Head for heights
Click below to read a summary of the Head for heights project ideas for Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards; or to go back to project ideas click here.
Compare traditional hemp climbing ropes with modern nylon ropes by investigating the breaking strength of cotton and nylon thread
Early climbers in the Alps and other mountain ranges of Europe used hemp ropes to protect themselves in case they fell. Unfortunately there are many accounts of tragic accidents due to hemp ropes failing just when they were needed. These days climbers use ropes made of nylon. Nylon, a plastic, has far superior properties of strength, elasticity and durability than natural fibres. Amazingly, there is absolutely no recorded instance of a modern climbing rope, in satisfactory condition, ever breaking from the impact of a climber‟s fall. In this project you are going to compare the breaking strength of cotton and nylon thread. Cotton is very similar to hemp and will give you a good idea of the risks that the early climbers were taking.
Investigate the properties of climbing and industrial safety ropes.
You should start this project with some research. Find out about the properties of modern climbing ropes and ropes used in industrial safety applications.
Compare the properties of different kinds of climbing and safety rope
Conduct some research into the uses of ropes by both recreational climbers and in industrial safety. Find out about the properties that are important for these ropes and how these properties are measured