Industrial chains for handling heavy loads are being produced for the first time from DSM’s ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE) fiber, branded as Dyneema®. DSM Dyneema has formed a strategic partnership with Load Solutions AS in Bergen, Norway, for development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of link chains made with Dyneema® fiber. The chains, branded as TYCAN®, are fabricated from webbings and have numerous economic, environmental and safety advantages over traditional chains that for centuries have been made in iron and steel.
TYCAN® is produced for Load Solutions AS by Industrias Murtra.S.A., a premium textile manufacturer based in Spain. The first products have already created substantial interest in several markets during their development phase. Certification and testing have been taken place during the last two years. TYCAN® chains have already passed the first and second levels of certification by DNV GL, the international classification society. Full and final certification of TYCAN® is expected in early 2015.
Many benefits in performance and safety for end-users
“DSM Dyneema and Load Solutions came together because we both understood the overwhelming advantages of link chains made with Dyneema®,” says Dietrich Wienke, manager of new business development at DSM Dyneema. “Our fiber is the only fiber 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.”
The TYCAN® chains are made with Dyneema® DM20 fiber, based on Dyneema® Max Technology, an innovative platform for extremely low-creep solutions. The fiber makes the chains extremely efficient and safe to use, resistant to chemicals and seawater-proof. Because Dyneema® has a density of less than one, TYCAN® is the only chain in the world that floats on water, and yet it can hold in place a wind turbine wing weighing six tonnes, a 60-tonne battle tank, or even a 600-tonne electrical mega power transformer.
The chains can be wrapped over the edges of cargo without suffering any damage. They also withstand the sorts of shock loads that may occur on ships sailing through very stormy weather, without any stretching that might cause the cargo to shift. Chains are also more flexible than ropes for holding heavy loads, and it is very easy to shorten link chains to the required length for any particular job, by doubling them back using hooks.
“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,” says Kjell M. Veka, managing director at Load Solutions AS, “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!”
Because TYCAN® chains are so much lighter than steel versions, they can be handled with greater ease and put into position much faster. The fact that TYCAN® chains make far less noise than steel chains when they are being handled is yet another important advantage, both for operatives and management. Operatives can communicate much more easily, for example, which helps them work more safely and efficiently.
Field tests on the road and at sea were a great success
Several sets of field trials have already been completed for different markets, and two partners have been acting as pioneers within each of those markets. Mammoet Europe B.V., in Schiedam, The Netherlands, evaluated the chains on their mega trucks and trailers while Nor Lines A/S, a shipping company in Stavanger, Norway, has been testing TYCAN® chains for tying down loads on ships.
Marcel Schets, manager of safety, health, environment and quality at Mammoet Europe, says: “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 program, 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, operations manager, Nor Lines A/S, says: “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.”
About DSM Dyneema
DSM Dyneema is the inventor and manufacturer of Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyEthylene (UHMWPE) fiber branded as Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™. Dyneema® offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight. It is up to 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers, both on weight for weight basis. Dyneema® fiber floats on water and is extremely durable and resistant to moisture, UV light and chemicals. The applications are therefore more or less unlimited. Dyneema® is an important component in ropes, cables and nets in the fishing, shipping and offshore industries.
Dyneema® is also used in safety gloves for the metalworking industry and in fine yarns for applications in sporting goods and the medical sector. In addition, Dyneema® is also used in bullet resistant armor and clothing for police and military personnel.
UHMWPE fiber from DSM Dyneema is produced in Heerlen (The Netherlands) and in Greenville, North Carolina (U.S.A.). DSM Dyneema is also a partner in a high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) manufacturing joint venture in Japan. Further information on DSM Dyneema is available at www.dyneema.com.
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Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders simultaneously. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. DSM’s 24,500 employees deliver annual net sales of around €10 billion. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext. More information can be found at www.dsm.com.
Dyneema® and Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™ are trademarks of DSM. Use of these trademarks is prohibited unless strictly authorized.
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About Load Solutions AS
We provide lashing/ loading solutions to the transport industry.
Our application, Tycan®, has been created from the world's strongest man-made fiber, Dyneema® and is a link chain that has all the performance and flexibility of steel chain but is a fraction of the weight. It is extremely safe to use, non-corrosive, non-conductive and completely waterproof.
By using Tycan® our clients achieve greater productivity, reduced costs and a safer working environment for their staff.