Lightweight, Flexible, and Strong Kevlar® Rope and Cables
DuPont™ Kevlar® brings together the strength, temperature resistance, lightness, and flexibility manufacturers need for their ropes and cables for land, sea, and space applications.
For more than two decades, DuPont™ Kevlar® brand aramid fiber has provided a lightweight, flexible, and dimensionally stable means of helping to strengthen ropes and cables used across several industries, from mountaineering ropes and fishing lines to electro-mechanical cables and fine gauge cables for electronic device applications such as mobile phone cables, computer power cords, USB cords, and MP3 earphone cables. Ropes and cables made of Kevlar® help deliver performance and value to customers in the fine gauge cable industry by providing excellent robustness, fatigue resistance, shrinkage, and durability. The fiber’s resistance to chemicals and temperature extremes makes it an ideal component for ropes and cables under severe loads in harsh environments, from the bottom of the ocean to the surface of Mars. Ropes made with Kevlar® brand fiber appear in a variety of constructions, including 4-strand, wire lay, braided and parallel yarns, and strand ropes. They range in diameter from 1mm to 250mm, and have been strength-rated up to 1500 tons.
Architects, engineers, and builders incorporate cables of Kevlar® into light suspension bridges because Kevlar® is stronger and lighter than steel on an equal-weight basis, and does not corrode. Cables made of Kevlar® help enable elevators t use to use smaller pulleys than they would have to use for steel cables, and subsequently require less energy and space to operate. Additionally, it is possible to have longer cable lengths because of the lightweight, high-strength properties.
In seawater, ropes with Kevlar® are up to 95% lighter than steel ropes of comparable strength. Salvage ropes, ice safety barriers, towed and stationary arrays, umbilical hoses, fiber optic cables, escape chutes, orbital straps, and tow ropes have incorporated Kevlar® to help increase strength and reduce weight. Lightweight rope constructions based on Kevlar® fiber help enable rescue services to handle and deploy equipment far more easily — often saving valuable seconds.
Kevlar® fiber has proven that it is strong enough to survive the extreme forces and temperature fluctuations of space travel. When the Mars Pathfinder landed on the surface of Mars, ropes made of Kevlar® helped secure the inflated landing cushions (which were themselves reinforced with Kevlar® fiber) that allowed it to complete its 40-million-mile journey fully intact and ready to explore the planet. Kevlar® is also used in the space shuttle to help protect against impacts from orbital debris.