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Is Falling on Wet Ropes Bad? Textile Science Explained

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    this is a dynamic climbing rope one can
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    take hundreds of these massive Falls and
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    it will still provide a soft Landing for
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    the climber Now Let's ignore the blue
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    protective shift and pull out the core
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    so this white strands is the core of the
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    Rope which is responsible for majority
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    of rope's strength if I would untwist
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    the core strand eventually I would get
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    to this thing which is called a
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    multi-filament and if I would dig deeper
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    and try to separate the smallest part of
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    the Rope I would get to a single
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    filament which I can barely see so this
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    is a single filament
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    so this filament is about 10 times
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    thinner than the human hair and there is
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    about 50 to 80
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    000 of them in a single rope and all of
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    them run across entire length of the
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    Rope now during the fall this filaments
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    stretch but also they slide past each
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    other which creates friction and this
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    friction helps to dampen the impact
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    however if we would make a rope wet
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    water on the surface of the filaments
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    would act as a lubricant this would
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    allow the filaments to slide easier past
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    each other which would reduce the
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    dampening effect also you can probably
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    imagine that as I want to stretch the
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    Rope out it needs to shrink in diameter
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    however if the Rope is full of water in
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    order to shrink in diameter first it
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    needs to spit the water out however if
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    the impact is hard enough the water
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    cannot Escape faster it's like when you
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    belly flop on the water and the water
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    doesn't have enough time to flow around
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    your body and things get even more
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    interesting from here if we would look
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    deeper deep deep inside the filament we
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    would find this but don't worry the only
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    thing you need to know that this is a
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    monomer which joins together to form a
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    polymer chain and this chain can be very
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    long very very long which is really
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    great for making filament fiber and this
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    is where things get interesting notice
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    that some parts of this fiber are
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    arranged neatly in order these parts are
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    called crystalline and they have polymer
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    chains packed so close together that
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    they form an attraction for each other
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    and this happens because hydrogen from
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    one chain really likes the oxygen from
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    the other chain so all of this makes
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    these parts really strong with which is
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    great for the strength of the Rope
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    however it also makes these parts really
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    stiff which is not so great when you
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    want your dynamic rope to stretch and
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    that's what these other parts that look
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    like spaghettis are four they are called
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    amorphous and they have much bigger gaps
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    between the chains which allows them to
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    stretch
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    so when the force is applied on the
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    fiber these spaghetti Parts stretch and
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    the crystalline Parts provide the
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    strength you can probably imagine that a
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    very stiff rope
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    wouldn't be great for climbing but
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    neither the Rope which would stretch too
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    much because when I fall I want to land
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    not on the ground so by controlling the
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    ratio between spaghettis and crystalline
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    Parts rope manufacturers can create this
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    great strength but at the same time
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    perfect Force absorption which is quite
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    impressive now remember I said that
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    hydrogen really likes the oxygen guess
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    what else has a lot of hydrogen and
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    oxygen that's right water good news is
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    that water cannot really penetrate into
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    the crystalline parts of the fiber
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    because the chains there are very packed
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    close together already however spaghetti
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    Parts have gaps and that allows water to
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    come in and bond to the chains and this
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    bonding increases the distance between
