Abstract

Synthetic fibers like Kevlar and Vectran are used as load carrying members in Electro-mechanical cables for marine applications. These cables have high strength, high modulus and very low water absorption rate which make them suitable materials for marine applications. The flexible electromechanical cables carry tensile load and electrical power along with data signals. Terminations are used to connect these cables to another cable or terminal. An efficient termination will ensure a load carrying capacity that is almost equal to the breaking load of the strength member of the cable. The presence of stress concentrators due to large diametrical difference between termination body and the braided fiber diameter as well as degradation in material properties reduces the strength and results in failure.

This study focuses on a chemical potting method of termination, where an epoxy compound is poured into a socket containing the Vectran™ synthetic fibers. The basic design of epoxy based termination, which has a cylindrical outer shell which secures the epoxy-fiber matrix, was selected for this study. The outer shell has two cylindrical inner surfaces of different diameters connected by a tapered region. Material property for static and fatigue loading was evaluated. Finite element analysis was carried out to understand the maximum stress profile developed in the termination and to improve the design. Baseline data on mechanical properties obtained from experiments was used as input in FE analysis. Results of the finite element analysis suggest a reasonable correlation with experiments.

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