Synthetic rigging also referred to as composite rigging is disruptive technology that in time will replace stainless steel wire rigging. Since marine surveyors will increasingly come into contact with this type of rigging, they need to understand this new technology to enable them to carry out surveys on craft which use it.
Many new types of synthetic fibres have been discovered in recent years. Typically, they are initially used in aerospace applications and later become available for other application where high performance is required.
Most of the high performance fibres are characterised by impressive tensile properties, which with the exception of carbon fibre significantly exceed their compressive strength. With yacht rigs, the mast, spreaders and struts are the only components taking compressive force, and the shrouds stays operate as tension only structural members.
Therefore, the impressive tensile properties of these fibres make them ideal for standing rigging. PBO Zylon : PBO is short for polybenzoxazole is a trademarked name for a range of thermoset liquid-crystalline polyoxazole. This synthetic polymer material was invented and developed by SRI International in the s and is manufactured by the Toyobo Corporation. In generic usage, the fibre is referred to as PBO. Carbon Fibre: Carbon Fibres are long parallel chains of carbon atoms that are formed by stretching and heating certain forms of organic filaments.
Carbon fibre laminates have fatigue limits far in excess of steel and excellent vibration damping characteristics, but have poor impact strength. Carbon fibre is commonly used high performance fibre which is extensively used in the marine industry for high performance structures including hulls, masts and rigging. Aramid: A para-aramid synthetic fiber with the trade name Kevlar was developed at DuPont in and first used commercially in the early s.
A similar fiber to Kevlar called Twaron with roughly the same chemical structure was developed by Akzo in the s with commercial production started in Twaron is now manufactured by Teijin. HPME: Spectra fibres were first introduced into the marketplace inafter a decade of intensive research, engineering and development by the Allied Fibres division of Allied Signal Technologies. Even among the so-called high performance fibres, the unique physical properties of HPME place it in a class of its own.
It is marketed under the trade names of Spectra and Dyneema. Most forms of synthetic rigging exhibit stretch over time creep. However, creep can and is controlled by appropriate design with stretch equivalent sizing being used. With continuous rigging and endless winding, fibres are wound around terminals as part of the manufacturing process see figure 1. When using fibre rod rigging the fibre bundle is typically bonded into terminal fittings. While with rope rigging terminals of similar concept to Norseman Sta-Lock are used for parallel fibre type while the stranded rope form is spliced around special thimbles similar in concept to Merriman thimbles see figure 2.
With the exception of Carbon Fibre solid rod rigging and HPME stranded rope rigging, the fibers are packaged in some form of sheathing to protect the product from physical damage and exposure to the elements, particularly moisture and UV light figure 4. Stranded rope rigging made from HPME fibers is not adversely affected by moisture and UV light so it is not sheathed, but may be surface treated.
Synthetic rigging is gaining acceptance and widespread use on sailing craft of all forms, from monohull to multihull, racer and cruiser with typical usage being indicated in table 1. PBO, Carbon and Aramid rigging as it is made to specific length, terminated and sheathed using specific processes and equipment, it is typically provided by specialist rigging companies as a manufacture and fit service.
Dynice DUX is heat set which removes constructional elongation and further reduces stretch increasing its performance and suitability for use as standing rigging. Since the ends are spliced and since companies like Colligo Marine in the USA manufacture and supply innovative connection hardware it has allowed this HMPE rigging to be provided by smaller rigging companies or done by individuals as a DIY project see figure 4.
Synthetic rigging results in a more reliable rig, a stiffer, faster boat with greatly reduced pitching moment. Reducing weight aloft on any sailing craft lowers the vertical position of the center of gravity VCGwhich dramatically improves a yachts handling, stability, and response. Based on acceptance and use of affordable synthetic rigging marine surveyors will increasingly surveying craft using HMPE rigging.
Inspection of HMPE rigging is easier and outcomes are more conclusive than traditional stainless steel wire rope rigging inspections as all aspects of terminations are visible see figure 4. Lifespan of synthetic rigging, if well cared for, is expected to be at least as good as wire rigging, however many rigging suppliers based on specific experience indicate longer lifespans.
Since the use of synthetic rigging is relatively new, data regarding lifespan is still being gathered. This article is an introduction to this subject. The author would like to thank Colligo Marine and AramidRigging for allowing the use of their pictures.
New England Ropes is a Teufelberger brand.Zylon, a polyphenylene benzobisoxazole PBO fiber, has high tensile strength, thermal stability and flame resistance as compared to organic fibers.
Zylon is used in a huge breadth of applications, including sporting goods, aerospace and high tension rope. We excel at engineering unique textile solutions for our customers. We can work directly from your specifications or interact with your engineering team on the more complicated and early stage projects. Our textile expertise and engineering competence helps foster high-speed results. In many cases, we are challenged by current and prospective customers to refine and improve the performance of their existing products.
