Kones lightweight UltraRope to make 1km high elevators a reality

first_imgFinnish company Kone is set to double the height elavators inside skyscrapers can travel with a revolutionary new rope that is up to 90 percent lighter than the existing industry standard.Look at the cables holding up any elavator in a skyscraper today and they will be constructed from steel. And while steel may be very strong, it’s also very heavy. In fact, 75 percent of the weight in an elavator system can be the steel cables. That has meant the height an elavator can travel is limited to 500 meters–any higher and the cables could snap.Kone is promising to at least double the height an elavator can travel, effectively allowing a 1km high system. Its solution is a carbon fiber cable that is formed from many strands of carbon fiber embedded in epoxy. The cable is then coated so as to be protected against moisture and general high friction wear when in use.Kone has named the new cable UltraRope, and its benefits aren’t just limited to allowing for much higher elavators. The reduced weight being moved around means lower running costs, the cables are expected to last twice as long as the steel versions they replace, and they vibrate less meaning elavators won’t have to be shut down inside very tall buildings when they sway in the wind.We are sure to see the tallest building record regularly broken over the coming decades, and probably all with Kone’s new cables inside the elevator shafts. But UltraRope use should see the cost of running even small elavator systems drop simply due to the greatly reduced weights involved.last_img read more