IFREMER, the French Ocean Research Institute, has a triple interest in ropes.
First, as manager of the French Oceanoraphic fleet, including ocean-going, coastal, and deep submergence vessels, we are a rope user. As an example we have been using Dyneema™ ropes for coring operations down to 6000 meter depth since 2010. The fleet is both a resource for numerous fields of scientific research and observation, related to every aspect of oceanography, and also tasked with surveillance, surveys and other public service missions on behalf of the government.
Second, in our Marine Structures laboratory we have internal research activities devoted to understanding rope behavior in a marine environment. This has resulted in several PhD theses over the last 20 years on aramid, polyester, HMPE and nylon fibers.
And third, we have test facilities allowing us to perform industrial contract work at scales from fibres to small ropes. These include a 1000 kN tensile test frame, a 250 kN CBOS frame, and various smaller test machines and sea water ageing facilities. Projects have included JIP’s, work on deep-sea moorings, and development of deep-water handling ropes. Much of that work, performed in collaboration with fiber producers, rope-makers and end users, has been presented at OTC meetings. Current projects are focused on renewable marine energy.
More details on IFREMER can be found at: https://wwz.ifremer.fr/en/
Most of our research publications on ropes are available in open access at: https://archimer.ifremer.fr/