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In the UIAA drop test, a piece of rope 2,8 m in length must hold a weight of 80 kg (single ropes) or 55 kg (half ropes) dropped vertically from a height of 5 m. The rope runs over a deflection edge of 10 mm (approximating the thickness of a carabiner).. For developmental work and continuous quality control, Arova-Mammut has its own on-site drop tower, certified for UIAA tests.


At the moment, there is some discussion of including an extra test into this standard, where the diameter of the deflection edge over which the rope passes during testing, is reduced to the point where a rope will only hold 1 test drop. This figure in mm could then be used as a comparison of edge strength of a rope.

Theoretically, a rope which would hold a drop over an edge of 0,5 mm would supposedly offer more security than one which would only hold a drop over an edge of 1,5 mm for example. There are still many problems to be resolved on how such a test would be performed. What is certain however, is that the number of test falls a rope will hold drops rapidly if the diameter of the deflection edge is reduced.

The fall factor is used in order to quantify the severity of a fall, the fall factor is defined by dividing the length of a fall by the amount of rope out in the belay system. For example, the UIAA drop test has a fall factor of 1,78 (ca. 5 m / 2,8 m).