Spectra fiber touted as making transmission line installation safer, faster

Morris Township, N.J., Sept. 27, 2005 — Honeywell announced today that Sherman & Reilly, a company involved 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 the Spectra-based ropes with its mobile drum pullers, which are machines used to pull electrical wires through transmission towers down to distribution work in lower voltage areas, such as residential neighborhoods.

Traditionally, utility workers have used polyester lines, which are heavy and often sagged, requiring the use of additional machinery or even wire rope to complete installation. Yale Cordage, a high technology rope manufacturer, created a custom-designed composite line that incorporates Spectra fiber. The fiber’s remarkable strength-to-weight ratio makes the new rope lighter than an equivalent length of polyester rope.

The new line using Spectra also has lower elastic stretch, meaning it does not sag as much as polyester line. Sagging transmission lines can pose a safety concern to workers and the general public.

“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 Magrath Costain, Spectra global rope marketing manager. “The Spectra application in Yale Cordage’s stringing lines is a further proof point of the fiber’s evolving contribution to innovation.”

Yale Cordage developed the new stringing line to provide customers with the benefits of Spectra fiber’s low stretch properties and low conductivity. 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.

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

“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.”

The stringing line is being demonstrated on a Sherman & Reilly four-drum puller at the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) 2005, the leading exposition for the construction and utility industries taking place in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 27-29.

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