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    the chains and it also weakens the
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    intermolecular attraction so now if the
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    the force is applied when the fiber is
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    wet spaghettis might stretch more than
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    what they are capable to recover from
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    and that might damage the entire
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    structure of the fiber but all of that
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    is in theory so let's see if that theory
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    applies to real world climbing
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    situations
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    [Music]
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    and if you're wondering who goes
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    climbing in the rain well this was my
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    birthday and we came up with a brilliant
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    idea to climb 34 routes in a day and
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    half of the day was raining
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    so yeah let's say I have some wet
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    experiences but my anecdotal experiences
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    are not science and to do proper science
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    I needed to go to the place where the
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    ropes are properly tested
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    [Music]
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    [ __ ] there's a lot coming out
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    [Music]
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    that's a lot
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    and before we begin a strange fact I
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    checked a lot of user manuals of dynamic
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    climbing ropes from various Brands and
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    about half of them have various warnings
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    about wet drops however the other half
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    doesn't mention anything
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    hmm okay so here is the question
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    will dry rope cause harder catch on
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    realistic fault scenario
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    well we would say over time yes in the
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    beginning probably not
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    so you mean on a first fall maybe not
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    yes and on the repeated Falls probably
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    yes exactly that's not my first
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    statement made
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    now since we wanted to mimic real world
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    scenarios
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    and heartfalls rarely exceed 4
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    kilonewtons we needed to modify the drop
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    tower to produce the forces between
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    three and four kilonewtons
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    so we overshoot yes we did buy a lot
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    [Music]
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    okay
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    which took a bit of adjustment on this
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    old drop tower Mammoth actually has a
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    way more advanced drop tower which I
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    already had a pleasure to use when we
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    were testing the cut resistance of the
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    ropes which was super interesting yeah
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    that's easier with the other one because
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    it works electronically you can put in
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    the number where you want to go and then
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    it's aligns it by itself but we are not
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    allowed to use it not for the water
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    it doesn't like water yeah so this one
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    doesn't like the water this one also
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    doesn't like weather no as soon as these
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    get wet rust will appear off the wall
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    and then friction has a big influence on
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    the yeah but this one we don't use this
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    for any development or production
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    control yeah that's why we are allowed
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    to make it wet exactly
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    4.11
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    [Music]
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    I've heard you're going like oh
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    the frustration
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    and not only we needed to make sure that
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    our samples are between three and four
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    kilonewtons but also that each of them
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    is as similar as possible how is it
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    going we have a method of how we can
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    always make the nuts equal later we will
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    have fun
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    it's a group activity it's a team
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    building yes how many samples do we need
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    depends on you how many samples do we
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    need
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    depends on how many people we have
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    making them
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    [Music]
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    so what's going on equal length is equal
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    everything is equal having samples as
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    similar as possible was actually really
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    important because as Adriana said
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    textiles is a very tricky and Moody raw
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    material to work with Moody it's very
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    moody yes so although we cannot control
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    the mood of the Rope but in order to
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    make the nice statistics that you're
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    gonna see later in this video we needed
