This paper describes work performed within a Joint Industry Project aiming to evaluate the lifetime of deep sea handling ropes. Various HMPE (High Modulus Polyethylene) fiber ropes, with and without coatings, have been studied under both tensile and cyclic bend over sheave (CBOS) loading. A large test program has enabled both tension-cycle to failure relationships and empirical expressions for residual strength after cycling to be determined. A special device was then developed to apply a known couple to the sheave, allowing both dynamic friction measurements to be made and the influence of applied couple on cycles to failure to be measured. These experimental data were used in the development of a numerical model which can be used to study the influence of rope and sheave parameters.

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