MORRIS TOWNSHIP, New Jersey -- Honeywell's Spectra fiber is now used in industrial slings used to lift heavy equipment and materials for offshore oil and gas construction, as well as for deepwater recovery operations.
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, according to Honeywell. 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% lighter, the company says.
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 2 mi (3 km). The slings can be operated by a single person, or 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% greater specific strength than aramid fiber.