Finnish elevator manufacturer KONE has unveiled a new hoisting technology that will enable elevators to travel twice the vertical distance than currently possible. The new development implies that building ever-taller skyscrapers will become even more feasible.
UltraRope, the new hoisting technology developed by KONE, will replace the conventional steel rope with a carbon fiber core and a high-friction coating. This rope is extremely light, reducing energy consumption in high-rise buildings as well as reducing the weight of its moving components, such as the hoisting ropes, compensating ropes, counterweight, elevator car, and passenger load. This means, at 800 meters, the weight of the moving masses using KONE UltraRope is a fraction of the weight accumulated with the conventional steel rope.
The carbon fiber rope has a number of other advantages. The carbon fiber resonates at a completely different frequency to steel and most other building materials this thus, elevator downtime caused by building sway will be reduced. In addition, the rope will have twice the lifetime as steel rope, requiring less maintenance and thereby reduces material waste and environmental impact. This also comes as a breakthrough in elevator technology, because one of the major limits of single elevator travel distance was that at a height of approximately 500 meters, the weight of the rope became unsupportable.