Steel wire rope has been utilized for centuries. Since steel wire rope’s experimental use in the 1800s in Europe, it has become absolutely vital for many industries. Steel wire rope is used in the marine industry, construction, farming, and automotive sector, just to name a few.
A piece of steel wire rope is constructed of fine individual wires woven together around a solid fiber core or steel wire core. It’s this durable design that allows stainless steel wire rope to be heat and impact-resistant. However, regardless of its durability, there are some tips you should know about using wire ropes correctly.
Quality is Key
Steel wire rope is meant to last a long time, many years if cared for properly. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for so don’t gyp yourself when it comes to quality. Shop around to check out the different varieties of thicknesses and construction of wire ropes.
Buying online is a good way to save some money if you’re strapped for cash. However, if you buy second-hand, be sure to thoroughly check the wire rope for any damage, such as corrosion, knicks, kinks, and scratches.
Break-in a New Steel Wire Rope
It’s imperative that you break in your steel wire rope as soon as you buy it. Breaking in a steel wire rope simply means utilizing it for what you intended minus the load. Remember that wire rope is prone to stretching, so allow a stretch of about half a percent of the rope length.
Check for any structural damage while your rope is rigged up. Once your load is on the rope, it might be too late.
Towards the end of the rope’s lifespan, it’s good practice to check for stretch. It’s time to replace that rope once the diameter of the rope has been significantly reduced.
Seize Your Rope
Seizing your rope simply means binding the ends of a rope. While a simple step, it is absolutely critical. A good way to learn the proper methods of seizing wire rope is to simply watch tutorials on how it’s done by professionals.
Exercise Caution When Uncoiling and Winding On
You can extend your wire rope’s lifespan by practicing good coiling and storage habits. This will greatly reduce the kinks and twists that can damage wire rope as time passes. These processes can also be seen done on Youtube tutorials. While it’s not a difficult process, it’s important to pay attention to detail.
Clean and Lubricate Wire Rope Often
As previously mentioned, steel wire rope is manufactured with multiple strands of wire. This allows dust, dirt, and moisture to build up in the tiny gaps. Simply utilize a wire brush and petroleum solvent to scrub away any debris.
While you’re cleaning, use this time to look for any damage to your wire rope. If you see any serious distortion on the rope, it should be replaced immediately.
It’s also important to lubricate your wire rope after you clean it. In addition to the rope itself, you should also lubricate any machinery the rope runs through. Doing so will reduce damaging friction on the cable. This friction can lead to fraying, tears, or even snaps.
Ask the Experts
When installing wire ropes to machinery or for rigging purposes, it’s absolutely imperative to have this work done by professionals. If you aren’t adequately trained when it comes to installing steel wire ropes, it’s a good idea to hire someone who is. Remember that OSHA regulates the safety of wire rope. At Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging, our staff has the correct training necessary to provide you and your company with the wire rope and rigging solutions you need. Contact us today to get the job done right.