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Cable boost for tall building lifts

Finnish lift company Kone last week unveiled its new UltraRope cable product, claiming it would revolutionisetall buildings.

Kone director of products and technology Johannes de Jong told the 2013 Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat conference that the new material was 96% lighter than the steel cables normally used in lift systems.

The material is made of four bands of carbon fibre encased in a high-friction epoxy coating. De Jong told delegates that the high-tech cable would allow lifts to travel non-stop to heights of 1,000m, double the limit currently achievable with steel cables before their weight becomes unsupportable.

A 10-elevator, 640m tall building would require a total of 186,500kg of steel cable. Use of UltraRope would slash the weight required to 11,700kg and the energy needed to transport the cars and cables would be cut from 1,180MWh to 1,050MWh. On an 800m-tall building, de Jong said there would be a 45% energy reduction.

Kone

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As well as reducing weight and saving energy, de Jong said the new cables had a much higher natural frequency than steel ones, meaning that vibrations are less likely to coincide with wind induced movement in the main building structure, limiting scope for sway.

“It is a revolution; the breakthrough our industry has been waiting for,” claimed de Jong.

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