What is Unicore?


Original Post
brian n · · Manchester, WA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 91

I've been reading many webpages and watching videos about Unicore. I know it is a "permanent” bond between the sheath and core,… but what is it? Chemical or mechanical? I doubt it is a trade secret as there are 3 companies now using it.(Edelweiss, Beal, PMI) Probably a patent, but I couldn’t find any patent info on it despite many searches on different sites and with different keywords.
Some info - edelweiss-ropes.com/unicore...;___from_store=francais
Just really curious.

BTW – Maxim now has a core bonded dynamic rope with the sheath and core stitched together. They call it Platinum Technology. Previously this was only on their static lines.
http://www.teufelberger.com/en/products/climbing-recreation/maximr-dynamic-ropes/maxim-platinum.html

jon jugenheimer · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,049

They use glue strips that once heated up lightly melt the core and sheath together. Unless I am mistaken.

David Gibbs · · Ottawa, ON · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 6
jon jugenheimer wrote:They use glue strips that once heated up lightly melt the core and sheath together. Unless I am mistaken.
Sounds legit.
Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871
David Gibbs wrote: Sounds legit.
So does a flat 8 to join ropes for a rappel. Yet, it is a killer. My farts sound legit. But, that doesn't mean they are safe.
20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352

Why not email Beal and just ask them? My understanding was that it was mechanical based on the marketing drawings I've seen, but I dont really know.

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

I have a Trango Catalyst 9.0 that's also Unicore. It's a workhorse of a rope for a 9.0. I don't know who makes Trango ropes, I thought Roca did but not sure.

brian n · · Manchester, WA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 91
20 kN wrote:Why not email Beal and just ask them?
That would be the reasonable and logical thing... but I have not had much luck at all corresponding with ANY large companies, so that thought generally doesn't enter my mind. Most times I just get added to their email list.
I did, however, take that suggestion and emailed them this morning.
brian n · · Manchester, WA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 91
jon jugenheimer wrote:They use glue strips that once heated up lightly melt the core and sheath together. Unless I am mistaken.
If so and even if not, I wonder what the long term stability of the bond is. Would a rope in a hot car remelt the bond? What about degradation over time?

I know this is all nit-picky because core bonded ropes look a heck of a lot safer in the event of severe sheath damage.
JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 58
brian n wrote:I've been reading many webpages and watching videos about Unicore. I know it is a "permanent” bond between the sheath and core,… but what is it? Chemical or mechanical? I doubt it is a trade secret as there are 3 companies now using it.(Edelweiss, Beal, PMI) Probably a patent, but I couldn’t find any patent info on it despite many searches on different sites and with different keywords. Some info - edelweiss-ropes.com/unicore...;___from_store=francais Just really curious. BTW – Maxim now has a core bonded dynamic rope with the sheath and core stitched together. They call it Platinum Technology. Previously this was only on their static lines. teufelberger.com/en/product...
Beal and Edelweiss ropes come out of the same factory (owned by Beal) if I'm not mistaken. No idea about PMI, although I wouldn't be shocked if they're also coming out of the same place. The number of folks making climbing ropes is far lower than the number selling them (true for most gear).
Jay Samuelson · · Denver CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,863

Here is an account my very negative experience with a Unicore rope from Edelweiss. Granted this was over two years ago so things may be very different now, but thought I would share.

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/edelweiss-sheath-defect---curve-unicore-98/109553498

JK- I believe you mean the number making climbing gear is far lower than the number selling climbing gear

JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 58
Jay Samuelson wrote: JK- I believe you mean the number making climbing gear is far lower than the number selling climbing gear
Yes. Nice catch. Fixed.

Jay Samuelson wrote:Here is an account my very negative experience with a Unicore rope from Edelweiss. Granted this was over two years ago so things may be very different now, but thought I would share.
Odd. I have two Unicore ropes from about the same time frame that are still holding up great, and I've put them through the wringer. neither are the curve, though. One is the Beal Diablo, and the other is the Edelwiess Element. The Beal has held up astonishingly well.
Ty Morrison-Heath · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 2,030

