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Honeywell Spectra fiber makes stringing of electrical transmission wires faster and safer

Honeywell Specialty Materials : 23 April, 2006  (Company News)
Honeywell announced today that Sherman & Reilly, a leader in the manufacture of electrical and telephone equipment, has selected stringing lines made with Spectra fiber to help make installation of electrical transmission wires faster and safer.
Sherman & Reilly is using Spectra fiber based ropes with its mobile drum pullers, which are machines used to pull electrical wires through transmission towers down to lower voltage areas, such as residential neighborhoods. Traditionally, utility workers have used polyester lines, which are heavy and often sag, requiring the use of additional machinery or wire rope to complete installation. The new line with Spectra fiber has lower elastic stretch, meaning it does not sag as much as polyester line. Sagging transmission lines can be a safety concern for workers and the general public.

'The electrical industry is facing huge challenges to improve its infrastructure,' said John Whitt, senior vice president at Sherman & Reilly. 'Finding more efficient ways to install overhead conductors to areas in need is a fundamental task at hand. Our pulling machines loaded with Spectra fiber-based ropes can carry longer lengths, and work greater spans since they have a lower elongation than traditional polyester-based lines. In the field, these properties translate into linemen doing their work faster and safer.'

The U.S. electric transmission grid consists of nearly 160,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, according to a major energy industry association, with more than 10,000 miles of new transmission lines expected to be added by 2012.

Yale Cordage, a high technology rope manufacturer, created the custom-designed composite line to provide customers with the benefits of Spectra fiber's low stretch properties and low conductivity. The fiber's remarkable strength-to-weight ratio makes the new rope lighter than an equivalent length of polyester rope.

'Spectra fiber has been adopted in a variety of industrial rope and cordage applications because of its inherent strength, durability and lightweight properties,' said Barbara McGrath Costain, Spectra global rope marketing manager for Honeywell. 'The Spectra application in Yale Cordage's stringing lines is further proof of our fiber's evolving contribution to innovation.'

'Yale is a long-time customer of Honeywell and has incorporated Spectra fiber into a variety of industrial rope and cordage applications, improving the strength and overall durability of each product,' said Dick Hildebrand, vice president of Yale Cordage. 'Utility companies are looking for a way to reduce the sag of electrical lines during installation, which poses safety concerns for workers and the general public.'

Spectra fiber has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any synthetic fiber, including nylon, polyester and aramid. Spectra fiber is pound-for-pound 10 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float.

Sherman & Reilly recently demonstrated the Spectra fiber based rope with its mobile drum pullers at the leading exposition for the construction and utility industries.
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