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Things You Must Know about Steel Wire Rope!

Author: Evelyn w

Sep. 22, 2023

Hardware

Steel wire rope is an engineering marvel, versatile, durable, and essential in countless applications. Composed of intertwined steel wires, they provide unparalleled strength for tasks such as lifting heavy objects, anchoring ships, and even supporting suspension bridges. Their reliability and durability have made them a cornerstone of various industries around the world. In this article, we reveal what you need to know about wire rope.


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What is a steel wire rope?


As the name suggests, wire rope is a special type of rope that is usually made of steel and is known for its unique structure. This unique structure consists of three main components - including wires, strands, and cores - that are put together in a very special way.

Essentially, steel wire is a piece of steel that has been carefully drawn into a small diameter. Several of these wires are combined together to form strands, and in a standard steel wire rope, you'll typically find a total of six strands. The strands are precisely wound around the steel core of the steel wire rope, forming complex spiral structures and giving the steel wire rope many useful properties.


What types of steel wire rope are there?


● Stainless steel wire rope

Stainless steel wire rope is undoubtedly the most popular and widely used type on the market today. This is due to all the unique features and benefits inherent in stainless steel. First of all, it is very strong and durable, making it ideal for many applications. Not only that, it also has excellent resistance to wear, corrosion, and moisture. Due to its rugged nature, it can withstand the harshest environmental conditions for many years without deformation or damage.

Plus, stainless steel wire rope maintains its attractive appearance for a longer period of time - the polished surface won't fade or lose its luster easily. It provides an aesthetic appearance and can be used for both practical and decorative purposes.

Since stainless steel does not require constant maintenance or upkeep, users can easily enjoy all these benefits. Even with regular exposure to heat or other hazardous elements, stainless steel wire rope remains resilient and reliable – providing a long-lasting solution that won’t let you down when you need it most.

Stainless steel wire rope is an excellent choice for any home or commercial application because it has the strength and durability to withstand a variety of conditions. It has become a common material used in many industries, such as the marine industry (for rigging purposes) and the construction industry (for various projects such as barriers, guardrails, handrails, and safety wiring).


● Galvanized steel wire rope

Galvanized steel wire rope is a type of steel wire rope that has undergone an extensive chemical treatment called galvanizing. It involves dipping stainless steel into zinc, which covers and bonds to the stainless steel, creating a protective layer that is much stronger than regular steel.

This coating provides additional protection against rust and oxidation, which means galvanized steel wire ropes last longer and perform better in outdoor applications at varying temperatures. Additionally, due to its enhanced protection against corrosion and oxidation, galvanized steel wire rope can be used in a variety of environments, from marine environments to industrial environments where high humidity or other corrosive elements are present.

In addition to being strong and corrosion-resistant, galvanized steel wire rope also has excellent electrical conductivity, making it ideal for electrical applications. Finally, because of the unique chemical composition of this material after it goes through the galvanizing process, the cost of using this material is typically lower than traditional materials like copper or aluminum.

Galvanized wire rope is a highly cost-effective alternative to stainless steel wire rope and is more resilient in outdoor environments due to the galvanizing process. It has a variety of uses, such as tying materials together in construction, as well as in household applications such as building rust-resistant fences or acting as a durable clothesline.


● PVC steel wire rope

PVC wire rope is a cost-effective alternative to stainless steel wire rope and consists of a steel core wrapped with a plastic coating. Not only is it significantly cheaper, but it's also semi-flexible in comparison and available in a variety of different colors. It is suitable for commercial and domestic applications such as barriers and guardrails, cleaning lines, security cables, and catenary systems.

Some properties that PVC wire rope shares with stainless steel include durability and strength; however, its plastic casing is much lighter than the metal version. It is therefore ideal for projects involving long distances or large structures as its light weight ensures easier installation operations.

In addition, this type of rope has a higher breaking load than similar products in the same size range, up to 15. Overall, PVC wire rope is an excellent cost-saving solution for those looking for a lightweight, abrasion-resistant rope with good breaking strength properties. Its versatility makes it suitable for use in many industries, providing an efficient way to safely hang objects on divisible sections.


Strength, load, and capacity of steel wire rope


You may see two different ways to measure the breaking strength of a steel wire rope. Minimum breaking strength is the minimum load required to pull a wire rope apart. Total strength refers to the collective breaking strength of all wires in a single cable tested individually by the manufacturer.

Most suppliers' definition of tensile failure differs slightly from the user's definition. When a supplier performs a rope capacity test, they consider the slightest problem to be a malfunction and therefore rate the rope regardless of what value they find is causing the problem. On a job site, technicians often don't view minor problems as malfunctions.

That being said, don't test your luck, and don't overload your cables. There's a reason hardware vendors are cautious. You must always stay within your workload limits. Calculating wire rope capacity is easy, so you're never without guidelines.

To calculate the working load limit (WLL), divide the tensile strength by the design factor (usually 5, but determined by the engineer designing the wire rope for use).

The number you get is the maximum working load you can impose without risk of tensile failure or metal fatigue. This value is usually expressed in customary short tons, at least among engineers working in the United States.


You will often see expressions like this:


Ultimate breaking strength / 5 = WLL (working load limit)


Choose the right cable for your job site


Steel wire rope is a complex device. Few people stop to think that each wire rope is a machine in itself. Remember to consider how strong and flexible you need your new cable to be, and consider whether it will be exposed to harsh conditions or have to withstand the elements. For your research, you'll be rewarded with a cable that works just as hard as you do.


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