Rope is strong and flexible cord that is used for binding, towing, hoisting, or suspending objects. Rope is made of three or more strands of fibrous material that are twisted or woven together. The strands are themselves twisted together from two or more yarns that are spun from vegetable or synthetic fibers. Manila hemp, from the abaca plant, and sisal are the fibers most often used to make rope. Other important fibers are made from jute, true hemp, flax, and cotton plants. Nylon is the leading synthetic fiber used in rope making. Nylon rope is particularly useful for towing, because it is elastic and will absorb sudden strains.
Wire rope is used in bridges, in such hoisting mechanisms as cranes and elevators, as rigging for ships, and as control cables in automobiles and aircraft. It is composed of six or more strands that are twisted around a core. The core is usually made of fiber to reduce friction within the rope. Each strand of wire rope is made from 4, 7, 19, or 37 continuous wires twisted together. Standard hoisting rope is usually made of steel with 19-wire strands. The metal is often coated with zinc or nylon to protect it from corrosion.
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