Honeywell's Spectra Fiber Helps Give A 'Lift' to Offshore Operations

Honeywell announced that its high-strength Spectra® fiber, commonly used in bullet-resistant armor, is a key component in industrial slings used to lift heavy equipment and materials for offshore oil and gas construction, as well as for deepwater recovery operations.

Honeywell Spectra fiber enables the slings, known as roundslings and sold by Holloway Houston as HHIPER LIFT™, to easily hoist materials weighing up to four million pounds. The slings have been used to recover equipment and materials from ocean depths of nearly two miles.

"Honeywell continues to work with our customers worldwide to identify and develop the right fiber solution for their high-performance needs," said Joe Gelo, global business director for Honeywell's Advanced Fibers and Composites business. "Our Spectra fiber is perfect for offshore construction and deepwater recovery at sea as it requires a tough yet lightweight solution."

Pound for pound, Spectra fiber is 15 times stronger than steel and is ideal for marine environments as it will not absorb moisture or deteriorate in water, and can withstand harsh environments such as cold ocean temperatures. It also is neutrally buoyant -- meaning it floats. Compared to traditional steel slings at the same load rating, Holloway's HHIPER LIFT slings using Spectra fiber are more than 80 percent lighter.

Lifting slings with Spectra fiber also provide higher load protection and reduced risk of personal injury. They can be operated by a single person, eliminating the need for heavy machinery normally required to move steel slings on the job site. The slings also can be used with existing lifting equipment.

In addition to offshore oil and gas construction and deepwater recovery operations, the slings can assist with dry docking large vessels. Slings using Spectra fiber also have been used to redirect an iceberg from threatening an offshore oil platform in the North Atlantic.

Spectra fiber is made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. The fiber exhibits high resistance to chemicals, water, and ultraviolet light. It has excellent vibration damping, flex fatigue and internal fiber-friction characteristics. It also has up to 60 percent greater specific strength than aramid fiber.

Other industrial applications for Spectra fiber include security netting, rope and cordage and fishing line, as well as curtains that protect windows and doors during hurricanes.

Honeywell maintains an active Spectra fiber and ballistic material research and development program aimed to meet increased demand for its high performance materials.

Holloway is based in Houston and provides lifting products and specialized testing services for offshore customers serving the oil and gas construction and general industrial markets.

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