High-strength fiber helps make ropes used to string power lines easier to handle and more durable
Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced that its high-strength, lightweight Spectra® fiber is being used by the largest public power company in the U.S. to help to save costs while making it easier and safer for workers to install power lines.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which provides electricity to 9 million people in seven southeastern states, is using ropes manufactured by Yale Cordage containing Spectra fiber to string power cables. The light weight of Spectra fiber allows the ropes to be more easily handled by workers in the field, making the stringing process safer.
Spectra fiber also makes the ropes more durable, which means there is less wear and tear on equipment and the ropes do not have to be replaced as often, resulting in cost savings for the utility.
“Spectra fiber’s strength and light weight have made it an ideal choice for a range of rope applications, from mooring large ships to utility applications like this one,” said Mark Saholsky, global business manager for Honeywell’s Advanced Fibers and Composites business. “Honeywell is committed to continuing to advance Spectra technology to meet the increasing demands of a wide-range of applications, from ropes and slings to ballistic vest and armor applications.”
Ropes that contain Spectra fiber are seven to 10 times lighter than steel wire ropes used previously by utility workers at TVA, allowing the ropes and the equipment that carries them to be easier to maneuver and position. The light weight of the ropes can also further reduce cost by eliminating the need for overweight permits on utility trucks or can give utilities flexibility to add additional rope length to current assets.
Spectra fiber also extends the durability and lifespan of the rope. Since the new ropes containing Spectra fiber were introduced two years ago, less than 2 percent of the ropes’ original breaking strength has been lost. Previous ropes used by TVA had lost up to 88 percent of their breaking strength over a two-year period, resulting in frequent rope breaks and high replacement costs.
“Yale Cordage has relied on Spectra fiber to provide lightweight strength to our ropes for more than 25 years,” said Tom Yale, president and CEO of Yale Cordage, a custom and specialty rope manufacturer that designs ropes for a variety of industrial, marine and recreational applications. “The unique properties of Spectra have helped us to design advanced and high-quality ropes, including those used by TVA to install power lines, for a wide range of industrial customers.”
Honeywell’s Spectra fiber is made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. The fiber exhibits high resistance to chemicals, water and ultraviolet light. Other industrial applications for Spectra fiber include security netting, lifting slings, fishing line, towing and tug lines, as well as curtains designed to protect windows and doors during severe weather. The fiber is also commonly used in bullet-resistant body and vehicle armor.
To learn more about Spectra fiber, or to read a detailed case study about how Spectra improved the durability of the ropes used by TVA, visit www.honeywell.com/spectra.
Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies is a global leader in developing and manufacturing advanced materials and process technologies. These materials and technologies are used by people every day in a wide range of industries and applications, from petroleum refining to environmentally friendlier refrigerants to bullet-resistant vests. Our advanced materials are critical in the manufacture of products ranging from nylon to computer chips to pharmaceutical packaging. Process technologies developed by our UOP business form the foundation for most of the world’s refiners, efficiently producing gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and petrochemicals. UOP is now pioneering technology to produce real fuels from renewable energy sources.
Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.
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