The world’s largest elevator buffers have been certified, paving the way for building skyscrapers of up to 1km heights.
Designed and developed by UK energy absorption technology expert Oleo, the buffers would enable construction of elevators capable of travelling at speeds of more than 70km/h. Until today, existing technology only allowed speeds about 40km/h, with the buffers, providing an essential safety cushion at the bottom of the elevator shaft, being a major limiting factor.
"This certification is an important process in the development of the HSL range and it ensures that our buffers are approved to the highest safety standards recognised and required by our working partners across the globe," said Jamie Pratt, managing director of the Elevator Division at Oleo.
The buffers rely on a multi-stage telescoping design, minimising the impact more efficiently than existing single phase buffers. Despite the increased efficiency, the telescoping buffers work without forcing the designers to increase the size of the device.
The certification of the HSL 115 and HSL 72 buffers comes after two years of research and development worth £1.5m and has been achieved at the time when other companies in the industry are also pushing the boundaries, notably Kone with the introduction of its carbon-fibre UltraRope technology and Hitachi, which has released plans for installation of the world's fastest elevator.
Oleo developed the product in response to the growing trend of building higher and larger skyscrapers and has already received orders in excess of £1m for the products.
The company will test the buffers in a newly built test tower in Coventry, which, at 33m, is the tallest such facility in the world.