Advanced Fiber Technology From Allied-Signal Division Improves Marine Rope Performance
—Free Literature Available— Two recent fiber innovations, Caprolan 2000 nylon with SeaGard™, and Spectra high-performance fibers are now available from leading rope manufacturers for heavy-duty marine applications. Both of these fibers are produced exclusively by Allied Fibers, a division of Allied- Signal Inc.
"SeaGard is a proprietary finishing process for Caprolan 2000 nylon," said Earl B. Clark, regional manager, Industrial Fibers Group, Allied-Signal Inc. "It offers dramatically improved wet strength and abrasion resistance." Ropes manufactured with Sea- Guard are recommended for a variety of applications for naval engineering, commercial fishing and merchant marine operations. These include mooring, towing, anchoring, purse lines, lifter lines and others. According to Charles Smith, vice president of Samson Ocean Systems, SeaGard technology significantly improves wet strength and abrasion resistance of ropes and virtually eliminates shock loading from surges, especially in rough weather.
Samson is marketing the SeaGard technology in two new doublebraided rope constructions—Super Strong™ nylon, with a braided Sea- Gard cover and control core; and 2- in-1™ Super Strong nylon with a braided SeaGard cover and core. Both ropes claim a 45 percent increase in wear life with no wet strength loss.
"The Super Strong ropes have a high degree of dynamic elongation that smoothes out surges, prolongs rope life and reduces loads on fittings," added Mr. Smith.
New England Ropes, another leading rope manufacturer, is also offering ropes with the new SeaGard finish. Their selection includes double braids as well as the first threestrand line using Caprolan 2000 nylon with SeaGard.
According to Jay Repass, marketing manager for New England Ropes, the three-strand has the highest elasticity of any rope construction. Both braids and threestrand ropes undergo a special process to stabilize and preshrink the fibers. The ropes are easy to handle wet or dry, knot and splice easily, and provide the high elasticity required to even out the strains of mooring and towing.
New England Ropes and Samson Ocean Systems are also marketing ropes made with Spectra high-performance fibers.
According to Allied-Signal, Spectra is the strongest fiber ever made, pound for pound, 10 times stronger than steel.
According to Michael Hannon, marketing manager of the High Performance Fiber Group of Allied-Signal, Spectra is engineered to provide outstanding lightweight strength and low-stretch characteristics. "These qualities provide a revolutionary alternative to the wire rope predominately used in tough marine applications," he said. "Spectra has the strength and positive control of wire rope, without the excessive weight and corresponding handling problems. Wire rope can weigh up to five times as much as Spectra with only equal strength or less," Mr. Hannon claimed.
Spectra is available in two fiber types—Spectra 900 for intermittent loading and Spectra 1000 for more continuous loading or greater strength. Suggested marine applications include: life lines, topping lifts, fall lines, purse lines, deepsea mooring, trawl net control lines, seine net lines, pendants, oceanographic array lines, winch lines, tow hawsers and many others.
"When matched for strength, Spectra weighs 65 percent less than nylon, 73 percent less than polyester and a whopping 83 percent less than wire rope," continued Mr. Hannon. "The benefits of lighter weight include high efficiency, easier handling and the considerable labor savings which result." Samson Ocean Systems, manufacturing four Spectra lines under the trademark "The Power Braids," claims a number of other benefits including the f i b e r ' s neutral buoyancy, which means that Spectra floats.
"The low elongation provides wire-like control and the flex fatigue considerably reduces the ratio of sheave-to-rope diameter,"stated Mr. Smith of Samson. The product's easy handling qualities provide better safety and its internal fiber friction resistance, external abrasion and corrosion resistance provide it with long-lasting performance. "Safety and performance are critical factors that must be considered in evaluating overall economy in marine ropes," concluded Mr.
Clark of Allied Fibers. "To that end, Allied-Signal Inc. is working closely with key members of the Cordage Institute to jointly develop products for the rope marketplace that truly reflect the cutting edge of fiber and finishing technology. Caprolan 2000 nylon with SeaGard and Spectra high-performance fibers are significant examples of this concern," he concluded.
For free literature fully detailing the high-performance fibers used in marine rope applications offered by Allied Fibers,