Carbon fiber is reaching all new heights! (Literally) A new hoisting technology, called UltraRope will enable elevators to travel twice the distance than is currently possible. Right now only three buildings worldwide hit over 500 meters, but it sounds like that may change…
Finnish manufacturer KONE is making it all possible with extensive use of carbon fiber. The carbon fiber hoisting ropes will make it possible to travel up to one kilometer in a single trip, twice the distance currently possible. Tom Dyckhoff, a leading architecture broadcaster and critic, believes that the UltraRope is going to revolutionize the height of tall buildings, making a one kilometer building not a thing of dreams but a common thing.
Current elevator systems typically use steel rope which is considerably heavier than carbon fiber. Since the carbon fiber rope is much lighter, it helps with energy efficiency as well as many other components. Specifically, the rope has a carbon fiber core and a special high-friction coating. And because carbon fiber resonates at a different frequency than most other building materials, it will help with elevator delays and its lifespan is twice as long.
UltraRope went through an enormous amount of testing in real life elevators as well as KONE’s research facilities. Some of the tests performed include high speed tests, friction testing, temperature testing, aging tests and strength testing. Needless to say, UltraRope passed.
The moral of the story is carbon fiber saves the day, one high rise building at a time.