Fiber ropes have been traditionally used in offshore applications mostly as hawsers and short term anchoring elements. Over the last 20 years polyester ropes became quite popular for permanent deepwater moorings, allowing designers to replace catenary by direct axial compliance. Other established use worth mentioning has been on protection nets to avoid supply boats hitting structural components or risers. The good experience with these applications has made designers and Industry in general more comfortable and we now see the use of fiber ropes spreading to meet new challenges. Examples include towing, lowering lines, subsea tethers and others. This paper describes the challenges and opportunities that designers face having the option to engineer tether characteristics with the multitude of combinations of fiber and rope constructions available today in the market. The paper also presents some of the new uses that are being made of ropes and the trends for the near future. To illustrate one such use an application in a back-up tether system for Free Standing Hybrid Risers (FSHR) is described in a bit more detail.
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