We see industrial wire rope for all kinds of purposes on a daily basis. This extremely strong strand can be used to hold or lift thousands of pounds if necessary – but it is still pliable enough for use in much smaller applications.
As with most industrial hardware, there are many types, sizes, and variations of wire rope on the market. If the wrong type of wire rope is used, it can, unfortunately, be quite disastrous. Ropes that are not rated for specific load weights or conditions could snap and break. This can result in damaged structures and even job site injuries.
Industrial wire ropes require special handling and training to ensure that they are used correctly, especially for applications like construction. It’s important to know the differences between the kinds so you only use the recommended types.
Elite Sales has been an industrial wire rope distributor for many years – and our team of experts knows just about all there is to know about wire ropes. We are here to answer any questions you may have about these important pieces of hardware.
What are the Different Types of Industrial Rope?
There are various options for wire ropes which are measured in a pair of numbers. These two numbers indicate how many strands and individual wires construct the wire rope.
Each strand is made up of a collection of wires wrapped around each other, forming a spiraled thread. This is what makes the wire rope strong, yet flexible. Typically, the more wires used in each strand indicate that the rope will be more flexible.
Some of the most common styles for industrial wire rope include:
- 6 X 15
- 6 X 19
- 6 X 25
- 6 X 26
- 6 X 27
- 6 X 36
- 6 X 37
Some specialty wire ropes are designed with higher amounts of strands than wires. For instance, Elite Sales offers a 35 X 7 wire rope and a 19 X 19 wire rope. Both of these have so many strands that the wire rope is considered highly rotation resistant, so it won’t turn when used for overhead lifting.
What’s the Difference Between Galvanized, Bright, and Stainless-Steel Industrial Wire Rope?
Most wire ropes are sold in galvanized, bright, or stainless-steel forms. Nearly all industrial wire ropes are made from steel since this metal is quite strong. But the durability of the wire rope changes depending on the type of steel used.
Galvanized Wire Rope
Galvanized steel is coated in a light layer of molten zinc. This protects the steel from corrosion, which protects the wire rope from wear and tear. Galvanized wire ropes are great for heavy-duty applications, but the zinc coating is not strong enough to protect rusting from heavy water exposure, such as on marine applications.
Bright Wire Rope
Bright steel is uncoated, meaning that the alloy steel has no galvanized coating. It is created using a cold-drawing technique, which increases the tensile strength of the metal. However, it is easily corroded and is typically only used in covered applications.
Stainless Steel Wire Rope
Stainless steel is the most durable type of metal, as it is naturally corrosion-resistant. It is stronger than galvanized steel, but also much more expensive. It is the only type of wire rope recommended for marine applications.
What Makes Industrial Wire Rope Stronger?
Several design aspects can increase the strength of an industrial wire rope. For instance, the type of core can influence the strength and stretch of a rope. Steel cores are sturdier, preventing the rope from getting crushed or stretched under heavy loads. Fiber cores are weaker but more flexible.
The diameter of the wires used in the rope also determines the strength. These wires can range from 1/8” to 2 ½”. Thicker wires are far stronger and can hold up to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The lay of the rope also has some influence on its strength and durability. A regular or right lay means that the strands are woven left to right. This is the most common type as it is quite flexible. The lang lay means that the wires are twisted in the same direction as the strands. This results in a slightly stronger rope, as it reduces friction from bending.
When Should I Use Industrial Wire Rope?
Different styles of wire rope can be used in a wide variety of applications. Some of the most common uses for industrial-grade wire rope include:
- Aircraft cables
- Overhead lifting
- Pulley systems
- Marine hoists
Overall, it is important to consult an expert on the recommended type of wire rope for your specific use. Little factors can make a big difference in the performance, safety, and longevity of the rope.
Looking for a Wire Rope Distributor?
Elite Sales carries a vast variety of industrial wire ropes, along with other types of industrial hardware. Our team of experts is also on hand to answer questions and help you place an order from one of our distribution centers around the country.
Please contact Elite Sales today by sending a message online or giving us a call at 800-458-6659.