What is the issue? Traditional steel cable that has been used in elevators for many years has its limitations, and the height of modern skyscrapers is starting to test them. Five hundred meters is the max right now. Granted, there aren’t too many buildings that have floors over 1,640 feet up, but the few buildings that face this challenge require two separate elevator trips to reach the top floor. Have engineers been able to solve the problem? UltraRope to the rescue!

It’s a new type of hoisting rope made from material that is lightweight and can extend twice as far as steel cable. That’s right. With UltraRope, architects could build one kilometer of skyscraper without having to be concerned over multiple elevator trips being necessary for the higher floors.

The core of the rope is made from carbon fiber. This is surrounded by a plastic that is designed to withstand high friction. Right now, steel cable only allows for 500 meters of vertical travel. Then the weight of the cable is too much for itself. UltraRope, at the same 500 meters, would decrease the amount of mass that has to be moved by three-fifths.

This has two repercussions. First of all, UltraRope could be used to create longer elevator travel cables. Second, by replacing old steel cables with UltraRope, current elevators would become far more efficient, costing significantly less money to operate due to an extreme decrease in how much weight the system is forced to move.

What other benefits does UltraRope tout? Building sway does not have the same effect on UltraRope as it does on steel. While sway is necessary for the stability of skyscrapers, too much can cause an elevator with a steel cable to be shut down for a time. UltraRope would have a higher tolerance. It’s also double the strength of steel, which would make elevators safer and allow for greater maximum capacities.

The real question will be: Will the price of UltraRope be competitive enough to replace steel cable?