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Bridon Synthesis Unveiled

World leading manufacturers of specialist wire and rope solutions, Bridon International, unveiled its latest product, Bridon Synthesis. A technical paper presented today at OTC 2010 Houston (Tuesday, May 4th)) entitled ‘material innovation for ultra-deepwater performance of long term mooring cables’ introduced Bridon’s new product development for permanent mooring cables, an innovative step change in technology with distinct advantages over existing solutions.

The presentation made by Sara Fletcher, Technical Development Manager for Bridon, along with co-authors Steve Calverley and Jagan Mohanraj, focused on the developments in materials, specifically steel and synthetic rope constructions, to improve performance characteristics and understand the continuously evolving requirements of long term moorings for production vessels.

“While mooring cables solutions have gradually evolved over the last 30 years, the conventional materials of steel wire and synthetic fibre have been developed within their property range to match current demands of floating production facilities”, said Sara. “Yet, several limitations are being reached due to ever deeper locations and more extreme environments. The key to our product development strategy is to identify and provide solutions for the future demands, which often requires an innovative development methodology, in addition to innovative products.”

Bridon has been actively involved in the advancement of wire and synthetic ropes for station keeping solutions since their inception and today’s presentation outlined two of the most recent developments in mooring cable technology. “The first is a collaborative project between Bridon and Corus that resulted in a new steel chemistry and processing methodology. In combination with previous investment in equipment and design enhancements, the new material enabled a spiral strand product with the highest available strength to weight ratio, offering 25% weight saving over historical products,” explained Sara.

“Our latest product, Bridon Synthesis, is the culmination of the second development programme discussed, which has also benefited from industry collaboration, this time between Bridon and DuPont with academic support from Leeds University in the UK. The resultant product marries innovative material selection with a unique processing equipment and methodology developed by Bridon to produce a synthetic wire similar in dimensions to a steel wire, which can be incorporated into traditional steel wire rope geometry. When used in the manufacture of spiral strand, potentially even sheathed, the result is a product with ideal properties for use in long term mooring of production facilities in ultra deepwater.”

Bridon Synthesis synthetic ropes are anticipated to offer a solution for reliable, predictable deepwater moorings with the light weight of synthetic fibre tethers, but of robust constructional characteristics and reliable mechanical terminations of traditional steel wire rope solutions. Current test data on extension characteristics indicate the opportunity for improved station keeping performance in ultra-deep waters.

Jagan Mohanraj, Bridon’s polymer technologist who has led this product initiative since early academic trials, said of the development, “We are excited about today’s launch as this is a unique product. Developing a solution that offers the benefits of both steel and fibre products illustrates Bridon’s commitment to product innovation and rope technology to support our customers’ future requirements. Moreover, being instrumental in the introduction of a brand new product is very exciting and it is fulfilling to see the level of industry interest.”

Bridon Synthesis is being exhibited at the Bridon OTC stand number 2441, where further details on this and Bridon’s other wire and fibre rope solutions for a range of applications are available.

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