This paper presents first results from a study of the long term marine durability of aramid fibers. The program was started based on the experience of IFREMER using aramid fiber ropes for instrumentation and deep sea handling lines, which is described here. Instrumentation lines showed no degradation after recovery, but results from testing of handling ropes after service indicated significant strength reduction. This led to the development of specific test facilities to study bend-over-sheave performance. The overall aim is to improve understanding of the roles of both the fiber and the rope construction in a marine environment, in order to improve long term strength retention of aramid marine ropes.

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