Wire rope is extremely sturdy and can be used in many different applications. In order to withstand harsh conditions, wire rope has basic guidelines of inspection it must meet. Continue reading to find out the guidelines of inspection for wire rope.
Wire Rope Troubleshooting
Abrasion damage is usually caused by the rope making contact with an abrasive surface. It can also be caused by simply passing over the drum and sheaves during regular, continued use. To minimize this risk, all components should be in proper working condition and be of appropriate diameter for the rope. Badly worn sheaves or drums will cause serious damage to a new rope and will greatly diminish the integrity of the rope quickly.
Corrosion is hard to assess but is more problematic than abrasion. Corrosion is usually the result of the lack of lubrication. It will most likely take place internally before there are any apparent signs on the rope’s surface. One telltale sign of corrosion is a slight discoloration, which is generally the result of rusting. This discoloration indicates a need for lubrication which should be dealt with as soon as possible. Failure to attend to this situation will lead to severe corrosion which will cause premature fatigue failures in the wires and strands. If this occurs, the rope will need to be removed immediately.
Diameter reduction is an extremely serious deterioration factor and can occur for several reasons. The most common reasons for diameter reduction are excessive abrasion of the outside wires, loss of core diameter/support, internal or external corrosion damage, or inner wire failure.
Examining and documenting a new rope’s actual diameter when under normal load conditions is critical. During the life of the rope, the actual diameter of the rope should be regularly measured at the same location under similar loading conditions. If this protocol is followed correctly, it should divulge a routine rope characteristic—after an initial reduction, the overall diameter will stabilize, then gradually decrease in diameter during the course of the rope’s life. This occurrence is completely natural, but if diameter reduction is confined to a single area or happens quickly, the inspector must quickly identify the source of the diameter loss and make the necessary changes if possible. Otherwise, the rope should be replaced as soon as possible.
Crushing or flattening of wire rope strands can happen for many reasons. These issues usually arise on multilayer spooling conditions but can also develop just by using the wrong wire rope for the specific application. Incorrect installation is the most common cause of premature crushing/flattening. Quite often, failure to secure a tight first layer, which is known as the foundation, will cause loose or “gappy” conditions in the wire rope which will result in accelerated deterioration. Failure to appropriately break-in the new rope, or even worse, to have no break-in protocol whatsoever, will also result in poor spooling conditions. The inspector must understand how to correctly inspect the wire rope, in addition to knowing how that rope was initially installed.
Another potential cause for the replacement of the rope is shock loading (also known as bird-caging). Shock loading is caused by the abrupt release of tension on the wire rope and its rebound culminating from being overloaded. The damage that ensues can never be amended and the rope needs to be replaced immediately.
There are several different instances that might result in high stranding. Some of these instances include the inability to correctly seize the rope prior to installation or the inability to maintain seizing during wedge socket installation. Sometimes wavy rope occurs due to kinks or very tight grooving issues. Another possible problem arises from introducing torque or twist into a new rope during poor installation methods. In this situation, the inspector must assess the continued use of the rope or conduct inspections more often.
We Can Help
There are a lot of guidelines for troubleshooting wire rope. At Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging, Inc., we take these guidelines seriously, and so should you. All of our products are tested and guaranteed to be the best fit for your specific needs. We can also help you with your troubleshooting needs. Contact us today!