We offer in-depth analytical resources including: Physical — fiber construction and geometric analysis, environmental conditions, accelerated UV testing, humidity chambers, moisture analyzers, voltage and dielectric evaluations and measures, microfiber manipulation, etc. Chemical — thermal mechanical analyzer TMAdifferential scanning calorimeter, etc. Mechanical — tensile testing 0—50, lbs. Search for:.
Performance Characteristics Superior creep resistance. Excellent heat resistance. Not light resistant and will show decrease in strength with exposure to sunlight. Low shrinkage in hot air. Strength decreases in exposure to strong acids. Light weight. Typical Applications Used in applications that require very high strength with excellent thermal stability.
Drive belts in snowmobiles. Sporting goods products such as tennis racquets and table tennis blades. Tethers requiring high tensile strength. Used in Formula One racing to tie the wheel to the chassis, preventing the wheel from ejecting into crowded areas in the event of an accident where the wheel would otherwise become airborne.
Commonly used as a conductive textile when plated with nickle, copper, silver or gold. Receive Updates Stay up-to-date on new product releases, white papers, webinars and more.What does Applied Fiber do? Applied Fiber specializes in the manufacturing of tightly controlled, high volume synthetic cable assemblies - As the world leader in termination design and processing technologies for synthetic cable assembly, the company develops solutions for other applications ranging from automobile assemblies to aerospace tethers - For additional information about usvisit www.
PBO rigging has had nearly a decade of proven success at the America's Cup level, but due to many major technological barriers discussed elsewhere, has never been a practical solution for production boats - Over the course of three years, Applied Fiber collaborated with Tommy Mercer, the West Marine Rigging team, and several cable manufactures to develop a complete turnkey system that resolved all the unmet needs of a practical synthetic rigging solution - Applied Fiber combined their proven and unmatched processing technologies with over ten new system technologies to develop a truly revolutionary synthetic system - POWERLITE PBO Rigging.
How does PBO compare with wire and rod in terms of fatigue? Fatigue testing was performed in a laboratory and may not correlate to field use or actual longevity. What protects the PBO fiber from cuts and chafing? The POWERLITE PBO Rigging system comes with chafe protection in areas of anticipated wear - Standard chafe protection is included on the lower six feet of all shrouds, check stays, and runners - If abrasion is expected in other areas, additional protection should be specified and ordered with the system.
What protects the rigging from flex fatigue at the fittings? How can I trust the fitting technology? Applied Fiber 's patented fitting technology is engineered to the highest safety factor of all mating components, meaning it is the strongest part of the entire assembly.
What is PBO? What performance gains should I expect? POWERLITE PBO Rigging will improve power transfer, acceleration, top speed, improved boat maneuverability, decreased transition time, reduce pitching and hobby horsing due to the reduce weight aloft - Synthetic rigging reduces shock loading by the damping characteristics of the synthetic fibers which will reduce stress to the mast and mating components - Refer to performance benefits sheet What sizes are available and what do they replace?
What colors are available? Powerlite PBO comes with a limited warranty which is available in the "Download" section of the Powerliterigging. How are the cables tested? The termination and production technologies used by Applied Fiber are the same proven technologies trusted by the US Military, NASA, and many others in life bearing applications - Applied Fiber is the industry leader in production technologies for synthetic cable assemblies, providing unmatched Quality Control and Assurance.
How is PBO different from Kevlar systems? Specialization: Applied Fiber 's core business and specialty is the mass production of tightly controlled synthetic cable assemblies - With applications ranging from aerospace to automobile systems, the company has spent years developing the industry's most refined product and process technologies for synthetic cable assemblies - POWERLITE PBO Rigging is made cost effective through Applied Fiber 's advanced processing technologies.
What is the cable construction? The core strength member is made up of 16 parallel bundles of PBO, tension balanced to optimize alignment for enhanced fatigue, stiffness, and strength - Proprietary technology is utilized to allow for marginal bending around the specially designed spreader tip adapters - During production, the cables are additionally put under tension to maximize fiber alignment.
What is cable's jacket material and process? POWERLITE PBO Rigging uses a proprietary blend of synthetics to create a jacket that will resist abrasion, cuts, light, and moisture - Similar materials have proven successful in outdoor applications for over 25 years - The jacket is melted and extruded over the fiber core during the manufacturing process. What is the minimum bend radius? What are the fittings made of? Stretch over time is referred to as ""creep"" - Although all materials have creep, high modulus materials such as PBO have exceptionally small movements that are negligible when tensioned and used properly.
Contact Applied Fiber to find an appropriate dealer in your area - Synthetic Standing Rigging is a wonderful system to work with.
