Double ropes are usually reserved for ice and mixed climbing, where there is need for two ropes to rappel or abseil.
They are also popular among traditional climbers, and particularly in the UK, due to the ability to clip each rope into alternating pieces of protection; allowing the ropes to stay straighter and hence reduce rope drag. When using twin ropes, both ropes are clipped into the same piece of protection, treating the two as a single strand.
In systems that use the "inch" (British Imperial and United States Customary Measure), large ropes over 1 inch diameter such as are used on ships are measured by their circumference in inches; smaller ropes have a nominal diameter based on the circumference divided by three (rounded-down value for pi).
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Synthetic fibres in use for rope-making include polypropylene, nylon, polyesters (e.g. Without any twist in the rope, the shortest strand(s) would always be supporting a much higher proportion of the total load.
The long history of rope means that many systems have been used to state the size of a rope.
The butterfly coil is a method of carrying a rope used by climbers where the rope remains attached to the climber and ready to be uncoiled at short notice.
Another method of carrying a rope is the alpine coil.
This would be favourable in a situation where there was a high chance of a rope being cut.
However new lighter-weight ropes with greater safety have virtually replaced this type of rope.
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The current preferred international standard for rope sizes is to give the mass per unit length, in kilograms per metre.
However, even sources otherwise using metric units may still give a "rope number" for large ropes, which is the circumference in inches.
Pulleys redirect the pulling force to another direction, and can create mechanical advantage so that multiple strands of rope share a load and multiply the force applied to the end.