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Future Fibres News

ECsix: The Obvious Choice

ECsix- the best-proven and most durable composite shroud solution in the market.

Carbon fibre standing rigging is fast becoming commonplace, not just with grand prix-level designs, but also among the world’s ocean record-breakers and even superyachts. Advantages in strength, lightweight and increased performances are merging now with improved longevity and reliability and therefore long-term costs.

As a manufacturer of both solid and bundled carbon rigging, Future Fibres are always diligent in making sure that customers are best informed on the correct choice to match their particular balance of performance and reliability.

Future Fibres’ ECsix continues to offer the best-proven and most durable composite shroud solution. ECsix is the official rigging of the Volvo Ocean Race yachts as well as the supplier for the Flying IMOCA’s.

  1. Multi-strand cables absorb energy in an impact, so damage doesn’t necessarily migrate through the whole cable. If a single strand is damaged only that strand needs to be repaired. Because of this characteristic, multi-strand cables are remarkably resilient, continuing to support extreme stresses even with several strands severed.
  2. Multi-strand cables present no risk of compression failure because the product is flexible and so can bend. However, under similar circumstances a solid cable will, over time, suffer micro-cracking which can eventually lead to failure.
  3. Multi-strand cables deliver a significantly stronger connection at spreader and mast wall junctions because of the favourable bending and relief properties of the system.
  4. Potential problems in ECsix rigging are easier to identify by removing the outer sheath and conducting a visual inspection, whereas solid cables require X-ray, ultrasound or other expensive inspection technologies, as well as specialised technical expertise. And once identified, the areas to be fixed can be repaired in situ.
  5. In terms of portability and practicality, ECsix cables emerge from the factory coiled without fear of kinking or breakage, and can be easily shipped. Similarly, when servicing is needed shipment back to the factory is easier with coiled cable. Solid cables cannot be easily shipped, particularly in long lengths.
  6. For most rigs the aerodynamic drag and weight differences between ECsix and solid rod are negligible. But solid rod can be prone to vibration when exposed to conditions of vortex shedding. This vibration not only increases aero drag (a vibration amplitude of one half the diameter is effectively equivalent to a cable twice as big), but it can speed fatigue in metal components and end fittings.