KONE Elevators  announces a new high rise elevator technology that is set to break industry limits and enable future elevator travel heights of one kilometre.

The KONE UltraRope is a completely new hoisting technology that eliminates the disadvantages of conventional steel rope and opens up a world of possibilities in high-rise building design including 1km travel heights - twice the distance currently feasible.

Comprising of a carbon fibre core and a unique high-friction coating, KONE UltraRope is extremely light, significantly reducing elevator energy consumption in high-rise buildings. The drop in rope weight means a dramatic reduction in elevator moving masses. Due to the significant impact of ropes on the overall weight of elevator moving masses, the benefits of KONE UltraRope increase exponentially with the travel distance.

Extremely strong and highly resistant to wear and abrasion, KONE UltraRope hoisting technology reduces elevator downtime caused by building sway as carbon fibre resonates at a completely different frequency to steel and most other building materials. Offering an exceptionally long lifetime, at least twice that of conventional steel rope, the UltraRope does not require any lubrication for maintenance thanks to the special coating, enabling further cuts in environmental impact.

All these advantages add up to exceptional eco-efficiency, durability and reliability in future high-rise elevator travel.

KONE President and CEO Matti Alahuhta is confident that the new innovation will revolutionise the elevator industry for the tallest segment of buildings across the globe.

KONE UltraRope has been developed and tested rigorously in real elevators as well as in simulation laboratories at KONE's R&D facilities in Finland. Since 2010, it has been tested in operation at one of the world's tallest elevator testing laboratories - KONE's Tytyri facility built over 300m underground adjacent to an active limestone mine. The tests have measured properties such as tensile strength, bending lifetime, and material aging. 

Rapid urbanisation is a key driver for the development of cities and the elevator industry. Building upwards is seen as the sustainable urban solution, and the number of tall buildings built around the globe has increased rapidly in recent years. Increasingly, tall buildings are also growing taller with nearly 600 buildings of 200m or more currently under construction or planned to be built over the next few years, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. While there are currently three buildings in the world that top the 500m mark, there are plans for 20 more such buildings to be built in the coming years. Additionally, there are currently some 3,000 buildings in the world that could benefit from modernisation with KONE UltraRope.