Manufacturer of synthetic products DSM Dyneema has formed a partnership with Load Solutions, a manufacturer of link chains based in Bergen, Norway to develop synthetic link chains.
The chains, branded as Tycan, will be made from DSM’s ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE) fibre, which is branded as Dyneema.
Tycan is produced by Industrias Murtra, a textile manufacturer based in Spain. The products have passed the first and second levels of certification by DNV GL, the international classification society, the manufacturer said. Full and final certification is expected in early 2015.
Dietrich Wienke, DSM Dyneema new business development manager, said, “DSM Dyneema and Load Solutions came together because we both understood the overwhelming advantages of link chains made with Dyneema. Our fibre is the only fibre in the world capable of giving the Tycan chains what they need: superior strength at lowest weight, unbeatable bending fatigue and abrasion resistance, plus excellent outdoor performance and endurance even in very harsh operating conditions.”
Features of the Tycan chain include its ability to float on water, its resistance to chemicals and that it is seawater-proof. It is also capable of holding a wind turbine wing weighing six tonnes in place, a 60 tonne battle tank, or even a 600 tonne electrical mega power transformer, the manufacturer said. The chains can also be wrapped over the edges of cargo without suffering any damage and can withstand shock loads, a company spokesperson added.
Kjell Veka, Load Solutions managing director, said, “The heavy steel chains that the cargo lashing market has relied on until now are difficult and noisy to use, they can rust, and they are tough on cargo, equipment and lashing crews. Tycan chains with Dyneema are up to eight times lighter than regular steel link chains with the same strength. We want Tycan chain to be the natural choice when securing cargo.”
In addition to several sets of field trials, two partners have been acting as pioneers for the products, including Netherlands-based Mammoet Europe and shipping lines company Nor Lines, based in Norway. Mammoet evaluated the chains on its mega trucks and trailers while Nor Lines has been testing Tycan chains for tying down loads on ships.
Marcel Schets, Mammoet Europe manager of safety, health, environment and quality, said, “Safety, health and innovation are important pillars within Mammoet. They were successfully matched, when it came to replacement of regular steel chains with light and strong Tycan link chains. In the field trial programme, one of our mega trucks and trailers was equipped with Tycan lashing chains to lash down oversized heavy cargo safely while driving over European roads. We found the chains to be very light and easy to use, and they improved the overall safety of our workers.”
Heidi Skare, Nor Lines operations manager, said, “The new chains have been a great success in lashing oversized and regular cargo on three of our cargo vessels over a period of several months and in challenging weather conditions. The experience confirmed their huge benefits. We observed less damage and we experienced much easier and faster handling with better ergonomics and comfort. We are now ready to move to full fleet conversion with Tycan chains on all of our nine special cargo vessels.”