Finnish elevator manufacturer KONE has just announced a new high-rise elevator technology that could enable elevators to travel heights up to 1 kilometer-twice the distance that is currently feasible. UltraRope is an extremely light and strong elevator rope made from carbon fiber that is not only stronger, but twice as durable as conventional steel rope.
One of the technical issues with very tall buildings is the weight that elevator cables need to be able to support — the weight of a fully laden car can increase by around three times for every 500 meters it climes. In order to address that problem KONE has been working on a new technology which could enable skyscrapers to go even higher than currently possible.
UltraRope has been under development since 2010 and has been tested in KONE’s Tytyri underground facility. The company eventually came up with an extremely light rope made from carbon fiber and a high-friction coating-a solution that creates a dramatic reduction in an elevator’s moving masses. Thanks to its special coating, the rope doesn’t require lubrication which contributes to its sustainability.