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Load-Elongation Characteristics of Connecting and Shock-Absorbing Components of Personal Fall Arrest Systems

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The process of arresting a fall from a height by protective equipment is characterised by two most important values: the arrest force and the distance over which the fall arrest occurs. The time course of these values is determined primarily by the mechanical parameters of the connecting and shock-absorbing components of the fall arrest system, such as textile energy absorbers, retractable type fall arresters and guided type fall arresters. The paper presents the methods of testing used up till now to determine the properties of connecting and shock-absorbing components. Their disadvantages are demonstrated and a new method allowing to determine the load-elongation characteristics of connecting and shockabsorbing components containing textile elements is described. The method presented and test stand are based on simultaneous measurements of the force acting in the object investigated and its elongation. For measurements of elongation under dynamic conditions, an extensometer equipped with a high speed camera was used. The results of tests performed under static and dynamic conditions on objects made of fibre rope and webbing used in equipment protecting against falls from a height are presented. The results obtained demonstrate significant differences between these characteristics, which confirms the effect of the loading velocity on the mechanical parameters of textile elements used as parts of personal fall arrest systems. Therefore data allowing to develop numerical models of connecting and shock-absorbing components were obtained.


protective equipment, falls from a height, connecting component, shock-absorbing component, webbing, fibre rope, elongation, performance test.


Baszczyński K, Jachowicz M. Load-Elongation Characteristics of Connecting and Shock-Absorbing Components of Personal Fall Arrest Systems. FIBRES & TEXTILES in Eastern Europe 2012; 20, 6A(95): 78-85.

Published in issue no 6A (95) / 2012, pages 78–85.


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