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    to try our best
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    too long so basically we are massaging
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    back and forth to get uh yeah it's what
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    we in German call it Sisyphus are bite
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    no we got it you think so if not it's
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    time for lunch
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    either we succeed or we eat
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    everybody click
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    three points
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    yeah when I was editing this I thought
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    wow if you ever wondered how Geeks are
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    celebrating life this is a prime example
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    anyway the next question was is our test
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    setup repeatable meaning will we get
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    second fall to be close to the first one
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    if we don't get that then we five hours
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    more
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    don't make a night session work till
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    five and then you go bouldering we have
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    time limit
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    because we need to go bouldering because
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    we need to completely
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    very nice that's very good very Swiss
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    accurate
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    our setup was working really well and
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    now we needed to collect a lot of data
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    this might take if we wait three minutes
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    and we do five Falls that's 15 minutes
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    just waiting times three times six
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    fifteen
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    I the eyes are getting bigger and bigger
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    and here are the results if we average
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    all the samples we get the Baseline of
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    how the force is increasing with every
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    fall which shows that rope doesn't have
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    enough time to fully recover so let's
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    see what happens when the ropes are wet
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    look how much air is coming out
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    all the air is escaping from the Rope
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    during the fall the water will be trying
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    to escape trying to blast out of Europe
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    we wanted to do three different tests
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    where the ropes were soaked for 1 5 and
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    15 minutes and what was interesting that
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    fully submerging the Rope for just one
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    minute was enough to almost completely
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    saturate the Rope meaning that soaking
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    for longer did not add any extra weight
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    and after we dropped all the wet samples
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    and enjoyed the splashing of the water
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    everywhere
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    [Laughter]
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    oh my God
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    here are the results since the
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    difference in water absorption was
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    minimal the forces were actually very
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    similar and if we take the average of
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    all the wet samples we can see that the
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    first fall was only slightly harder
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    however the difference increases with
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    the subsequent false
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    you know it's combining everything to
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    family so statistically significant
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    very good today we made a page
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    science a little future me Interruption
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    since I got more information the peak
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    forces that we measured obviously do
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    contribute to how hard the catch will be
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    for the climber however it's not the
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    only Factor
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    the big Force to the climber usually
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    happens around this moment but even on
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    the hardest Falls this moment is not
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    hard enough for the human body to be a
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    problem what is the problem however is
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    how hard the climber will hit the wall
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    as I mentioned earlier as the Rope is
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    stretching the filaments are rubbing
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    against each other which dampens the
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    energy and and if the Rope would be able
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    to absorb all the energy during the fall
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    it would stretch and then stop however
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    that's not what happens on hard Falls
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    normally the Rope will act like a spring
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    it will stretch and then bounce back
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    that bounce back usually creates more
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    energy going towards the wall and if the
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    Rope is wet the filaments are sliding
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    easier past each other which reduces the
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    dampening effect so the bounce back into
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    the wall should be harder so I was
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    really curious to test this however this
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    requires more advanced testing
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    facilities but luckily after I left
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    Mahmoud did this test in another
