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Concerns regarding friction cord splices

Richard Tregoweth - Thursday, June 10, 2010

The splicing of friction cords has become are a matter of contention in tree climbing circles over recent months - Treetools inadvertently 'fueled the fire' when we published this blog.

The debate centers around the fact that some climbers are splicing Class II double braid (High Molecular/Aramid Core/Polyester Sheath) cord with Class I (100% Polyester) splicing instructions.

We first became aware of the issue while talking with the visiting international judge Thilo Beeker at the NZ National TCC in November 2009. During that discussion Thilo pointed out various rope splices on climber's systems that would not reach international standard. The debate re-surfaced loud and clear at the ISAAC TCC Adelaide gear check in May 2010.

Unfortunately there appears to be very little research available on this subject. Consequently, the void is filled with opinion and conjecture.

To help clarify the issue, Treetools in association with DB Tree, will conduct a series of break tests on spliced eye-to-eye 8mm Armor Prus prussic cords. These cords will be tested to destruction in an effort to find the breaking strength in kN of each type of splice. Test results will be published as soon as they become available.

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