SEM images: cut resistance of climbing ropes

Published: 3 February 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/hn2cy35wxh.1
Daniel Sedlacek


The dataset consists of over 1500 raw images from scanning electron microscopy of broken nylon 6 fibers. Fibers were taken from climbing ropes after undergoing laboratory cut resistance tests and an accident simulation. The images are divided into folders by: 1) test type: Accident simulation, Edelrid test, Elmenzwick test, and UIAA 101 Sharp Edge test 2) the type of rope and the location in its cross-section from which the images were taken. The fiber fractography revealed four main failure modes. These failure modes included lateral pressure with high-stress concentration, lateral pressure with low-stress concentration, high-speed tensile break, and molten and fused fiber ends. In isolated cases, ductile breaks were found. None of the laboratory test methods could comprehensively mimic the overall breaking mechanism of the accident simulation.


Steps to reproduce

The fiber fractography was performed using a FIB-SEM System Quanta 3D 200 scanning electron microscope (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Hillsboro, OR, US). After the cutting tests, the ply yarns from the sheath and strands from the core approximately 30 mm long were carefully cut and extracted from the ropes. In tests for which the cutting direction could be determined (Elmenzwick and Edelrid), samples from five distinct regions along the cutting direction were taken (Figure 6a in the article). In tests for which it was not possible to determine the cutting direction (UIAA 101 and accident simulation), samples from nine distinct regions were taken (Figure 6b in the article). Samples were coated with gold using an Agar Sputter Coater AGB7340 (Agar Scientific Ltd, Stansted, UK) with a chamber pressure of 0.1 mbar, a current of 30 mA, and an application time of 60 s. The images were taken using a high vacuum mode, an accelerating voltage of 7 kV, and an Evenhardt-Thornley secondary electron detector. The magnifications used were 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, and 3200x to cover the entire range from ply yarn or strand overview to details of broken fibers. On average, ten images were taken per region, making a total of more than 1,500 images.


Universitat Innsbruck Fakultat fur Technische Wissenschaften


Scanning Electron Microscopy, Polyamide, Fiber Failure, Yarn, Rope, Fractography