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Fabric Chain Stronger Than Steel
The world’s strongest fiber is being used to make DoNova textile chain, a fabric chain that floats on water. The specially woven fabric is stronger than steel and up to 85 percent lighter. It can be used anywhere chain would be used.
“Dyneema fiber is an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene that we weave into a web. Each link is made out of 8 to 10 plies,” explains Ralph Abato, Doleco USA. “Instead of a circle, each link is a Mobius strip. Run a finger along the inside of a link, and it becomes the outside. This effectively spreads the load across all the fibers.”
DoNova textile chain with a breaking strength of 44,000 lbs. gives it a working load limit of 22,000 lbs. when used for tie-downs, a 2:1 factor. When used for lifting a sling or towing, a 5:1 design factor is used, giving it an 8,800-lb. working load limit.
In addition to being easier on the person working with it, the textile chain is resistant to corrosive chemicals. It is also 15 percent more resistant to abrasion than steel and is nonconductive.
The soft and flexible chain is ideal for delicate loads and sensitive surfaces. Abato notes that new uses are constantly being found.
“Our customers have found many new applications for the DoNova chain,” he says. “It is now being used in the fishing industry where they would use steel chain, but the steel doesn’t float like ours does.”
Textile chain lengths of more than 60 ft. can be handled by one person. Conventional binders and other steel chain components can be used to shorten or work with the textile chain. However, the company has used Dyneema fiber to make a DoRa ratcheting load binder. It’s 25 percent shorter than a standard load binder, but can extend twice as far. It eliminates the need to detach and reattach chains when tensioning cargo and fits into tighter spaces.
A widened hook support has also been developed for the textile chain. A special lashing strap can be used as a tensioning element, and a Doleco head sling secures loads without fastening points.
Abato acknowledges that the company’s textile fabric chain is 4 to 5 times the cost of high-grade steel chains.
“Making it is a much more labor intensive process with new technologies,” he says. “However, if I had to use steel chain all day long, I would make the investment.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Doleco USA, 290 Pratt St.,
Meriden, CT 06450 (ph 203-440-1940; sales@doleco-usa.com; www.doleco-usa.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1