October 29 - Samson, a world leader in performance cordage, has recently completed extensive testing on high-performance synthetic rope slings, resulting in a greater understanding of the critical elements that affect sling performance in a variety of con

The Samson R&D team has applied this knowledge to the development of a software application to help clients determine the best synthetic sling for their heavy lift operations.

Equipped with this knowledge and softwaretool, Samson is able to sucessfully support both end users and its global network of fabricating distributors and partners in designing and fabricating heavy lift slings to meet specific project requirements. This success has been demonstrated by the repeated use of the grommet-type sling in the monopile installation at the Greater Gabbard project of the North Sea.

Samson says that the D/d ratio, where D is the pin diameter and d is the diameter of the rope, can affect the rope strength, depending on the design of the sling: single leg or grommet. For single-leg slings, which have an eye splice at each end, smaller D/d ratios are more efficient. However, grommet slings perform at higher working loads due to load sharing between the two legs of the sling. The increased strength the grommet sling is dependant on the D/d ratio and the positioning of the splices.

"We have done considerable testing on the many different factors that go into heavy-lift sling design," says Dennis Sherman, technical sales director for Samson's offshore segment. "The outcome is that we are able to really pinpoint the best sling design for the job."

Because of the numerous technical challenges that need to be considered in heavy lift sling design, Samson engineers have created a tool that allows input of rigging requirements, which then provides the rope sling and configurations that are best suited to their particular lift or job. For accurate and reliable design of Samson'sAmSteel®-Blue rope (made with Dyneema® fiber) into a dependable rigging component, the Samson Sling Configurator will be available to Samson engineers, Samson's worldwide 
network of master fabricating distributors and select customers.

The success of Samson high-performance synthetic slings has been proven with the installation of 140 turbine foundation monopiles for the Greater Gabbard project in the North Sea. Seaway Heavy Lift (SHL) worked with Samson Master Fabricating Distributor Endenburg BV of Gouda, The Netherlands, to configure two lifting systems that would lift between 519 to 676 tonnes. The slings were fabricated from 144 mm diameter AmSteel®-Blue for which Samson assisted with the proof loading and certification under Lloyd's third-party supervision. For the installation of all 140 monopiles, only one of the lifting slings was used. This sling was inspected by Endenburg's master splicer, reproof loaded and recertified by Lloyd's for continued use in future SHL projects.

"The Greater Gabbard project was definitive for us in terms of the heavy lift sling business," says Sherman. "In this project and all others, Samson brings a unique perspective to the marketplace, backed by the amount of R&D time and money spent on verifying the claims we make. We take great pride in knowing what our products will do in specific applications and understanding their performance characteristics and failure mechanisms so we can better educate the industry on the proper and safe use of synthetic ropes in different applications."