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Peter Reina, our European correspondent, is reporting from London, where the announcement was made several hours ago, at a press conference held a day before the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat's conference begins.
Today, KONE announced a new high-rise elevator technology that it says will break industry limits and enable future elevator travel heights of 1 kilometer—twice the distance currently feasible. The KONE UltraRope is a new hoisting technology that eliminates the disadvantages of conventional steel rope.
Comprised of a carbon fiber core and a high-friction coating, KONE UltraRope is extremely light, meaning elevator energy consumption in high-rise buildings can be cut significantly, says KONE. The drop in rope weight means a dramatic reduction in elevator moving masses—the weight of everything that moves when an elevator travels up or down, including hoisting ropes, compensating ropes, counterweight, elevator car, and passenger load.
Due to the significant impact of ropes on the overall weight of elevator moving masses, the benefits of KONE UltraRope increase exponentially as travel distance grows, says the company.
KONE UltraRope is strong and highly resistant to wear and abrasion. Elevator downtime caused by building sway is also reduced as carbon fiber resonates at a completely different frequency to steel and most other building materials, adds Kone. The product lasts at least twice as long as conventional steel rope. No ubrication is required in maintaining it, thanks to a coating.
KONE UltraRope has been developed and tested both in real elevators and simulation laboratories at KONE’s research and development facilities in Finland. Since 2010, it has been tested in operation at the world’s tallest elevator testing laboratory, KONE’s Tytyri facility built over 300 m underground adjacent to an active limestone mine. Properties like tensile strength, bending lifetime and material aging are just some of the qualities that have been measured, says the company.