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KONE UltraRope: Realising the power of carbon fibre

KONE UltraRope: Realising the power of carbon fibre

Travelling more than 500 metres, or 100-odd floors, in a continuous elevator trip is challenging and doesn’t really make sense using conventional technology. At that point, the weight of the several kilometres of rope needed to hoist the elevator becomes an obstacle. More ropes are needed just to lift the weight of the ropes. In a building this tall, the moving masses of a single elevator hoisted with steel ropes can be some 27,000 kgs. Using KONE UltraRope for hoisting in a similar shaft, the moving masses are roughly 13,000 kgs, or about the weight of four off-road vehicles.

KONE UltraRope is compatible with all other KONE high-rise solutions so it can be used to replace conventional ropes in old buildings. And with the new technology, the higher you go, the bigger the benefits. For example, the energy savings for a 500-metre elevator journey are around 15 per cent versus conventional rope, Kone said.

Core strength
In addition to being very light, carbon fibre is strong and durable. It has already revolutionised products in several other industries, including aviation and sporting equipment.

No rust, no wear
Unlike steel, carbon fibre does not rust, stretch or wear. The special coating of the new rope makes lubrication unnecessary, meaning environmentally friendlier maintenance. Carbon fibre also resonates at a completely different frequency to most building materials. This means KONE UltraRope is less sensitive to building sway, and elevator downtime during strong winds and storms can be reduced. The new technology enables a rope lifetime twice that of conventional ropes, the company claims.

Some of the installations using KONE UltraRope technology around the world include:
• Jeddah Tower project located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Expected year of completion – 2018. Height over 1 km.
• KONE Test Tower, Kunshan, China. Completed in 2015. Height 235.6 metres.
• Sky Tower, Auckland, New Zealand. Modernised in 2015. Height 328 metres.

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