Lankhorst Ropes Keeps Ocean Cleanup System in Place

Maritime ropes supplier, Lankhorst Ropes, and synthetic fibre specialist DSM Dyneema have collaborated in supplying Dutch foundation ‘The Ocean Cleanup’ with synthetic mooring ropes for a prototype ocean cleanup system.

The Ocean Cleanup was founded with the aim of developing advanced technologies to remove waste plastic from the world’s oceans.

The Ocean Cleanup’s cleaning technology makes use of long floating barriers which act as an artificial coastline. The V-shaped boom uses the ocean’s current to drive plastics along the barriers towards the center of the array, where they become concentrated and easier to extract. The system is powered by the ocean’s natural currents.

The Ocean Cleanup has developed a prototype 100 meter long barrier segment to be installed in the North Sea, 23 km off the Dutch coast, where it will remain for one year and help validate the survivability of the system. Sensors will track every motion of the prototype and the loads it is subjected to. The data gathered will enable engineers to develop a system fully resistant to severe conditions during the cleanup of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. At the North Sea test site, conditions during a minor storm are more severe than those in exceptionally heavy storms (occurring once every 100 years) in the Pacific Ocean.

For the prototype barrier, Lankhorst Ropes has supplied ropes to moor the barrier segment, and thus test the integrity of the mooring system in a range of weather and wave conditions. The barrier segment is held between two mooring buoys. Two types of Lankhorst rope are being used to withstand the mechanical loads and abrasion expected when securing the 1.2m diameter and 1.3 m high barrier, namely, the Lanko force and Euroflex.

Lanko force is made with Dyneema, a brand of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber. The 12 strand braided rope forms the main line running beneath the barrier, connected to the barrier’s subsea bridal through a series of short lengths of Lanko force, that transfers all loads to the barrier lines connected to mooring buoys.

Euroflex is used to connect both barrier ends to two mooring buoys anchored to the seabed by two mooring chains. Lanko force safety lines are also installed between the barrier and the buoys.

Lankhorst is also supplying a range of heavily discounted hardware, including triangle plates and shackles which form an integral part of the mooring system.

“The Ocean Cleanup’ project is an important environmental initiative that we are delighted to support. Lankhorst Ropes has been committed to reducing ocean pollution for some time through our ‘Through Life, For Life’ sustainability programme,” says Hans Pieter Baaij, commercial director, Lankhorst Ropes Maritime Division. “In addition to extending the service of life of maritime ropes, it also includes the maritime industry’s first rope recycling scheme which more and more shipping companies are signing up to.”

“At DSM, sustainability is our core value. We are continuously seeking new ways to improve the quality of life for people today and generations to come. To support this great initiative with our knowledge and technology feels like a natural fit. We have been committed to this industry for decades and will continue to do so,“ says Edwin Grootendorst, business segment director Commercial Marine & Sports, DSM Dyneema.