It weighs next to nothing compared to steel, yet holds your mast up with even more strength. The term "Synthetic Standing Rigging" is a generic term for standing rigging that does not use steel cables to hold the mast up. PBO is prohibitively expensive and tends to only be seen on race boats. It will not creep and is incredibly strong.
It's major disadvantage is that it will quickly degrade when exposed to UV light. This is fine for sponsored race yachts where money is no object, but not very practical for the average cruiser.
Vectran is a wonderful product for standing rigging.
It is in the Kevlar family and exhibits incredible strength with virtually no creep. While both of these features would make it wonderful for standing rigging, it is very susceptible to UV damage. The use of covers will help prolong its lifespan, but at the cost of higher windage. Spectra is the same as Dyneema, but is produced by DuPont. They have transitioned over to government armor contracts and no longer produce rope for civilians.
Dyneema is produced by DSM and is the same as Spectra. It is incredibly strong with minimal creep, but with very good resistance to UV damage. This allows the fibers to be left exposed to the sun, minimizing the bulk of each stay to minimize windage. So you decided that Dyneema is the material of choice for your synthetic standing rigging. Then you go to purchase the line needed for your standing rigging and they ask "Which one do you want? Lets take a look at the different types of Dyneema. SK75 was the be the best form of dyneema available for a while, but we have come a long way since these fibers.
Some still tout SK75 as the best because of its incredible strength and resistance to UV damage, but it creeps a lot. Creep plagued SK75, and spurred the development of the newer fibers that do not creep as much. Most applications for SK75 have been phased out and replaced by SK SK78 is the improved version of SK It offers the same high strength of SK75 but with greatly reduced creep.
SK78 has pretty much replaced SK75 for all uses on the boat and many manufacturers have stopped offering SK75 since the introduction of SK SK90 is the improved version of SK78 and offers significant increases in strength but no improvement in creep properties.
It reigned supreme until when an improved version replaced it. SK99 is the improved version of SK SK99 may sound like a miracle fiber, but its price is equally set. For this reason, SK99 is not seen as often as SK78 which offers incredible strength with a more reasonable price. DM20 is a different class of dyneema which has nearly zero creep but less strength as compared to SK The lack of creep would make it seem like the ideal fiber for standing rigging, yet it doesn't seem to be the popular choice.
This is because there are treatments that SK78 can receive to improve its properties. Heat Treatment is part of the manufacturing process whereby the Dyneema is subjected to heat and tension which causes molecular changes in the fibers themselves. Dyneema is made of polyethylene chains. The heating process under tension causes the fibers to stretch out further and creates more crystalline structures in the fiber which give the rope more strength.
It also creates longer chains of polyethylene which are able to bear more load than the shorter chains found in untreated fibers, which results in less creep.By subscribing to our mailing list you agree to how we use your information. Please tick to confirm. Dyneema Technical Information. Home Dyneema Technical Information. However, all the information here is equally applicable to other commercial and industrial applications. Dyneema offers by far the best strength to weight ratio of any material used in rope manufacture and is the material of choice for high performance cores.
Marlow offer a range of Dyneema cores to suit application preferences as well as budget. However, with new grades of Dyneema being introduced and different treatments available, the decision as to which core is best can often be confusing. SK99 has an unmatched strength to weight ratio and has carved a niche for itself as the ultimate performance core material. DM20 DM20 has slightly lower tenacity than SK78, but has one major advantage in that it exhibits virtually zero creep.
Used mainly for static load applications such as standing rigging. SK78 SK78 has become the standard grade used by Marlow and other reputable manufacturers. SK75 For many years the strongest Dyneema grade and the standard material that everybody understands. Thanks to new and improved grades, SK75 is being used less and less and is now not offered by Marlow in Leisure Marine. SK75 is still available in our Commercial division. SK38 A lower grade of Dyneema now often used in economy products.
Whilst cheaper, SK38 does not have anywhere near the modulus, strength or low elongation properties of higher grades of Dyneema. However, SK90 only has the same elongation and creep characteristics as SK Another area of confusion can be heat-setting and pre-stretchin g. Pre-stretching involves the application of heat during the process and is sometimes known as heat-setting, although simply applying heat does not have the same effect. However, when elongation is measured at a given load for example 4,kgwhich is more relevant to specifying rope for on board applications fig.
This is because the rope is working at a lower percentage of its breakload. The extension over time graph Fig. Initial loading will result in elastic extension. This is further extension over time and is fairly limited. Unlike elastic stretch, viscoelastic stretch will only recover slowly over time once the load is released.
Finally there is creep, which is permanent, non-recoverable and time dependent. Creep occurs at the yarn molecular level when the rope is under constant load. Once the load is released and elastic and viscoelastic extension recovered, the rope will ultimately have experienced an element of permanent extension.
