There are many reasons for using a synthetic plastic cable instead of a steel cable on a cable winch. The plastic ropes are usually made from Dyneema®, a synthetic chemical fiber based on polyethylene.
With the same diameter, the plastic cable is only 1/7 of the weight of a steel cable. In fact, it's so light it floats on water. In contrast to wire ropes, synthetic ropes do not twist. There are no so-called curls and the ropes do not kink either. This makes handling much easier.
With wire ropes, individual torn and protruding wires quickly lead to unpleasant injuries if the rope is guided without sturdy gloves, e.g. when winding it up. If a steel cable breaks due to overload or damage, the whipping of the two ends of the cable is extremely dangerous and can cause injuries to people standing too close to the cable or damage to the vehicle. Therefore, when using steel cables, you should always put a damper on the cable. If a plastic rope breaks, the rope will kick back, but this is comparatively much less dangerous.
Dyneema fibers are very durable and have a high resistance to abrasion, moisture, UV rays and chemicals such as oils and fats. Dyneema ropes only have a very low elongation of 0.5 to 2%.
All T-MAX synthetic ropes are made from SK-75 Dyneema fibers. In order to ensure consistently high quality, the ropes from T-MAX are produced in-house on stranding machines from the Spanish manufacturer Twistechnology®.
The winch ropes are specially coated to prevent slipping on the winch drum and thus transmit maximum power and prevent the rope from tearing off the drum, even when only a few turns are left on the drum.
With many cable winches, the cable brake is inside the drum and can therefore heat up significantly under extreme use. The melting point of Dyneema is a low 144 to 152 °C compared to steel cable. T-MAX therefore equips all winch ropes with a special heat protection coating. In addition, the first meters of the winch ropes that lie directly on the drum are covered with a protective cover. This effectively prevents damage.
Since many users do not pull in the winch cables completely, but instead latch the hook on the bottom of the vehicle or on the shackles on the bumper, the start of the winch cables is also provided with a protective cover to prevent damage.
The ropes are equipped with a special thimble made of stainless steel and a permanently installed hook with a ratchet. The forged hook has a higher breaking load than the rope. The ropes are provided with a strap for attachment to the drum.
In English, plastic winch ropes are referred to as synthetic ropes.
To avoid damaging a synthetic rope, it must never be pulled over rocks or rough surfaces under load. If this is necessary, a suitable abrasion protection must be placed underneath. Plastic ropes must not be guided around sharp corners. Jerky loads must be avoided as they can lead to the breaking load being exceeded.
A plastic rope must not be used with a roller fairlead, but requires an aluminum fairlead. The reason for this is that plastic ropes are very flexible and therefore, under unfavorable circumstances, could get caught in the corners between two pulleys and be damaged. When converting a winch to a plastic rope, the rope window must therefore also be replaced. The mounting holes of the roller cable window and aluminum cable window are identical, so that an exchange is unproblematic. As a welcome side effect, the aluminum cable window leads to additional weight savings.
Plastic winch rope 6000-15
Dyneema SK-75 winch rope for winches up to 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) of pull. Length 15 m, diameter 7.5 mm, incl. hook.
- Length (m)
- 15 m
- Breaking Strength
- 2700 KG