Kevlar Rope: When You Need Rope with Super Hero Strength
Stronger than steel and able to stop a speeding bullet? Maybe Superman was made of Kevlar. No word on it’s resistance to kryptonite, but the material that is used in bullet proof vests does seem to have super strength- a high tensile-strength-to-weight ratio which is five times that of steel. The combination of this kind of strength along with its flexibility make Kevlar one of the most ideal materials for cables, cords and ropes. And when it comes to Kevlar rope, the possibilities and applications are nearly endless. There is even a market for Kevlar survival cord, which is thread-thin and is a suggested item for “survival geeks.” The ad definitely takes a humorous approach, but highlights the many ways in which Kevlar cord offers superior performance and durability(even in the harshest of post-apocalyptic environments). Of course, Kevlar rope is used most often in industrial applications for those same reasons. Let’s take a look at some of those applications and why Kevlar rope is ideal for each specific role.
Kevlar rope is the perfect choice for underwater applications. Ice safety barriers, umbilical hoses, salvage ropes, towed and stationary arrays, orbital straps, escape chutes, tow ropes, and fiber optic cables made with Kevlar are 95% lighter than their steel counterparts of the same strength. This is ideal because the intention here is to reduce weight while increasing strength and durability. Lighter weighted rope and cable in these environments, especially for rescue services, are sought out because they are easier to handle, allowing rescue workers to manipulate and deploy their equipment faster and with better accuracy. Due to the same strength/weight attributes, Kevlar rope is employed on land. They are commonly preferred by engineers and architects building light suspension bridges. In elevators they allow for the use of smaller pulleys and thus do not require as much space and energy to work. Kevlar rope is also relied on in one of the harshest environments known to man- space. It is able to withstand extreme temperature and force fluctuations. One specific instance where Kevlar rope was employed in space was on the Mars Pathfinder to help secure landing cushions.
Kevlar rope is trusted in these demanding applications not only due to its weight/strength ratio but its durability. For instance the Kevlar survival cord that was mentioned earlier, with a diameter of .036”(thread-thin) has a breaking strength of 200 pounds, can withstand extreme temperature, is both UV and flame resistant and holds up under abrasion. As is it relied on in many life-saving situations maybe it’s not so strange to compare it to everybody’s favorite red-caped, tight-donning man of steel after all. If you would like to inquire about Kevlar rope and how it could be used in your industrial projects or operations, contact a manufacturer near you today.