What is Parachute cord?
I thought it would nice to give some background information on what paracord is. I thought about looking across the internet and trying to write my own description, but that was going to take too long and the outcome probably wouldn’t be as nice. So…I headed over to wikipedia.org and typed in paracord. Here is the link and information that present on their page. For my quick 2 cent version. Buy the 550 paracord that is made in the USA and has seven strands and purchase it from a place other that a giant retailer.
The sheath of this commercial parachute cord is braided from 32 strands and the core made up of seven two-ply yarns. The scale is in inches.Parachute cord (also paracord or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. Once in the field, paratroopers found this cord useful for many other tasks. It is now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians. This versatile cord was even used by astronauts during STS-82, the second Space Shuttle mission to repair theHubble Space Telescope.
The braided sheath has a high number of interwoven strands for its size, giving it a relatively smooth texture. The all-nylon construction makes paracord fairly elastic; depending on the application this can be either an asset or a liability.
When threaded with beads, paracord may be used as a pace counter to estimate ground covered by foot. The yarns of the core (commonly referred to as “the guts”) can also be removed when finer string is needed, for instance as sewing thread to repair gear or fishing line in a survivalsituation. The nylon sheath is often used alone, the yarn in the core removed, when a thinner or less elastic cord is needed. Ends of the cord are almost always melted and crimped to prevent fraying.
The US military specification for paracord outlines a number of parameters to which the final product must conform. Although it contains specific denier figures for the sheath strands and inner yarns, there are no overall diameter requirements for the cord itself. Below is a table of selected elements from the specification.
|Type||Minimum breaking strength||Minimum elongation||Minimum length per pound||Core yarns||Sheath structure|
|I||95 lb (43 kg)||30%||950 ft (290 m; 1.57 g/m)||4 to 7||32/1 or 16/2|
|IA||100 lb (45 kg)||30%||1050 ft (320 m; 1.42 g/m)||<no core>||16/1|
|II||400 lb (181 kg)||30%||265 ft (81 m; 5.62 g/m)||4 to 7||32/1 or 36/1|
|IIA||225 lb (102 kg)||30%||495 ft (151 m; 3.00 g/m)||<no core>||32/1 or 36/1|
|III||550 lb (249 kg)||30%||225 ft (69 m; 6.61 g/m)||7 to 9||32/1 or 36/1|
|IV||750 lb (340 kg)||30%||165 ft (50 m; 9.02 g/m)||11||32/1, 36/1, or 44/1|
Paracord has also been used by many since the 1970s for whipmaking. The durability & versatility of this material has proved beneficial for performing whip crackers & enthusiasts. Since nylon doesn’t rot or mildew, it has become known as an all-weather material for whipmaking. Nylon whips have grown in popularity over the last few decades, more so in the last several years.