The following chart illustrates many of the characteristics of synthetic fibers that are commonly used in ropes. The requirements needed for a specific application will determine which fiber is best. Example: If the requirement is for a light weight rope that floats and is resistant to mildew, then polypropylene or  polyethylene will be best. If on the other hand, a rope with high tensile strength is to be used underwater then nylon or polyester will be best.

                Ultra High 
                Molecular Weight
        Nylon Polyester Polypropylene Polyethylene Polyethylne
        (Polyamide)       (UHMWPE)
Grams per denier     7.0- 9.5 6.5 -8.5 6.0-7.3 6 30
Shock Load Absorption   Excellent Good Fair Fair Fair
Percent on Break     18-25% 22% 24% 15-20% 3.50%
Creep       Moderate Moderate High High Moderate
Specific Gravity     1.14 1.38 0.89 0.95 0.97
Floats       No No Yes Yes Yes
Effects of Moisture              
Water Absorption     2-8% 1% None None None
Dielectric Properties   Poor Poor Excellent Excellent Excellent
Resistance to Ultra Violet   Good Good Fair Fair Fair
Resistance to Rot & Mildew   Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Thermal Properties              
Melts at        420-480 F 482 F 330 F 275 F 297 F
Resistance to Acids     Fair Fair Excellent Excellent Excellent
Resistance to Alkalis   Very Good Very Good Excellent Excellent Excellent
Resistance to Oil and Gas   Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good