Teijin Limited, Tokyo, Japan, has announced that its high-performance Technora para-aramid fiber will be used for the Space Elevator Challenge, an annual racing event for mock space elevators, to be held in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, August 7-10. Technora will be used as the belt and rope hanging from large balloons positioned at an altitude of 1,200 meters. Battery-powered robots, called climbers, made by participating teams will race up and down the Technora belt and rope to see which can travel the fastest and farthest.
Technora was selected for its outstanding strength, heat- and fatigue-resistance and dimensional stability. By withstanding the heat, abrasion and weight of climbers that weigh up to 50kg and travel at a maximum speed in excess of 100km/h, the fiber helps to ensure stable running conditions.
Teijin first commercialized its proprietary Technora para-aramid fiber in 1987. Today it is used in a range of applications, including industrial ropes, cables, optical fiber cables, rubber belts and hoses and concrete reinforcement. It was also used for the suspension cords that connected the enormous parachute to NASA’s Curiosity Rover, which landed safely on Mars in August in 2012.
The Space Elevator Challenge, organized by the Japan Space Elevator Association, is now in its fifth year.