Originally Posted by DemostiX
I suppose it possible to make rope less well, such that the strands damaged each other in some disproportionate way as the rope was made smaller or larger. <snip>
This is what has been reported to be a serious issue with early Kevlar and some other Aramid fibers in ropes. Maybe in shows up in pre-browser internet archives for backpackers.
In use and even just in tension, the braided fibers micro-fracture, like glass, progressively. The rope looked OK, with strands intact, but it progressively loses breaking strength. If I understood the actual physical mechanisms correctly, different rope construction techniques would result in Kevlar / aramid ropes with different and better lifespans.
This was a bummer for those who invested in Kevlar rope and rope making, because one of the nice properties of Kevlar is heat resistance, from, say, running through winches. Where better to take advantage of that but in the jacket / mantle of the rope? Exactly where it was most exposed to those micro-fractures.