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  1. #1
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    3/8 Polypropylene vs Amsteel

    I threw together my hammock with stuff around the house and am looking to put together a more serious suspension. Aside from the diameter and weight differences is there any reason why no one uses polypropylene rope for their suspension?

    I ran across this site: http://boatsafe.com/marlinespike/safeload.htm while researching amsteel alternatives (cost and availabilty make me want to see what else is available.

    According the boat safe site generally speaking 3/8 polypropylene will have a little over 2000lbs breaking strength vs. the 1600lbs. for amsteel. Plus it is about a quarter of the cost, not to mention the larger diameter will be easier to splice.

    So aside from weight and bulk issues is there any other reason to choose amsteel over plain ole' polypropylene?

  2. #2
    turnerminator's Avatar
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    The advantages of Dyneema/Spectra over Polypropylene are;

    Much more abrasion resistant
    Less affected by UV
    Less stretch
    Soaks up much less water
    Weight and bulk as mentioned.

    Theres a few hanging off polyprop suspension, all DD hammocks for instance come with polyprop webbing.

    For me, the weight, bulk and low water absorbancy make it a no brainer to use Amsteel type braids.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    The polyprop is nowhere as durable. But +1 on splicing ease. A "Chinese finger trap". The first straps I made were of Samson's inexpensive 1/2" hollow polyprop utility line which compresses nicely to 3/4" against objects. A child with no patience whatever can splice it, putting in eyes for a strap, for example. Resembles -- not saying that it is -- something made of braided monofilament fishing line.

    I can watch the part of degradation that is in just the breaking of fibers, not helped, probably, by exposure to UV over the last 6 months.

    I think it was a Samson product, made in Mexico, and the most bang for the buck at West Marine @U$0.42 or so.

  4. #4
    DivaB's Avatar
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    Stretchy and retains water...actually the piece I had been messing with seemed to rather draw the water to it when it rained Even when I tied a drip line to it, and I tied it tight, it still brought in some water.

  5. #5
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    How about straight polyester rope? A little more expensive than poly prop, but still cheaper than amsteel and more accessible.

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    Senior Member 1066vik's Avatar
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    if you're not worried about weight, polyester cinch straps work pretty well. 1" wide straps from HF are rated at 1200-1500 pounds.

  7. #7
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    I am using cinch wraps for tree straps, I was thinking of using 3/8 poly pro for ridge ling and "whoopies".

  8. #8
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferball View Post
    How about straight polyester rope? A little more expensive than poly prop, but still cheaper than amsteel and more accessible.
    Hollow single braid Amsteel/Dyneema/Spectra/UHDMWPE line is popular here because it is so strong per weight and because it lends itself to adjustable constriction knots like whoopie slings while giving up almost none of its strength from splicing. The splicing can be done in ways that benefit from practice but they require almost no skill and training and no specialty tools.

    Surrendered with single braid is the satisfaction and hand feel of good double braided rope. But the weight and bulk savings are enormous since by weight polyester / Dacron is about a third the strength of Amsteel Serious braided polyester line of 2000lb breaking strength can be had in 1/4" / 6mm sizes, but not for less $. Why 2000lb beaking strength? Because every line must be terminated, with a loss of 40-60% in breaking strength from the knot. So every 2000lb bs line immediately gets derated.

    Most of what is sold in the big box stores is truly crap, of mixed fiber.

    Here is an online store with quality line in sizes you might be interested in for outdoor use. He offers a wide selection in convenient 30-60 foot lengths, shipping out of Allentown, PA.

    http://stores.ebay.com/discountropeandline

    When I wanted to sample something recently, I offered to throw a fiver for a sample in first class envelope. He in turn told me he'd take the $5 off if I bought, and he responded quickly with $3 worth.
    Last edited by DemostiX; 04-15-2012 at 18:15. Reason: knot

  9. #9
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferball View Post
    ..still cheaper than amsteel and more accessible.
    If you're looking for more accessible suspension materials, you'd be better off locating a source for polyester or polypro webbing locally. It's far more likely to be available, and its strength and durability will be higher than most ropes whose diameter isn't off-putting for hammock use.

    With regards to polyester and polypro ropes, the posters above have brought up many of the drawbacks which describe why they aren't used by more hammockers. Bulk/weight/water-wicking are chief among them, for ropes that are strong enough.

    Amsteel might not be available at every big-box store...but it's really not difficult to locate. Stock is available at almost every sailing supplier, many arborist suppliers, some off-road-vehicle suppliers, and hundreds of other retailers. The strength, bulk, and long-term durability is really hard to match in other materials.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  10. #10
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    I have a local guy that has webbing galore, but nothing is labeled with load ratings, is webbing pretty universal in its rating? I mean does a poly pro 1 inch webbing have a basic breaking strength that can be assumed?

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