DSM Dyneema, the producer of Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fibre™ for extremely demanding industrial applications, unveiled its latest development, Dyneema® XBO, at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, on May 3-6. OTC is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection.

Dyneema XBO is intended as a direct replacement for steel in lines used in deep-sea installations. Ropes made with the new fibre provide the same load-bearing capability as steel wire ropes that weigh seven times as much. The weight of the steel wire can consume up to 50% of the winch capacity in ultra-deep water installations. By substituting steel with ropes made with Dyneema XBO, systems can carry higher loads, or they can be downsized while retaining their deepwater installation capacity, freeing up vital deck space.

Furthermore, ropes with Dyneema XBO fibre are highly resistant to dynamic as well as static loads, and they are far more flexible and easier to install than steel wire rope. Ropes match or exceed steel wire rope in bending cycles to failure. Finally, they are extremely resistant to environmental damage – Dyneema XBO fibre is virtually impervious to salt water and to ultraviolet radiation, and it is highly resistant to abrasion too.

Eric Romeijn is technical manager at Huisman Equipment: “Synthetic fibre ropes with Dyneema have a great potential with respect to deepwater lifting operations because of their submerged weight,” he says. “At 3,000m of water depth, the effective payload of a deep water crane using Dyneema rope may be doubled compared to a steel wire rope.”

“For this reason we started a long-lasting collaboration with DSM Dyneema for the application of their fibres in deepwater lifting operations,” Romeijn says. “In a mutual effort we try to conclude the possibilities and requirements that this type of operations set to the fibres, rope constructions, end-connections, sheaves, winches, inspection and maintenance. We expect that the obtained knowledge provides us with an increasing confidence in the application of Dyneema fibres in deep sea operations.”

Jorn Boesten is DSM Dyneema’s segment manager for offshore applications. “Latest installations in very deepwater put greater stresses on operators’ lifting equipment,” he says. “Dyneema XBO was developed to be used in ropes that can perform under extreme conditions, such as in heave compensated systems that handle severe bending loads.”

DSM Dyneema has a tight focus on innovations that provide solutions to specific market needs, Boesten says. “With the new Dyneema XBO fibre, we are providing the market with the most significant alternative yet to steel wire rope.”