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    facility and sent me the results here is
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    the force graph where the initial Peak
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    was said to be around 3.6 kilonewtons
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    and after that we can see how the Rope
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    bounces couple of times now in the case
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    of the wet rope the peak is only
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    slightly higher however the spring
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    effect is much higher and this is the
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    same graph after five consecutive Falls
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    the initial Peak was 23 percent harder
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    however the bounce was much harder so
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    the spring effect was much bigger
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    alright so far we confirmed that wet
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    robes might cause harder Falls but also
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    according to the theory wet drops might
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    lead to some permanent damage to the
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    Rope
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    let's see so we left the last rope
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    hanging overnight
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    so technically now it's dry and
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    um and rested
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    so we dropped this rope once again and
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    the fall was harder compared to the
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    Baseline which definitely hints that
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    there was some permanent damage done to
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    the Rope alright so far so good and
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    there was two more experiments I wanted
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    to make first of all we did all our
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    tests on classic ropes so I was curious
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    how dried treated ropes would perform on
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    the same tests and in case you don't
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    know dry treated ropes are soaked in
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    certain chemicals that make them more
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    water resistant our dry ropes we add the
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    chemical first to the core so to the
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    strands they get a drop application then
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    we braid the rope together and then we
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    submerge it in a chemical bath and we
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    take it out and we dry it and then you
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    have a dry roll so basically core is
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    separately submerged into chemical and
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    then entire rope now the cooler get a
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    drop application you need
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    just a little drop every every couple
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    seconds is enough to make it uh water
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    resistant interesting and then the
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    entire rope goes into the thing yeah
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    when it's finished so let's see how good
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    that treatment is in practice
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    [Music]
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    so at first we did a lot of drops
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    without water and that allowed us to
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    compare treated tropes with classic ones
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    and it was good to see that treatment
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    has no negative effect when the ropes
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    are dry so let's see if it has a
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    positive effect when the ropes are wet
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    number two number two you want to get
  • 16:27 - 16:29
    the shot of how
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    treated robes Stone bubble or duvet
  • 16:33 - 16:37
    bubble wait maybe I don't want to
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    look it doesn't bubble as much as the
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    other one
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    what if you squeeze it a bit but no
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    squeezing
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    and yes dry treated ropes absorbed
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    significantly less water
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    ah I know what can be the problem that
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    ends I see bubbles coming from the ends
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    a little bit although we sealed the ends
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    but most of the bubbles are coming from
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    the tip of the Rope maybe I'm gonna keep
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    that tip just a little bit out
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    yeah I mean you can always have like
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    little holes where it could get in with
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    these kind of things if it's not seared
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    well in the end you have like a
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    capillary effect of that the water
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    traveled along the fiber okay let's see
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    I'm super curious
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    [Music]
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    wow there was no splash of water
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    and here is the treated rope that we
  • 17:33 - 17:36
    soaked for 15 minutes as you can see
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    there is still barely any water coming
  • 17:38 - 17:40
    out of it and if we would compare this
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    to the classic ropes the difference is
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    huge
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    we're still here collecting the data
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    Never Ending Story how are we feeling to
  • 17:56 - 17:58
    you
  • 17:58 - 17:58
    yeah
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    here stopped for climbing and when it
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    comes to the treated tropes soaking them
  • 18:04 - 18:07
    up to 5 minutes showed no increase in
  • 18:07 - 18:10
    forces however soaking for 15 minutes
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    already was worse but not as bad
  • 18:14 - 18:17
    compared to the classic ropes so dried
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    treated ropes unsurprisingly were
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    performing better in wet conditions
