Vector forces become apparent whenever there is an internal angle greater than 0° between two or more rigging components or anchorage points.
For ease of explanation, a vector force is typically trying to pull horizontally as well as vertically. This has a multiplying effect on the loads that are felt at the anchor points and likewise the tension exerted within the rigging equipment, be it ropes, slings, strops or chains.
Force is an influence that has both magnitude and direction, it is usually given in the dynamic unit of Newtons (N). For ease of explanation we have used kilograms on this page.
The Ideal Angle
The ‘OK’ Angle
The Critical Angle
Vector Force Chart
Using the Percentage Factor
Vector Force Graph
What would happen if we could actually achieve an internal angle of 180°? Although this would be physically impossible as the rope or slings would even deflect under their own weight, a perfect internal angle of 180° would produce an infinite amount of force exerted to the rigging components and anchor points.
The reason for this is that in trying to calculate the forces using the equation would result in a number being divided by 0. It is impossible to divide a number by zero, try this on a calculator and an E or error message will be displayed.
Where else can Vector Forces be found?
These additional vector forces will also occur wherever internal angles between rigging equipment and loads are apparent. In addition to rigging Y-hangs, this will also include;
- Cross Hauling & Rope to Rope Transfers
- Tensioned Lines & Ariel Tramways
- Tyrolean’s & Zip Wires / Lines
- Included angles in knot and slinging configurations