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I have two half ropes from Camp that are basically unused, but are slowly getting old, and I would like to know their age. Is there a way to do that?

I know the name of the model: Camp Plekton 8.2mm. And I also know the batch number.

Edit: These are my own ropes, so I do know how they were used, this is not the problem. The problem is that I am not 100% sure when I bought them. Could be 6 years ago, could be 8 years ago. Still within 10 years limit, but a big difference on how long they still could be fine to use. I also don't know how long they could have been stored in the shop.

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    Related When should I retire my rope I am on the fence about suggesting this new question is a duplicate. I feel like if you don't know there age and it is important, it has been long enough that it doesn't matter. If you life is going to depend on them, don't use them, If not keep them until they break. – James Jenkins Mar 6 at 13:17
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    Never use old ropes that you don't know the history of. Old or no you have no idea where these have been stored, what falls they've taken, etc. You say basically unused, you really can't know this. – user2766 Mar 6 at 13:50
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    @Liam I do really know this: they are my ropes bought by me in the shop. Stored in a plastic bag in a dry dark place, used max 3 times, taken 0 falls (: – april rain Mar 6 at 14:15
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    Ah ok. That's fine then – user2766 Mar 6 at 14:17
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    Bearing in mind that you're betting your life that the batch number has been correctly logged by the company, I'd probably stick with the adage; if you have to ask, buy a new one. This also works for canned food. – Valorum Mar 7 at 20:24
40

In the end I have contacted the manufacturer, and received a detailed answer surprisingly quickly.

So turns out, that the last 2 digits of the batch number are the year of manufacture. E.g. ABCD987612 --> Year of manufacture is 2012.

Additional useful information from the e-mail:

The potential lifetime of this product in use is 10 years.

Attention: This is only a potential lifetime, a rope could be destroyed during its first use. It is the inspections which determine if the product must be scrapped more quickly. Proper storage between uses is essential. The lifetime of the rope in use must never exceed 10 years. The total maximum lifetime (storage before use + lifetime in use) is thus limited to 12 years.

What I did not know is that I did not have to worry about the storage time in the shop. The two years are not included in the max 10 years of use.

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    That's security theater: Why should shelf time in shop be fine for exactly 2 years and shelf time at home suddenly set off a counter. There's certainly some aging, but all literature I read (e.g. Pit Schubert :) ) indicate that an undamaged (and use damages) rope is safe regardless of age. – imsodin Mar 6 at 16:26
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    it is most likely true, but with some things I would better be safe than sorry, climbing safety equipment is one of them (: – april rain Mar 6 at 16:51
  • Having the batch number makes a big difference here; it saves you sacrificing the end of your rope to take apart for the identification tape! – Toby Speight Mar 6 at 18:27
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    @imsodin I don't know, but I think it means, 10 years after first use, without regard for store or home. But not to exceed 12 years, even if you wait 6 years to use it the first time. – James Jenkins Mar 6 at 19:22
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    I was thinking maybe the stores have 2 years to sell the rope? But I am not sure :) – april rain Mar 6 at 22:51
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The only way I know of would to be to cut a small section off of one of the ends and then dissect it.

Inside of the sheath next to the core strands should be a tracer thread and identification tape,

During the braiding process, an identification tape and tracer thread indicating the year of manufacture are woven into the rope core.

The year of manufacture tracer thread is made from polyamide, and is in a particular colour. Its colour shows the year the rope was manufactured, although the same set of colours is repeated every ten years. The year of manufacture tracer thread means that this information is permanently marked for the lifespan of the rope.

The identification tape is a thin strip of polypropylene. In accordance with the EN 1891 standard for static ropes, it has to display the following information: name of manufacturer, standard and rope type, year of manufacture and the type of material the static rope is made from.

Source

The identification tape should say the year right on it, and I have seen this before when I was decoring retired climbing rope to make rope bracelets out of it.

You would have to contact the manufacturer in order to find out what year that color of tracer thread was used.

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    Whilst this is all true (and useful information generally), the term half ropes in the question implies dynamic rope rather than static. How much of this answer is also applicable to dynamic rope? – Toby Speight Mar 6 at 17:39
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    @TobySpeight mytendon.com/dynamic-ropes-manual – Charlie Brumbaugh Mar 6 at 17:54

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