Industrial strands are a crucial piece of hardware used for reinforcement and securement in concrete structures. Construction designs often use various types of strands for tower construction, large-span bridges, and overhead crane beams.

Since industrial strands are responsible for supporting thousands of pounds of concrete, only the strongest, most durable materials must be used. Although nearly all industrial strands are made from steel, several different types are designed for varying applications.

As industrial strand suppliers, we get a lot of questions about overhead lifting equipment and construction applications. Our clients often wonder which finishing, size, or strand style is best for the task they have at hand.

So, what are the differences between these types, and which is the best industrial strand to use?

Let’s dive in.

Galvanized Strand Cables

Galvanized steel is covered in a protective layer of zinc to provide additional strength and durability to the steel beneath. This zinc coating prevents the steel from scratches or damage.

Industrial strands are coated through hot-dip galvanization. Zinc is heated up until it turns into a molten liquid. Industrial strands are then dipped into the molten zinc for an even coating.

Benefits of Galvanized Steel Strands

The protective barrier of zinc makes galvanized industrial strands the best option for applications where the wires may experience wear and tear. The galvanized zinc coating protects the steel beneath, increasing its durability.

Galvanized steel is also less expensive compared to other materials of similar strength.

Galvanized industrial strands require little maintenance and upkeep and are very long-lasting.

When to Use Galvanized Industrial Strands

Galvanized strands are commonly used for barrier cables and guard rails, as well as suspension wire where corrosion resistance is equally as important as strength and durability. Galvanized industrial strands should not be used for extreme weight support, as it often has a lower breaking strength than stainless steel.

Stainless Steel Strand Cables

Stainless steel is an alloy metal made mostly of iron along with additional amounts of chromium, nickel, manganese, nitrogen, or carbon. This combination of metals makes stainless steel extremely strong and harder than other styles of steel.

Stainless steel Is naturally corrosion-resistant and is easily identifiable by its shiny exterior. While it is stronger than galvanized steel, it is not as long-lasting and needs more frequent replacements.

Benefits of Stainless-Steel Industrial Strands

One of the greatest benefits of stainless steel is its incredible strength. It is a bit more elastic than galvanized, which helps to increase its breaking strength. However, it is more expensive and is more vulnerable to damage since it lacks a protective coating.

When to Use Stainless Steel Industrial Strands

Stainless steel is often used in applications where the cables easily rust or corrode. For instance, large-span bridges often utilize stainless steel strands since it is exposed to the elements and is usually built over a body of water.

Vinyl Coated Strand Cables

Vinyl-coated industrial strands are not as common as galvanized or stainless steel, but you may see them on occasion. This vinyl plastic coating prevents the strands from unraveling or twisting and protects the steel from corrosion and water.

This coating can be added to either galvanized or stainless-steel cables and is usually added with a lubricating seal to reduce friction.

Benefits of Vinyl Coated Strands

One of the key benefits to vinyl-coated industrial strands is the added protection from abrasion. This also provides additional flexibility and keeps the strand’s shape if the end is cut off.

The vinyl coating also protects the metal interior from the heat caused by excess friction or external temperatures.


When to Use Vinyl Coated Strands

Vinyl-coated strands are typically used in applications with high amounts of friction or movement.  You may see vinyl-coated strands on pulleys and sheaves or conveyor cables.

Vinyl strands are available in a variety of colors; they are occasionally used for aesthetic purposes in outdoor applications. Bright colors may be used to mark barriers for increased visibility.


1X7 Strand vs 1X19 Strand

In addition to the material, industrial strands come in varying sizes: 1X7 and 1X19.



1X7 Strand vs 1X19 Strand


The 1X7 galvanized cable is constructed with a central core wire that is surrounded by six additional strands. This makes the wire stiffer – and while minimizing elasticity, it’s best for tension and bracing.

Steel Strand



The 1X19 stainless steel strand has three layers of wires, with a central core strand, six in the middle, and twelve exterior strands. This supports a bit more flexibility in the strand without compromising its strength. 1X19 strands are often used for standing rigging and structural support.


It is essential to use the right type of industrial strand for your application. Choosing the wrong material or size could compromise the safety of your construction – and cause major issues. It is essential to know the differences between all types and when they are appropriate to use.

As an Industrial Strand Supplier, Elite Sales offers only the highest quality equipment on the market. All of our industrial strands and other overhead lifting equipment pieces meet the strictest standards for safety rating and industrial use.

Please contact our team to learn more about our industrial strand products or to place an order with us today.