Members: The Capstan Equation

The Capstan Equation is a useful tool for rope technicians to fully understand the behaviour of two materials moving against each other such as ropes and hardware.  This article explores this equation and its applications for rope technicians.

Consider a situation in which a rope runs over a curved surface.  The ratio between the tension in the two strands of rope in equilibrium, is described by the Capstan Equation which takes the following form, where T2 pulls a load, and T1 resists that load.

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