Technora’s heavy pull in rope and cable industry
Developed by Japanese scientists in the 1980s, Technora is a high-performance para-aramid copolymer fiber with high tenacity and excellent heat resistance properties. Since becoming commercially available in 1987, this para-aramid fiber has been used in a wide range of industrial applications, including rubber, plastic and concrete reinforcement as well as protective goods. And with growing demand for high-performance materials in the rope and cable industry, Technora looks set to continue pulling in both manufacturers and end users.
The science behind Technora
“Technora is produced by the condensation polymerization of terephthaloyl chloride (TCl) with a mixture of p-phenylenediamine (PPD) and 3,4′-diaminodiphenylether (3,4′-ODA),” explains Takashi Ii, Marketing Manager of Technora. “Chemically speaking, it is similar to Twaron, but it’s different in that it is derived from two diamines, which gives it even some higher-performance qualities. It has an exceptional high modulus, and excellent resistance to heat, and chemicals, especially acids and alkalis. Technora is eight times as strong as steel and three times as strong as fiberglass, polyester and nylon of the same weight. And in addition, its low creep , low stress relaxation and low thermal shrinkage, it is great for use in ropes and cables. Because of its properties, Technora was used to suspend the NASA Mars rover Opportunity from its parachute during descent.”
Use in ropes and cables
It is in this particular application of ropes and cables that Technora looks set to experience further growth. “Materials science needs to keep pushing back boundaries,” says Otto Grabandt, Global Technology and Application Manager. “In the near future, there will be an even higher demand for greater efficiencies and enabling technologies, which puts even more pressure on the parties involved in the rope and cable industry. In the mining and offshore hoisting industries, for example, ropes and cables need to last longer, lift heavier weights and reach greater water depths. This is where Technora comes in. It offers outstanding strength and durability, enabling rope and cable manufacturers to expand their offering.”
Benefits to end users
Rope and cable producers are not the only ones enjoying the benefits of Technora’s high-performance properties – end users are also taking advantage of lighter and safer ropes and cables. “Steel wire ropes are increasingly displaced by synthetic ropes made from fibers such as Technora because ultimately they are lighter, safer and easier to handle,” says Otto. “If ropes can be made just as strong, but using less material, then this will cut down on handling costs and reduce the chances of accidents or damage. The future looks very promising for Technora ropes and cables, especially given our ongoing research and development in this area. I am confident we can continue to pull in people with Technora-based solutions!”