Mr. O'Hear is an electrical engineer with wide experience in the fibre, rope and cable industry. He was a pioneer in the application of Kevlar aramid fibre and Dyneema HMPE fibre in marine ropes and cables. His studies greatly improved the service life of steel- and fibre-reinforced electromechanical cables He has many years experience in designing high performance ropes and cables using Kevlar and other modern fibres.
At Tension Technology, International, Mr. O'Hear has designed and prepared specifications for riser protection nets. These are large high-performance rope nets which are strung between the columns of an offshore production platform to protect the oil production riser from collision by an errant vessel. The nets must absorb substantial energy within a limited deflection. He is also analysing performance problems in towed cables.
Mr. O'Hear pioneered the use of Kevlar aramid fibre in seismic streamer solid-core cable while at JDR. JDR is a major manufacturer of electro-mechanical cables for marine applications. Many of these cables were reinforced with Kevlar. Mr. O'Hear's prior experience with Kevlar fibres was valuable in optimising the fatigue life of these products.
At JDR, he conducted a number of studies on the fatigue life of steel- and fibre- reinforced electromechanical cables for industry and government organisations. These studies included theoretical appraisals and original testing. Properly designed cables with optical fibre units were demonstrated in test and practice to out perform cables with conventional copper signal conductors by orders of magnitude. The studies resulted in developing new cable designs, including a 90 tonne break strength aramid reinforced opto-electrical cable, with exceptional fatigue lives. Properly designed cables with optical fibre units were demonstrated in test and practice to out perform cables with conventional copper signal conductors by orders of magnitude.
He conducted a joint industry study on mechanical mine sweeping ropes at JDR for the US, The Netherlands, France and Italy. Other studies were conducted for the Defence Research Agency (UK), BHP (Australia), Western Geophysical (UK) and Seabed Exploration.
Mr. O'Hear developed a range of high-performance fibre ropes for Verto . Under his direction, the company pioneered the use of polyester fibre in "wire rope" constructions. It also pioneered the development of Dyneema HMPE fibre ropes for DSM.
Mr. O'Hear designed the polyester ropes which were evaluated and tested in Tethers 2000. This is a Joint Industry Project which evaluated synthetic fibre rope for large platform and rig mooring. As a result of this work, there are a number of successful applications of polyester fibre ropes in offshore platform moorings and similar applications.
At Verto, Mr. O'Hear continued his work on the effect of finishes on the performance of various fibres in ropes. He demonstrated that enhanced lubrication finishes on aramid fibres in cables which were cycled over sheaves actually increased internal abrasion due to relative fibre movement and thus decreased fatigue live instead of increasing it.
At DuPont, Mr. O'Hear's first responsibility was marketing Nomex insulation paper to the European electrical industry. He ran Du Pont's high voltage laboratory in Geneva and provided technical service to the European customers. He also had responsibility for DuPont Nylon and Polyester fibres in both ropes and cables and in fine denier speciality applications including sewing threads and narrow woven fabrics.
Mr. O'Hear helped to develop many applications for DuPont Kevlar aramid fibre in ropes and cables. Notable among these were large mooring lines for the Cardium; a special construction vessel for the Dosbouw Storm Surge Barrier in the Netherlands. Recognizing that fibre finish has a determining role in the performance of Kevlar in dynamic applications, Mr. O'Hear conducted extensive testing of different finishes on Kevlar at the University of Stuttgart.
BSc. Elec. Engr., Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry, UK, 1970
GEC Machines Ltd., Rugby, UK, Insulation Development Engineer, 1970 - 1974
Du Pont de Nemours, Geneva, Switzerland, Engineered Fibres, Marketing and Technical Development, 1974 - 1989
Verto (United Rope Works), Capelle oan de Ijssel, Netherlands, Manager - Research and Development, 1989 - 1991
JDR Cable Systems, (formerly Jacques de Regt), Capelle oan de Ijssel, Netherlands, Technical Director, 1991 - 1997
Tension Technology International, Ltd ,Technical Director (Ropes and Cables), 1997-Present.
Author of 9 technical papers.