for strength and the jacket is chosen for abrasion resistance.
- Solid Braid - when all of the strands travel the same direction, clockwise or counter-clockwise and alternate between forming the outside of the rope. This construction is popular for general-purpose utility rope but rare in specialized high performance line.
- Kernmantle - is produced with a core (kern) of long twisted fibers in the center and a braided outer sheath or mantle of woven fibers. The kern provides most of the strength (about 70%), while the mantle protects the kern and determines the handling properties of the rope (how easy it is to hold, to tie knots in and so on).
- Dynamic Climbing Line - the core fibers are usually twisted and chopped into shorter lengths, which makes the rope stretch more.
- Static Climbing Line - made with untwisted core fibers and tighter braid, which causes to be stiffer in addition to limiting the stretch.
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