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New Elevator Tech Promises Lift Revolution

One of the biggest limiting factors of how tall a building can go is the current vertical transportation technology limits. A new breakthrough by KONE however may have raised this just a little more thanks to a new steel rope method.

The new technology named KONE Ultrarope is a revolutionary change to how elevators are hoisted that allows the steel rope to be extended from the present 500 metres or thereabouts that is presently being pushed to 1,000 metres plus.

To achieve this KONE has developed a carbon fibre core with a new high friction coating that have a substantially lighter weight than the present lift hoisting ropes. A 500 metre long rope is therefore 12,800 kilos instead of approximately 29,000. At 800 metres the proportional weight reduction is even greater and instead of 108,600 kilos due to the near exponential increase over longer distances, the new rope is a mere 13,900. Interestingly the weight saving on a one hundred meter length is only 1,200 kilos from a 13,000 total.

It should also last twice as long as the existing technology extending drastically some of the key technology that goes in lift shafts.
Another advantage of the new rope is that it resonates at a different frequency to traditional steel rope so that building sway, which in windy conditions on taller buildings can halt elevators, is also reduced. For a 500 metre tall elevator shaft this equates to a reduction of 60%.

The technology was originally created in secrecy by KONE at their laboratories in Finland. These are of the scale worthy of a James Bond villain with the highlight being an elevator testing shaft running for some 300 metres underground which it has been tested to make sure it can actually live up to the hype.

This means it's still some way from actually being incorporated into a building but with megatalls soon to rise like the Kingdom Tower it can only be a matter of time before this technology is deployed.