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Safe Use of High Performance Fibre Ropes in Crane Applications

07 November 2017
The European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) has published the world’s first guideline describing the Safe Use of High Performance Fiber Ropes in (Mobile) Cranes (PG CLE MC Fiber Ropes_FEM 5.024 Publication).
The guidelines mark a significant advance in the use of ropes made from synthetic fibers in land based crane applications, and will form the basis future European (EN) and/or International Safety Standards (e.g. ISO), reports Rui Pedro Faria, Senior Engineer, Lankhorst Euronete.
Unlike steel wire which has been used on cranes for many decades, and is covered by international standards (e.g. ISO 4309 etc.), there is no standard regarding design and discard criteria for the use of HPFR on mobile cranes. Therefore, the Technical Committee of FEM Mobile Cranes has developed a FEM guideline about the use of HPFR as ropes (running and stationary) on mobile cranes.
The FEM guideline was developed as a joint project of FEM and members of the fibre rope industry: Lankhorst Ropes; CASAR; Teufelberger; Samson Rope and DSM Dyneema involving the IFT of the University of Stuttgart. Experts from FEM product groups for Tower and Harbour Cranes as well as Lifting and Hoisting Equipment (i.e. Serial Hoists) participated to the discussions. Following a recent ISO meeting, FEM has recommended that the guidelines be incorporated into future European (EN) and/or International Safety Standards (e.g. ISO). As a result, the scope of the guidelines has been expanded to include all cranes.
The objective of this guideline is to provide guidance for the design and safe use of high performance fibre rope (HPFR) on cranes, especially for running rope on multilayer drums for hoisting purposes. To meet this market, Lankhorst Ropes has developed the LankoLift S – Synthetic Hoisting Rope, a highly efficient and lighter alternative to the standard steel wire rope.
The work developed within FEM sets the basis for any rope manufacturer to be able to provide a safe and reliable product for this mission critical application,” says Rui Pedro Faria.
The FEM guideline reflects Lankhorst’s vision and commitment to providing new products for the market, which have been properly developed, tested and validated according to industry benchmarks, and going even further when standards do not exist, by aiding in their creation.” In accordance with the FEM guidelines, LankoLift S is in the process of being qualified to fulfil the requirements of the intended application.
The FEM guideline does not deal with so called ‘hybrid ropes’ which are a combination of steel wire and high-performance fibres, where the load bearing capability is shared between steel wires and the high-performance fibre.