The life of the composite cables depends on different factors linked to the type of fiber that has been chosen, their use on board under static, discontinuous or torsional loads, their working loads as well as the exposure to atmospheric agents. Moreover, every composite fiber reacts in a different way during its lifetime. Thanks to the tests made in different and real sailing conditions on board of boats having highly different performances, armare can guarantee the durability of its composite cables if properly used. They can last in perfect working conditions for many years, even longer than the corresponding steel cables, fulfilling the sailor’s expectation of performance.
For vertical rigging, forestays and fixed backstays, the best choice is PBO®, thanks to its exceptional resistance under constant loads. Over the years, PBO® cables are proving to be extremely durable and resistant, even more lasting then the corresponding cables in Nitronic or in steel rod.
Load / Off-Load
Diagonal and backstays are subject to very intensive loads, than they are fully downloaded or even go negative (e.g. the rigging downwind sailing upwind). Even for this items, PBO® is the best fiber, but are suggested reduced intervals of inspection and maintenance.
Torsional Load (Running/Torsional)
Although the torsional cables can be structural, they need particular device in the construction, because it is necessary to provide excellent transmission of the torque along the cable, while maintaining good flexibility and possibility of traverse. These cable are made of PBO®, Kevlar® or Dyneema® and are more and more common and used. Armare torsional cable, structural and non-structural, have always proved characteristics of high efficiency and durability.
Cable life guideline
While cruising the weight/diameter optimization is secondary to longevity and the cable life may be decided since the design process. After 3 to 4 years (for race boats) and after 4 to 6 years (for cruising boats), Armare recommends to send back all the cables to the factory for an inspection service and testing cycle: the results of these tests provide guidance on whether or not, rigging elements need to be replaced. The Engineering Department of Armare is composed by a group of highly qualified technicians that offer permanent technical assistance for the cables and if necessary they can also do the inspection on board. The terms here below are indicative and split, depending on the use and the navigation features the cable is usually subjected to. Generally speaking, a visual inspection should be made once a year as well as deeper inspections at suggested intervals. E.g. cables that are subjected to torsion need intervals of maintenance that are three times longer than the cables that are put under constant loads.
Control Intervals *
Annual visual inspection
Runners, Checks & Torsional cables
Diagonals, Forestay & backstay
Maximal Durability **
Limit of duration of Composite Cables in PBO: 4 years Limit of duration of material in K49: 4 years
(*) The term of control is the period after which the cable must be sent to Armare for a complete inspection in order to assess its conditions and redefine the limits of life. It does not represent in any way a guarantee of durability of the cable, which may require an earlier replacement, due to the real working conditions and the type of use.
(**) The time limit is the maximum useful life of a cable, in normal working conditions, after which the cable must be replaced or sent to Armare for a complete control, in order to assess a possible extension of duration. It does not represent in any way a guarantee of durability of the cable, which may require replacement, due to the previous real working conditions and the type of use.
NFC technology (Near Field Communication) is an APP, that can be downloaded by most of the smartphones. Using a common software and hardware protocol, this technology enables a mobile phone to communicate with TAG put inside of the terminals of composite cables. The connection happens in a short distance (maximum 2 cm) and according to protocols defined by the NFC standard: basically to use NFC you have to lay up your smartphone to the terminal, in order to get all the essential information about the cable, i.e. specific technical data and the date of production. In this way, the definition of the intervals of maintenance and service of every textile standing rigging becomes easy and safe.
The production of a composite cable follows strict procedures, which assure the complete quality control of each cable. From design to testing, Armare records the technical features of each cable, to be able to deliver to the customer a safe and guaranteed product; depending on the specific use of the cable, Armare contacts the registered client when it is necessary to program a cycle of inspections and service.