HMPE is an abbreviation of UHMWPE, which is ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. It is made from polyolefin. This is a premium rope where exceptional strength and very little stretch are required.
HMPE rope is an extremely high-strength line; it is stronger than steel yet only a fraction of the weight, making it a popular alternative to wire rope. Our UHMWPE rope exceeds ISO 10325 standards, is competitively priced and comes with free delivery in the UK, so contact us today with your needs.
HMPE or UHMWPE can be used across various industries, including marine, mountaineering and even arboriculture, however this rope is particularly popular in wet environments thanks to its excellent qualities, even when in harsh conditions. It is light enough to float, is hydrophobic (repels water), stays tough at low temperatures and is UV resistant. Its low stretchability and high resistance to abrasion make it’s a great choice for sailing operations. You can expect this rope to have a very long service life, whatever its application.
These factors, combined with its high strength to weight ratio also make it the preferred rope for mooring ropes, offshore rigs and for use in distress situations. HMPE should not be used if you need a line to hold knots especially well; this is because it has self-lubricating fibres which gives it a waxy finish.
You may hear UHMWPE or HMPE rope also referred to as Dyneema®, which is a brand name. Dyneema® rope is made by DSM in the Netherlands and is promoted as being the worlds strongest fibre.
Stealth Fibre®is our high performance UHMWPE produced by Southern Ropes and is essentially the same as Dyneema Rope. This 12 strand high strength rope is designed for high load applications where ultra-low stretch is required. It can be ordered in multiple diameters, with a choice of four different colours and custom cut to your required length.
What are the properties of HMPE?
The superior properties of hmpe ropes include:
- High melting point (over 144°C)
- Low density - floats on water
- Low weight
- Safer than steel wire - breaks in a linear fashion
- Repels water
- Resistant to chemicals (excluding oxidising acids)
- High strength - stronger than hardened steel
- Ultra-violet (UV)resistance - prolongs the life of your rope
- Self-lubricating- low coefficient of friction
- Superior abrasion resistance
- Ultra-low stretch (3–4% at breaking load)
- Low dielectric constant - almost transparent to radar
- Vibration damping
- Low electrical conductivity
- Excellent flex fatigue
What is HMPE used for?
Typical applications of HMPE ropes includes:
- Towing heavy objects
- Mooring lines - recommended by OCIMF for safe mooring of tanker vessels
- Cranes and pulley systems where heavy lifting is required
- Deepwater installations
- Trawl nets and ropes
- Wire rope replacement
- Anchor rope
- Pulling up the mainsails of yachts
- Kickers and strops (sailing)
- Conveyor lines
- Fishing lines
- Spear lines on spear-guns
- Watersports (wake-board and kite surfing lines)
HMPE ropes are often used as a replacement for steel fibres – they are considered at least 8 times stronger than steel wire ropes. In addition to their super-power strength, they are thinner, lighter and self-lubricating, so are more versatile than conventional steel ropes. Thanks to their braided construction they are also easy to splice. You will need a smaller quantity of rope from the UHMWPE range compared to steel products, so costs and volume will be lower.
How is HMPE made?
HMPE fibres are produced through a gel spinning process of a polyolefin resin with an exceptionally high molecular weight. This resin is transformed into a gel with the aid of a solvent solution. This solution is removed while fibres are spun and the resulting polyethylene fiber is stretched to many times its original length. Once the process is completed you are left with a very tough material with incredible impact strength. If you would like to know more about the technical specifications of HMPE or further details on the production of this high quality rope then please refer to our UHMWPE guide.
Contact us today to discuss how our high performance 12 strand Stealth Fibre UHMWPE rope can support you