If you got into a vicious boxcutter fight with the person on the route next to you and they hit your rope, it appears the Unicore does slightly better. I'm not sure what running a blade through a cord really tells me in a climbing context...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtURlhPssQI

jason.cre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10
Ty Morrison-Heath wrote:If you got into a vicious boxcutter fight with the person on the route next to you and they hit your rope, it appears the Unicore does slightly better. I'm not sure what running a blade through a cord really tells me in a climbing context... youtube.com/watch?v=CtURlhP...
really? you see no parallels with falling while the rope is running over a sharp edge?
20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
Jay Samuelson wrote:Here is an account my very negative experience with a Unicore rope from Edelweiss. Granted this was over two years ago so things may be very different now, but thought I would share. mountainproject.com/v/edelw... JK- I believe you mean the number making climbing gear is far lower than the number selling climbing gear
I dont think that's a unicore problem, I think it's a problem with the batch of those ropes. Consider two things we know are fact. 1. Many thousands of Unicore ropes have been whiped on to all hell without anything resembling what's seen in your post. 2. Many climbers have bought the exact model of rope you bought, whiped on it tons and never had a problem. That leads me to believe it's a quality control issue, not an engineering defect with the technology.

You are also not alone in the problems you witnessed. Several other models of rope from several other companies have had problems in the past. The Petzl Zephyr, specifically the red model, had similar issues where several climbers on this forum made a post showing the sheath dissolved in only a few climbs. The problem only seemed to impact the red colored model. There was also an issue with the orange colored Dragonfly ropes as well as a red colored Sterling rope. There have also been issues with other ropes as well.

I dont know that anyone ever actually figured what happened to any of these ropes.

Here are some examples:

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/edelweiss-energy-arc-95-mm-sheath-failure/108301933#a_111642001

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/dont-buy-petzl-dragonfly-half-ropes/107600355__2#a_107733277

http://www.rockclimbing.com/forum/Climbing_Information_C2/The_Lab_F69/Petzl_Zephyr_Rope_Warning_P1785716
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
20 kN wrote: I dont think that's a unicore problem, I think it's a problem with the batch of those ropes. Consider two things we know are fact. 1. Many thousands of Unicore ropes have been whiped on to all hell without anything resembling what's seen in your post. 2. Many climbers have bought the exact model of rope you bought, whiped on it tons and never had a problem. That leads me to believe it's a quality control issue, not an engineering defect with the technology. You are also not alone in the problems you witnessed. Several other models of rope from several other companies have had problems in the past. The Petzl Zephyr, specifically the red model, had similar issues where several climbers on this forum made a post showing the sheath dissolved in only a few climbs. The problem only seemed to impact the red colored model. There was also an issue with the orange colored Dragonfly ropes as well as a red colored Sterling rope. There have also been issues with other ropes as well. I dont know that anyone ever actually figured what happened to any of these ropes. Here are some examples: mountainproject.com/v/edelw... mountainproject.com/v/dont-... rockclimbing.com/forum/Clim...
If my memory serves me, it was a QC problem with the red yarns. Also, to the OP I'm pretty sure it is mechanically bonded via some kind of weaving or braiding or something like that.
batguano · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 135

https://youtu.be/oxiY27zM-Dc

"...Chemically bonded..."
"...Since the polyester sheath is glued to the nylon core..."

batguano · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 135
JK- wrote: Beal and Edelweiss ropes come out of the same factory (owned by Beal) if I'm not mistaken. No idea about PMI, although I wouldn't be shocked if they're also coming out of the same place.
As far as I know, the folks at Pigeon Mountain Industries are still making all their own ropes, in house, in Lafayette, GA. PMI has been one of this country's premiere rope manufacturers since 1976, I'd be surprised (and a little disappointed) to find out they were outsourcing any production of their life lines.
brian n · · Manchester, WA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 91
batguano wrote:"...Chemically bonded..." "...Since the polyester sheath is glued to the nylon core..."
Thanks for posting that video. That answers my original question.
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
brian n wrote: Thanks for posting that video. That answers my original question.
Beals unicore is slightly different and appears to be bonded mechanically. "bonds the core to the sheath via a thin, lightweight filament that’s woven between the two"
20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352

Also, Maxim Ropes has their own version of Unicore they call Platinum and it's mechanical.

"Available now, the Protect PA is the first static rope that has no sheath slippage thanks to Platinum(R) technology. New England ropes is using a new braiding method to keep the core and the sheath together. Instead of gluing or taping the sheath to the core, New England Ropes has developed the technology to weave the sheath and the core together every 60cm."




http://blog.weighmyrack.com/no-sheath-slippage-for-the-protect-pa-by-new-england-ropes/

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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