What is Synthetic Rope?
Also known as Dyneema and HMPE
DSM is the inventor and manufacturer of Dyneema, the world's strongest fiber. This polyethylene fiber, based on Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) , also known as high-modulus polyethylene (HMPE), is used in many applications in various end-markets, such as life protection, shipping, fishing, offshore, sailing, medical and textiles.
[And now 4wd winch ropes].
The coefficient of friction of Dyneema is significantly lower than that of nylon and acetal, and is comparable to that of Teflon, but UHMWPE has better abrasion resistance than Teflon. It is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic. Its melting point is around 144 to 152 °C, and, according to DSM, it is not advisable to use UHMWPE fibers at temperatures exceeding 100 °C for long periods of time. It becomes brittle at temperatures below -150 °C (-240 °F).
Dyneema is a gel spun through a spinneret to form oriented-strand synthetic fibers of UHMWPE, which have yield strengths as high as 2.4 GPa and density as low as 0.97 kg/l (for Dyneema SK75).
Since steel has a density approximately equal to 7.8 kg/l, this gives strength-to-weight ratios for these materials in a range from 10 to 100 times higher than steel. Strength-to-weight ratios for Dyneema are about 40% higher than for Aramid.(Kevlar)
[Dyneema and Kevlar are trademarks of there respective companies].
Quoted winch rope lengths can be confusing.
The rope lengths that are quoted are the measured length that is cut off the spool. After the length has been cut, each end fitting is spliced on, according to requirments, making the end finished rope shorter than the original cut length. Each end splice uses approximately 1 meter of rope.
ie, a 30 meter winch rope will measure 29 meters after the end thimble has been spliced on. For winch extensions, they need two end splices, thus they will measure 2 meters shorter than the original cut length of rope.
Things You Need To Know
Synthetic rope has many advantages over steel cable, but there are a few disadvantages that you need to be aware of. The major enemy of synthetic rope is heat. Temperatures need to be kept under 100 degrees. Under normal use this is not a problem.
Most planetary winches have a brake built into the winch drum. When powering out under load, the brake will generate significant heat. This can critically damage the rope if not controlled.
To prevent this from happening don't power out the winch for long lengths of time. Use the free spool facility. Using free spool instead of powering out, saves both the battery and the heat from building up. Powering in the winch does not cause heat build up.
Hi-Mount winches and some of the new winches don't have internal drum brakes. Thus there is no heat build up when powering the winch out.
If you use the winch properly with the above in mind, then you should have no problems with heat.
What type of Fairlead do I need?
Fairlead rollers can jam the rope in the corners. The rope is a lot more flexible than steel cable and can tangle around or can flatten when loose and then get caught in the rollers. On a straight pull under tension, the rollers will be just as good, if not better, than the aluminium fairlead. If using existing rollers, you need to make sure all the burrs have been removed from them, that the steel cable will have caused. The aluminium fairlead is lighter and neater than the rollers and you don't have to watch it carefully. Therefore most people would change over from their roller fairlead at the same time they put on synthetic rope. The ARB bullbar has been designed with a recess to suit rollers. This may cause problems when using an alloy fairlead. Maybe consider a spacer for the fairlead or sticking with the roller system if you have the ARB bullbar design.
Winch and Solenoid Wiring
If you need a circuit diagram for wiring your winch then download this PDF document. If you need more help then send me an email.
What are the different types?
There are three main types of Solar Panels, Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline and Amorphous
Monocrystalline Silicon Cells:
Highest efficiency - Most expensive - Smallest size for the output
Made from a single crystal of silicon. This is the most efficient of the photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The principle advantage of monocrystalline cells are their high efficiencies, typically around 15%, although the manufacturing process required to produce monocrystalline silicon is complicated, resulting in slightly higher costs. In appearance, it will have a smooth texture and you will be able to see the thickness of the slice. They need to be mounted in a rigid frame to protect them. There is a reduction in output at elevated temperatures, although the effect is not as large as for polycrystalline panels. A reduction of between 12% and 15% can be expected on a sunny day in Far North Queensland. Monocrystaline Solar Panels are the smallest and most efficient for there size. Most modern Solar Panels are now mono crystaline.
Polycrystalline or Multicrystalline Silicon Cells:
Medium efficiency - medium cost - Affected most by temperature
Made from melted and recrystallised silicon. Multicrystalline cells are cheaper to produce than monocrystalline ones, due to the simpler manufacturing process. However, they tend to be slightly less efficient, with average efficiencies of around 12%. They have a speckled crystal reflective appearance, and need to be mounted in a rigid frame. In Far North Queensland on a sunny day, panels usually operate at a temperature of 50C or higher, well above the 25C used for the standard. The effect is that output is reduced. A reduction of between 14% and 23% can be expected. Up until recently, poly crystalline solar panels were the most common. Polycrystalline panels are larger in size than an equivalent power rated Monocrystalline panel.
Lowest efficiency - Flexible structure - Least expensive - Much larger in size for the output - Not affected by temperature.
Amorphous silicon cells are composed of silicon atoms in a thin homogenous layer rather than a crystal structure. Amorphous silicon absorbs light more effectively than crystalline silicon, so the cells can be thinner. For this reason, amorphous silicon is also known as a "thin film" PV technology. Amorphous silicon can be deposited on a wide range of substrates, both rigid and flexible, which makes it ideal for curved surfaces and "fold-away" modules. Amorphous cells are, however, less efficient than crystalline based cells, with typical efficiencies of around 6%, but they are easier and therefore cheaper to produce. Their low cost makes them ideally suited for many applications where high efficiency is not required and low cost is important. One characteristic of amorphous solar cells is that their power output reduces over time, particularly during the first few months, after which time they are basically stable. The quoted output of an amorphous panel should be that produced after this stabilization. Amorphous panels are popular in Far North Queensland, because unlike the other types, their output does not decrease in elevated temperatures. Amorphus Solar Panels are larger in size than both mono and poly crystalline solar panels of an equivalent rating.