The purpose of this experiment was to determine which knot or hitch, among four pairs with similar uses, had a higher breaking strength.
I became interested in this project because I enjoy rock climbing and it would be nice to know what knots are best to use and which are safest.
The information gained from this experiment could prove or disprove known information about knots, hitches, and rope breaking strength it could also be useful information regarding industry and recreation such as; fishing, timber and rock climbing.
My first hypothesis was that the figure of eight knot would be stronger than the over hand knot.
My second hypothesis was that the sheet bend would be stronger than the square knot.
My third hypothesis was that the bowline would be stronger than the fisher mans eye
My fourth hypothesis was that the timber hitch would be stronger than the clove hitch.
I based my hypothesis on Coast Guard data on the web called “Knot Strength”, at http://184.108.40.206/knots/knot_str.htm. It showed a table of breaking strengths in rope with various knots. It can be found in the appendix.
The constants in this study were:
The responding variable was the force needed to break the knots.
To measure the responding variable I made a device that increased rope tension and transferred the force to the load cell. The load cell then sent information to the indicator. The indicator displayed in kilograms from 0 to breaking point.
1. Build testing device
a. Get a 1.2 cm. solid, long piece of metal.
b. Put on safety glasses.
c. Put on leather gloves.
d. Measure 15 cm three times in the metal and mark where the 15 cm mark is.
e. Measure up the mark at the 15 cm to the saw blade.
f. Turn on the saw and cut the metal in the three spots you marked it.
g. Turn off the saw.
h. Weld two of the pieces of metal together in the center on the long side.
i. Put on your welding helmet so you don’t hurt your eyes.
j. Put on a leather, welding chest and arm coat.
k. Put on leather gloves.
l. Weld the third piece in the center where you had already welded the other two.
m. Weld the third piece on the long side.
n. Weld it sitting up on its side.
o. On the metal tube cut a 1.27 cm wide cut in it.
p. Cut it in a straight line.
q. Smooth out the edges and the sharp pieces of metal where you had cut the straight 1.27 cm wide cut.
r. Fit the half, inch wide cut to be just wide enough so that the metal piece you made in step eight has a little extra space to slide.
2. Cut rope
a. Cut the rope at 152 cm
b. Cut 5, 152 cm ropes for each knot
3. Tie knots
a. Tie the different knots in the middle of the rope
b. For the hitches (Bowline and Timber hitch) tie them on the bar at the end of the device that is being used.
4. Conduct trials.
a. Take the rope
b. Put the rope in the hole in the winch that has an indent in it that is facing the bar at the end of the device and tie a knot in it so it doesn’t slip out
c. Turn the winch forward so there is two loops all the way around it then put the rope in the middle of the two and go around it only one time
d. Tie the knot in the middle or the hitch at the end then tie it off on the solid metal triangle holding the bar
e. Turn the scale to measure kilograms
f. Turn the winch slowly while carefully reading the breaking strength on the indicator until the first strand breaks
g. Record the data
h. Repeat 4f with the second and third strands
i. Repeat 4a-4e with all the other knot types five times each
5. Record all the data
6. Average all trials for each knot type
a. Add all the data for one knot and the divide it by five because that is how many recordings there should be
b. Repeat 5a with each knot
The original purpose of this experiment was to determine which knot or hitch, among four pairs with similar uses, had a higher breaking strength.
The results of the experiment were that the rope did break sooner with knot than it would without the knot in it. With some knots it did not break so soon because it was a stronger knot. I also found that the rope always breaks at the critical bend in the knot.
See my table and graph
My original hypothesis was the figure of eight knot would be stronger than the over hand knot.
This hypothesis should be accepted because the figure of eight knot was stronger than the overhand knot.
My second hypothesis was the sheet bend would be stronger than the square knot.
This hypothesis should be accepted because the sheet bend was stronger than the overhand knot.
My third hypothesis was the bowline would be stronger than the fisherman’s eye.
This hypothesis should be rejected because the fisherman’s eye was stronger than the bowline
My fourth hypothesis was the timber hitch would be stronger than the clove hitch.
This hypothesis should be accepted because the timber hitch was stronger than the clove hitch.
Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder if testing the knots at extremely different temp would change the results.
If I were to conduct this project again I would do many more trials on breaking the knot. I would also start out with a softer and wider winch tube so that I could of attached the hitches with less hassle. I also wonder what would happen if I tested different ropes instead of different knots. Sisal is not ordinarily used in Mt. Climbing so I should have used a more tipical rope.
I would like to thank the following people for helping make my project possible:
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