The first area of activities within the Dollyropefree project is to develop alternative materials which are much less prone to wear and tear and/or biodegradable. Since conventional dolly rope consists of polyethylene threads which are non-biodegradable, the challenge has been to develop alternatives which are either:
This challenge translates into a (re)search and development process that has so far focused on two kinds of alternatives:
Since the start of the DollyropeFree project in The Netherlands, various ideas have been shared and tested in practice, ranging from old-fashioned solutions to new and innovative ones.
During the last couple of years, tens of different varieties in materials and designs have been tested both in controlled conditions in a tank filled with seawater and out at sea. Most of these materials have never been tested at sea in these kind of circumstances. During this selection process, it has become clear which materials and/or designs work and which don’t.
So far, three types of materials have been tested in various shapes and forms:
The results of the tests so far have been as follows:
Currently, three alternative materials and designs stand out: strips made out of yak leather, in seawater biodegradable plastic threads and the net protection method that is also being used in France. These alternatives are in the process of being further tested by several ships to see how they perform in practice, if used on a large scale.
Next to this, these alternative materials and designs have to live up to certain standards: they have to be more environmentally friendly, comparable to dolly rope from a financial perspective and at least as practical to use on board.
Since the start of the DollyropeFree project in The Netherlands, various ideas have been shared and tested in practice, ranging from old-fashioned solutions to new and innovative ones. Most of these materials have never been tested at sea.
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