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    however I know that many of you myself
  • 18:24 - 18:27
    included had a question how long does
  • 18:27 - 18:30
    dry treatment stay effective does it
  • 18:30 - 18:34
    wear off so this is a used truck that I
  • 18:34 - 18:38
    used for about a year actively almost
  • 18:38 - 18:40
    climbing every second or every third day
  • 18:40 - 18:43
    so we could get a sample of this
  • 18:43 - 18:46
    yeah that's it this orange rope that I
  • 18:46 - 18:48
    brought is actually perfect for our
  • 18:48 - 18:50
    comparisons because it's exactly the
  • 18:50 - 18:52
    same rope as the one we already tested
  • 18:52 - 18:55
    the only difference is the color
  • 18:55 - 18:58
    at first we did the test without water
  • 18:58 - 19:00
    so that we could compare how much
  • 19:00 - 19:03
    stiffer old rope gets compared to the
  • 19:03 - 19:05
    new one and to my surprise the
  • 19:05 - 19:08
    difference was very minimal one note
  • 19:08 - 19:10
    here is that we selected the test sample
  • 19:10 - 19:13
    from the middle of the rope that part of
  • 19:13 - 19:15
    the Rope usually is the least damaged
  • 19:15 - 19:18
    but that's good to know that if your
  • 19:18 - 19:20
    ends of the Rope are damaged and you
  • 19:20 - 19:22
    chop them off the rest of the Rope
  • 19:22 - 19:24
    should perform really well
  • 19:24 - 19:26
    [Music]
  • 19:26 - 19:27
    yeah
  • 19:27 - 19:31
    oh it's bubbling much more than new
  • 19:31 - 19:34
    ropes yeah and yes old rope absorbed
  • 19:34 - 19:37
    more water however it still performed
  • 19:37 - 19:39
    better compared to the classic rope
  • 19:39 - 19:42
    being new treated rope soaked for five
  • 19:42 - 19:44
    minutes let's see how it how well it
  • 19:44 - 19:45
    served
  • 19:45 - 19:47
    [Laughter]
  • 19:47 - 19:53
    [Music]
  • 19:54 - 19:57
    we actually washed the Rope but you can
  • 19:57 - 20:00
    still see that the water which comes out
  • 20:00 - 20:01
    of it
  • 20:01 - 20:03
    is still grayish a little bit
  • 20:03 - 20:06
    coming out does it hurt so you want to
  • 20:06 - 20:08
    blend my washing machine
  • 20:08 - 20:10
    and this is what happened with the wet
  • 20:10 - 20:13
    old rope the first fall was actually
  • 20:13 - 20:16
    identical which is very nice and then
  • 20:16 - 20:18
    the subsequent folds again had an
  • 20:18 - 20:21
    increase in forces
  • 20:21 - 20:23
    and if we would compare all wet drops
  • 20:23 - 20:26
    this is what we get
  • 20:26 - 20:28
    and the only thing missing here that we
  • 20:28 - 20:31
    had no time to do would be to test old
  • 20:31 - 20:34
    classic robes
  • 20:34 - 20:37
    so yes treated robes do lose their water
  • 20:37 - 20:40
    repellent magic Over time however they
  • 20:40 - 20:42
    still perform better compared to the
  • 20:42 - 20:46
    classic ropes however there is still one
  • 20:46 - 20:48
    very interesting thing to know let's
  • 20:48 - 20:50
    look into water absorption graph again
  • 20:50 - 20:52
    notice that classic crops are almost
  • 20:52 - 20:54
    fully saturated after five minutes
  • 20:54 - 20:57
    however treated tropes even after 15
  • 20:57 - 21:00
    minutes still have a trend up so then
  • 21:00 - 21:02
    the question is what's the full
  • 21:02 - 21:05
    saturation point of treated ropes so I
  • 21:05 - 21:08
    asked Adriana to do these tests and here
  • 21:08 - 21:10
    are the results turns out that all the
  • 21:10 - 21:12
    ropes were trending to the same around
  • 21:12 - 21:16
    40 percent level so that means even if
  • 21:16 - 21:18
    your rope is dry treated and you put it
  • 21:18 - 21:20
    under water and you leave it there for
  • 21:20 - 21:22
    long enough
  • 21:22 - 21:24
    I don't know why would you do that but
  • 21:24 - 21:26
    if you would do that eventually all of
  • 21:26 - 21:29
    these tens of thousands of tiny
  • 21:29 - 21:31
    filaments in the Rope would act as
  • 21:31 - 21:34
    capillaries and the water would find its
  • 21:34 - 21:37
    way in and it would probably perform
  • 21:37 - 21:41
    similar to the Rope being not treated
  • 21:44 - 21:48
    now before some of you will become
  • 21:48 - 21:50
    hydrophobic let me add a couple of
  • 21:50 - 21:53
    things yes wet ropes are significantly
  • 21:53 - 21:55
    heavier which sucks when you're climbing
  • 21:55 - 21:58
    and they might wear down quicker both
  • 21:58 - 22:02
    from false and from abrasion which sucks
  • 22:02 - 22:04
    to your wallet also there is a theory
  • 22:04 - 22:07
    that They are thicker with swell from
  • 22:07 - 22:08
    water
  • 22:08 - 22:10
    let's see
  • 22:10 - 22:14
    I soaked this rope for a few hours this
  • 22:14 - 22:18
    is supposed to be 9.8 rope and I'm
  • 22:18 - 22:20
    measuring
  • 22:21 - 22:26
    11.3 let's see the wet spot
  • 22:31 - 22:33
    okay
  • 22:33 - 22:35
    so I don't see any difference at least
  • 22:35 - 22:37
    on this rope which is worn out and it's
  • 22:37 - 22:40
    already thicker when it's nominal value
  • 22:40 - 22:43
    yeah so I didn't want to leave my fellow
  • 22:43 - 22:45
    climbers hanging like that so the next
  • 22:45 - 22:48
    day I took a bunch of different used
  • 22:48 - 22:51
    ropes soaked them and measured the
  • 22:51 - 22:54
    thickness and what I found out is that
  • 22:54 - 22:56
    indeed some of the robes did got thicker
  • 22:56 - 22:59
    like the green decathlon rope for
  • 22:59 - 23:02
    example however other ropes did not
  • 23:02 - 23:05
    change in diameter next I tested how
  • 23:05 - 23:07
    smooth the ropes run through belaying
  • 23:07 - 23:10
    devices and here my findings were mixed
  • 23:10 - 23:13
    again some of the ropes got sticky they
  • 23:13 - 23:16
    became harder to pull through belaying
  • 23:16 - 23:19
    device and more likely to lock the blank
  • 23:19 - 23:22
    device however other ropes got the
  • 23:22 - 23:24
    opposite result they became more
  • 23:24 - 23:27
    slippery as if water would lubricate the
  • 23:27 - 23:29
    billeting device so yes the laying does
  • 23:29 - 23:32
    change with water however it's unclear
  • 23:32 - 23:35
    how how the change will affect Europe
  • 23:35 - 23:38
    and about those other things well
  • 23:38 - 23:41
    honestly it's unlikely that you will
  • 23:41 - 23:43
    climb in such a wet conditions long
  • 23:43 - 23:45
    enough to even have those problems so if
  • 23:45 - 23:50
    your rope got a bit wet well try it but
  • 23:50 - 23:53
    if I would be going to cold wet ice
  • 23:53 - 23:58
    climbing places where people die
  • 23:58 - 24:00
    um yeah maybe having a treated rope
  • 24:00 - 24:02
    reduces the chance of dying this is so
  • 24:02 - 24:05
    hard she put I mean I don't know just
  • 24:05 - 24:08
    like being in a snowy or icy environment
  • 24:08 - 24:10
    it's recommended to have the dry
  • 24:10 - 24:12
    treatment because it's just an extra
  • 24:12 - 24:14
    safety buffer yeah there is one route in
  • 24:14 - 24:17
    Spain which crosses a waterfall in
  • 24:17 - 24:18
    multi-pitch
  • 24:18 - 24:20
    yeah I mean also if you're climb in very
  • 24:20 - 24:23
    humid conditions it's Thailand
  • 24:23 - 24:26
    we go there it's really humid and dry
  • 24:26 - 24:28
    rope makes sense
  • 24:28 - 24:32
    interesting so the little details shall
  • 24:32 - 24:33
    we go to Thailand to do some science
  • 24:33 - 24:36
    research trip
  • 24:37 - 24:39
    all right if you found this video
  • 24:39 - 24:41
    interesting I made the playlist for you
  • 24:41 - 24:43
    where I was nerding with Mammoth
  • 24:43 - 24:45
    Engineers on different topics very
  • 24:45 - 24:47
    interesting topics so thank you Mahmoud
  • 24:47 - 24:49
    for letting me to periodically come over
  • 24:49 - 24:52
    and play with your toys and thank you
  • 24:52 - 24:54
    Adriana for all their rope chemistry
  • 24:54 - 24:58
    explanations and thank you for watching
  • 24:58 - 25:02
    you in the next one
Title:
Is Falling on Wet Ropes Bad? Textile Science Explained
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Team:
Hard Is Easy
Duration:
25:00

English (auto-generated) subtitles

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  • Revision 1 ASR: YouTube automatic subtitles
    Amara Bot