Marlow lead the market performance yachting rope technology. Our Grand Prix Series offer performance benefits and a competitive edge……. Divider text here. First Name. Last Name.Multifilaments : Many very thin fibers 0. This is the most widely used kind of construction in yachting ropes. Textured fibers : The fibers are not arranged in parallel in the bundle but exhibit a more or less random type of arrangement.
This is why the fiber bundle has a comparatively rough surface. It is modified at a molecular level and stretched in one direction. The stretched molecule chains increase breaking strength and decrease elongation.
The only downside of this fiber is that it creeps.
This means that the fiber will show permanent elongation under load. The core bears the load, while the cover merely serves as a protection against abrasion and light.
Therefore, it is certainly possible to remove the cover from the rope ends without reducing the rope's breaking strength. Liquid crystal polymers LCP's are extremely complex, modified polyester chains.
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Therefore, it is used only in high tech cordage. This product stands for low stretch combined with ultimate breaking strength. However, its UV resistance is not very high. Furthermore, LPC's exhibit very high temperature resistance and low vulnerability to bending across sharp edges. Its low UV resistance makes using a cover indispensable, which must not be removed, not even for weight reduction purposes. PBO is a high tech fiber. Produced by Toyobo in Japan, it combines extreme breaking strength, high temperature resistance, and very low elongation.
Its weakness, however, is its low resistance to sunlight. Aramid fibers provide extremely high breaking strength combined with almost no elongation. They are sensitive to sunlight, bending across sharp edges, and abrasion. In yachting ropes, aramid only plays a minor role. In the Yachting Rope segment, aramid fibers are mainly used in places where high temperature resistance is essential, for example on winches.
They are ideally suited for use on winches. However, due to their low resistance to bending over sharp edges, they should not be used on stoppers. PET stands for good breaking strength and low elongation.
It offers both chemical and physical benefits such as resistance to seawater, good abrasion resistance in both dry and wet conditionsand good resistance to sunlight.
This makes PET a go-to choice in the production of many yachting lines. It is used as a core material for halyards, sheets, mooring lines, and anchor lines.
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On high tech cordage, polyester is used as the cover material. The outstanding characteristics of polyester speak for themselves.
Since polyester sinks, it can also be used for anchor lines. For high tech yachting ropes, it is used as a cover material UV protectionwhile for simple yachting ropes it is also used in the core.History: Cotton is included here for completeness. Not as strong as hemp, it is a poor substitute when strength is required. However, cotton is soft and can be bleached white.
It makes very attractive decorative rope for purposes such as handrails, drapery pulls, and bell ropes. History: Before the advent of synthetic fibers, industrial, marine, and climbing ropes were made of hemp that, for durability, was soaked in pine tar. Hemp fiber is one of the longest and strongest of the natural fibers.
This resulted in a left hand strand, and a right hand rope. Unfortunately, Fronzaglia provides us with no link to this interesting piece of research. They were an overwhelming success. The variants usually used for manufacturing rope are Nylon 6 and Nylon 6,6. Their properties are almost indistinguishable except for a small difference in melting temperature.
A chemical group which includes both polypropylene and polyethylene. When describing rope, polyolefin may refer to a mixture or to either one of these fibers. History: Polypropylene was first synthesized in and produced commercially from onwards. History: Polyethylene was first synthesized in and produced commercially from onwards.
The fiber used in rope is similar to Polypropylene but slicker with better abrasion resistance and a lower melting point. It also floats and is most commonly found in small diameters. It is used to make nets and is widely used in the fishing industry. First described incarbon fiber exhibits very high tensile strengths — but has not proved suitable to make rope: the high theoretical strength is lost during manufacture into rope and braiding has not proved satisfactory.
These heat resistant fibers have long chain molecules highly oriented in the axis of the fiber. They are best known for their use in body armor fabric. The fibers are tough excellent abrasion resistance and slippery very low coefficient of frictionbut kinking or compression damages them relatively easily. It tolerates kinks, bends, and knots better than the HMPE ropes and exhibits good knot holding properties. Like Barry, we make no representation as the exactness of the data.
If you have additional or updated information, please Contact Us. Rope Materials. Cotton: History: Cotton is included here for completeness. Tarred Hemp: History: Before the advent of synthetic fibers, industrial, marine, and climbing ropes were made of hemp that, for durability, was soaked in pine tar. It exhibits some creep under high loads and has good resistance to ultra violet light. Mooring Line Hazard: Elasticity appears to be an attractive property for mooring lines on small yachts but presents a major hazard on large ships.
For these reasons, HMPE below is now preferred for mooring lines on large ships. It also melts before it carbonizes and the end of a rope can be fused using heat.