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Old 10th September 2010, 12:06   #1
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Default Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

New winches have now been introduced in the market with Synthetic Rope.

Little research on the net gave the following:

Safety
Synthetic cable stretches very little when under pressure, and also stores less kinetic energy than steel cable, so it's not as dangerous if it breaks. Steel cable can build up a large amount of kinetic energy when it is being pulled, and because of its weight can be extremely dangerous when it breaks, potentially causing very serious injury to people nearby.
However, synthetic cable can be dangerous for a few reasons. First off, unlike steel cable, it cannot be placed even close to any sharp edges, as it can be easily cut or frayed. Also, if it is connected to the winch with a chain or a tree strap, these two tools will stretch some and could turn the rope into a projectile.


Ease of Handling
Synthetic cable is less of a hazard for rope burn, because it lacks the small broken strands that can make steel cable dangerous for uncovered hands. It is also lighter and more flexible than steel cable, and therefore easier to manipulate by hand. Steel cable is constructed of tightly wound-together strands of metal that can easily break off and create small strands that can be a hazard. It can also kink with time, making it hard to straighten out.

Strength
Synthetic cable has a higher tensile strength than steel cable. Some brands test at 15 times the strength of quality steel cable, or 25 to 40 percent stronger. For example, a 9,500-pound capacity winch will have roughly a 9,500 to 10,000-pound capacity steel cable. A synthetic line would be 5/16 of an inch (7.9 millimeters) or 3/8 of an inch (9.5 mm.), much thinner than the steel cable, resulting in higher tensile strength.
Durability

Frayed steel winch cable
Over time, steel cable will develop crimps, kinks, spots of rust and small broken strands of steal that can be be dangerous or just irritating. However, synthetic cable can fray more easily than steel cable if it is run along a sharp edge for too long. If you see that the cable is going to have to pull over rocks or other rough surfaces, make sure that you put down a heavy blanket or some other form of padding between the rock and the rope so that the rope doesn’t rub against the rock.

In general, steel cable can take more punishment in the short term than synthetic cable, but if you are careful with synthetic cable, it will not sustain as much damage in the long run.

Maintenance:
Keeping your synthetic winch cable clean and dry will also increase the life of your synthetic rope. A wet and muddy winch rope that is left on the winch drum could make your rope susceptible to rot. To clean your rope after a muddy ride, spool out the line, rinse it with a hose, and let it dry completely before respooling.

For the wire rope, If the wire is muddy unspool the rope, clean it using a jet spray, then spray generously with WD40 or cover with grease.

Conclusion
For all these reasons, synthetic cable is now mandatory in all events sponsored by the major off-road racing bodies. In general, it has proven to be stronger, safer and more durable and easier to work with than steel cable, a definite improvement over its successor.

Major brands of synthetic cable include AmSteel, Dyneema and Viking Fire Line. They all have various models of synthetic cable intended for different uses.

Source:
Synthetic Vs. Steel Winch Cable | eHow.com Synthetic Vs. Steel Winch Cable | eHow.com

Using Synthetic Winch Cable with Your 12V Winch | 12V Winch Guide

Synthetic Winch Rope Tips


A few posts from: Winch steel cable vs winch rope @ ExplorOz Forum

Quote:
Haven't personally had any experience with rope type but know some people who compete in competitions with it. There opinion is that for comps etc its worth the extra cost because of the ease and speed to use it but as for on an every day 4x4 doesn,t pay to spend the extra because if it gets a slight cut or freigh it will break and also apparently doesn't like sitting in the sun on your vehicle for an extended time as it is not uv stabilised and thus looses its strength also. as i said no expert but that is what i have been
Quote:
BTW, before anyone mentions it - not sure whether it would melt powering out re: the heat generated by the drum brake - will never find out as, in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, I will never power the line out for extended periods - I will freespool it. No heat is generated in the drum powering in.

I reckon the Amsteel Blue is good stuff. It also comes standard with a 10 foot sheath to protect the rop from rocks, which neatly winds onto the drum with the rope.

So, now i'm more confused regarding which winch to get. the price difference is ~$200 (synthetioverc being more expensive). However, i'm leaving towards the wire one personally due to the fact that a lot of times, our winch happens with the cable running some edge and also the fact that the wire one is tried and tested.
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Old 11th September 2010, 02:52   #2
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Now this is very interesting. I am looking out for a winch. Can anyone suggest a winch brand with a synthetic rope and where can I get it.
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Old 3rd February 2011, 20:48   #3
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Default Re: Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

Bumping a old one...

Any one experienced a synt rope winch in India? I know one bangy jeeper who has one, do we have any more owners?

Who sells it in India?
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Old 3rd February 2011, 21:08   #4
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Default Re: Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
Bumping a old one...

Any one experienced a synt rope winch in India? I know one bangy jeeper who has one, do we have any more owners?

Who sells it in India?
SVS, I remember Shibu buying one. You could check with him, maybe?
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Old 3rd February 2011, 21:40   #5
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Default Re: Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

check with Narayan ,

he is a forum shy guy

but he will be knowing for sure

Sudarshan
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Old 3rd February 2011, 22:17   #6
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Default Re: Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

Prabhu has it and so does Robi if am not mistaken in Bangalore. I love em, really worth all the $$$
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Old 4th February 2011, 16:27   #7
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Default Re: Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

I dont know about Winch but I know where you can buy a higher tensile Synthetic Rope in Mumbai.

Todi Industries at Lower Parel manufacture these ropes for export shipping use. They are mainly available in 3 sizes 6mm and 8mm and 10mm. The place is right opp Phoenix Mill
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Old 4th February 2011, 19:52   #8
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Default Re: Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

I have heard about Todi , they produce good mountaineering ropes ( & marine as you say )

but winching is different you will need a 10 mm rope to pull 4.5 tons ( or = to lift 2.5 tons Approx) will Todi 10 mm do that is the Q .

also many times I have read about mountaineering ropes that they are not to be used to tow vehicles ,or if used then not to be used for human activity again . I think Milecruncher can comment on these( mountaineering ) ropes more

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Old 29th March 2013, 14:57   #9
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Default Re: Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

Nice article here:

http://www.fourwheeler.com/techartic...ynthetic_rope/
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Old 2nd April 2013, 14:49   #10
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Default Re: Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
Bumping a old one...

Any one experienced a synt rope winch in India? I know one bangy jeeper who has one, do we have any more owners?

Who sells it in India?
Santosh Ji,
Two of Poona offroaders have them, and one of our friend from Bombay. I have used friend's Synthetic wired winch few times, its effortless and very safe, no need to use gloves, light weight etc......
Limitations - you need to avoid cuts and bruises to the rope (avoid sharp stones etc) , Rope is COSTLY.

Shubhendra
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Old 5th April 2013, 01:07   #11
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Default Re: Synthetic rope vs Wire Rope for Winches

I had plasma cable on one of my winches it is better but five times the cost of steel cable. But much safer too. I am amazed by the way our boys use the winch. First they deliberately drive into a pond full of mud. They get stuck and get winched out with everyone milling in front of the winching vehicle. Little do they understand that a winch cable with 8000 lb of force on it, if it snaps it will cut at least a couple of people in two pieces.
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