Stepping into the world of wire rope and rigging can be a little overwhelming. Osha training is needed, math skills are required, and knowing how all the parts move and come together is a must. However, before you start planning a rigging project, it’s useful to learn the vocabulary. Wire rope terminology is vast, but the following are the most useful terms you’ll need to know!
Rigging and Wire Rope Terminology
Wire rope and rigging are used in many different ways. You can find rigging and wire rope users in the construction, utility, entertainment and mining industries. But what those industries have in common is basic wire rope lingo. Here are some of the most used terms used when working with wire rope.
Using wire rope
Whether you’re buying the rope or just using it in your everyday life, these terms are ones you are bound to hear when using wire rope during your next rigging job.
- Fitting – These are accessories used to attach to a rope. These can be on thimbles, slings or sleeves.
- Splicing – Taking the ends of two ropes and interweaving them together so that it makes one long continuous rope while keeping the ropes original small diameter. Making a loop or eye at the end of a rope so that it does not have loose ends is also called splicing.
- Abrasion – The wear and tear on the surface of a wire rope, sometimes breaking individual wires.
- Corrosion – A chemical reaction to a wire rope causing decay. This is usually due to exposure to moisture, alkalines, acids and other damaging agents.
Wire rope construction
Depending on how a rope is constructed can mean a lot how you wish to use it. Knowing how it’s constructed can help you pick the right wire rope for your project.
- Rope grade – Ranking system of rope-based on their minimum breaking force or break strength. The following are those ranks:
- IPS stands for improved plowed steel.
- EIPS stands for extra improved plowed steel. This steal is 10% stronger than IPSl
- EEIPS stands for extra extra improved plowed steel and its 10% stronger than EIPS.
- GIPS stands for galvanized improved plowed steel. These strands add galvanized wires to help with corrosion resistance.
- DGEIP stands for drawn galvanized improved plow steel. This rope also has galvanized for corrosion resistance but the drawn wires generally have a higher break load than GIPS.
- Rope strand – A ranking classification of zinc-coated strands by their minimum break strength. In order of rank:
- High Strength
- Extra-High Strength.
A utility-grade strand is also made to meet special requirements.
- Filler wire – A strand with a number of wires, usually small, used for spacing and arranging other wires.
- Core – The axial component of a wire rope. The strands of wire are laid around it to form the rope. The core can be fiber, wire strand or an independent wire rope. Here are more specific types of cores:
- Independent wire rope core (iwrc)
- Fiber core (FC) – made with vegetable or synthetic fiber
- Polypropylene rope core (PPC)
- Strand core (SC)
When a wire rope is constructed, the specific kinds of wires are put together and laid into a strand to create the rope diameter. This measures both how they go around the core and how long they go down the rope. Here are the three most common types of lay and the meaning behind their wire rope terminology.
- Regular lay ropes – When the wire rope has strands that layered together going the opposite directions and the strands are then laid together going in opposite directions.
- Lang lay ropes – Wires in the strands are all going in the same direction and the strands are laid into the rope going the same direction.
- Alternative lay – When the wires in the strands are laid differently than the strands in the rope. For example, the wires in the strands are opposite, but then the strands are laid into the rope going the same way and vice versa.
Wire rope ability
Wire rope is graded and classified by its efficiency. It’s measured by how much it can hold without breaking and how much stress it can be put under. Knowing the terms used when discussing testing can help you evaluate the safety of the rope you’re looking to acquire.
- Minimum breaking force – After being tested with set standard procedures by the wire rope industry, the strength is calculated and accepted. It’s minimum breaking force is the smallest amount of weight that could break the rope. This is used in planning a rigging project so that the proper rope can be bought for the proper load weights.
- Bending stress – Stress caused to a wire by bending it
- Kink – When a wire is sharply bent and it permanently distorts the wire strand. This action is mostly due to a loop being pulled through a small space.
- Dog-leg – A short bend in a wire, normally causing it to be unusable. This caused by improper use
Types of Wire Rope
Different types of rope can help with different types of uses. Wire ropes can be made with many elements in mind: strength, flexibility, corrosion resistance, rotation resistance, abrasion resistance, and fatigue resistance. Here are some of the most common types of wire rope.
- Marline clad rope – When the core of a rope is marline or a synthetic cord and the strands are wrapped around it in a spiral individually
- Non-rotation-resistant wire rope – Stranded wire rope, the design of which is not intended to reduce load-induced torque. Also known as standard wire rope.
- Cable-laid wire rope – A wire rope made of several wire ropes laid into a single wire rope.
- Preformed wire rope – Wire rope in which the strands are permanently shaped before fabrication into the rope to the helical form they assume in the wire rope.
- Rotation-resistant rope – wire rope consisting of at least two layers of strands where the lay direction of the outer layer is opposite of its underlying layer.
- Flattened strand rope – Wire rope with triangular-shaped strands that presents a flattened rope surface.
- Stainless steel rope – In order to reduce corrosion, wire rope is made of chrome-nickel steel wires
Learn Wire Rope Safety with Silver State Wire Rope
Now that you’ve learned the key wire rope terminology, you should put it to good use. What better way than to get rigging training! Silver State Wire Rope offers amazingly intuitive classes by the finest workers in the field. We specialize in entertainment, construction, utility and mining rigging and we’d love to have you in one of our classes.