Honeywell's Spectra(R) Fiber Strengthens Rope Used by U.S. Military in V-22 Operations

24-Sep-2009 Source: Honeywell

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that rope using its super-strength, lightweight Spectra(R) fiber is being used by the U.S. military in fast rope insertion operations.
Spectra fiber is a key component of Novabraid(TM) Fast Rope, a high-performance rope made by Canada-based Novatec Braids Ltd. and currently being used on the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Military personnel use the rope to safely and quickly descend from the aircraft. Spectra fiber allows the rope to maintain the 30,000 pound tensile strength needed to maintain safe operations.
“Spectra’s strength and vibration-dampening properties, as well its low stretch and cut resistance, made it the key element in our composite construction for Novabraid Fast Ropes,” said A. Neal Prescott, Managing Director of Novatec, a leader in the manufacture of ultra-high-strength braided ropes designed for military, marine, industrial and recreational applications.
The new Novabraid Fast Rope containing Spectra fiber hangs under the aircraft and is designed to remain still so military personnel can descend safely with fully loaded packs from as high as 90 feet. The rope measures only 1.75 inches in diameter.
“Honeywell’s Spectra fiber is strong enough to help Novatec’s rope meet critical strength and safety standards and help U.S. military personnel successfully conduct critical insertion missions,” said Phil Wojcik, global business director for Honeywell’s Advanced Fibers and Composites business. “This is another great example of how our Spectra fiber can help solve tough problems in the most demanding conditions.”
Spectra fiber has been used in military applications for more than 20 years. The material provides lightweight bullet resistance in personal armor including vests, breastplates and helmets, as well as in armor for vehicles and aircraft. Armor containing Spectra currently protects soldiers around the world in combat situations, including Iraq and Afghanistan. It has also been used in the U.S. Navy’s mooring ropes.
In addition, Spectra fiber has a variety of industrial and recreational applications, including hurricane-resistant panels for windows and doors, lifting slings for deepwater recovery operations, security netting and fishing line.
Pound for pound, Spectra fiber is 15 times stronger than steel and is one of the world’s strongest and lightest fibers. It is made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. Spectra is highly resistant to chemicals, water, and ultraviolet light, and has excellent vibration damping, flex fatigue and internal fiber-friction characteristics.
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Honeywell Specialty Materials is a global leader in providing customers with high-performance specialty materials, including fluorine products; specialty films and additives; advanced fibers and composites; intermediates; specialty chemicals; electronic materials and chemicals; and technologies and materials for petroleum refining.
Honeywell International ( is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit

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