US Navy puts Samson KZ-100 to the test

Samson is pleased to report the completion of a 12 month trial of KZ-100 synthetic crane hoist line at the Pearl Harbor naval base and Newport News Shipbuilding facility in Virginia. Samson enlisted the help of U.S. Navy Crane Center to evaluate KZ-100 and establish credibility, confidence and trust across the entire mobile crane industry. 

KZ-100 is currently installed as the main and auxiliary lines on the Manitowoc RT540E crane at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, and is also used on the Manitowoc RT9130E crane at Newport News Shipbuilding. At the Pearl Harbor location, the lines service two, eight-hour shifts per day, five days a week, loading cargo and supplies onto Navy ships.

When the lines were first installed, Navy Crane Center was very skeptical. Sure, they liked the idea of using lines that were 80 percent lighter than wire and would be easier and faster to reeve, lift, and ship, but they didn’t have any experience with synthetic crane ropes beyond nylon ropes. They expected that KZ-100 would behave like nylon and would dramatically stretch as soon as heavy loads were applied to the line.

In fact, if the line had shown significant stretch or bounce, it would have been an automatic fail. That wasn’t the case with KZ-100: the first few lifts condition the rope and remove constructional elongation, which can lengthen the rope about 2 to 3 percent. Once that constructional elongation is removed, KZ-100 is functionally comparable to wire, with no observable difference in the load stability.

According to Navy Crane Center, everyone has been very impressed with the performance of KZ-100 at both locations. They haven’t needed to change or adapt any of their standard operating procedures to accommodate the new lines. They hoped it would perform at least as well as wire with the same strength and reliability, and it has. There hasn’t been any downtime reported. If the rope dives during spooling, it’s easily reversed with no damage to the line.  Read the full case study here.

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