REDwire Industrial wire ropes: five little known facts

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Wire ropes re essential to the precise functioning of electronic and mechanical instruments.

Wire ropes are essential to the precise functioning of electronic and mechanical instruments.

Engineered mainly for industries, including aerospace, defense, medical and transportation, wire ropes are the fine, yet formidable connections with meticulous demands that help operate sophisticated mechanisms.

Take some time to learn the ropes about industrial wire rope with these five little known facts.


1.  Industrial wire rope is technically a machine

Wire ropes become capable of transferring energy, forces and motion from one point to another when proper configuration, material selection and manufacture specifications are assembled; this is emblematic of a mechanism in operation.

2.  Don’t get your wires crossed: cable and wire rope are not one in the same

Cable and wire rope are words used interchangeably, but this is incorrect. Wire rope is the proper term denoting diameters larger than 3/8 of an inch, whereas widths smaller than this are referred to a cable.

3.  Different strokes for different folks: two steel material options with two dissimilar priorities

When durability is a priority for your wire rope application, use galvanized carbon steel. The material provides lower costs and higher strength since wire ropes are coated with zinc adding an additional element of resilience.

For applications demanding more corrosion resistance, opt for stainless steel. Although this material selection is more expensive, the added chromium and nickel alloy formulation provides significant anti-corrosive and heavy-duty properties.

4.  Want wire rope that is a working stiff or bends over backwards? It all depends on the number of strands

The fewer number of strands used within a prescribed diameter, the less flexibility the wire rope will have. For example, a wire rope with one strand using seven wires (i.e. a 1 x 7 configuration) will provide minimal flexing because of its stiff, concentric construction.

The opposite is true for wire ropes designed with more strands (i.e. 3 x 7) where the ratio between strands to wire rope is three by seven. This type of construction offers continuous flexing as well as increased abrasion resistance.

5.  Size does and doesn’t matter

Proper wire rope selection is not just about material type or how much muscle wire ropes have to effectively carry sizeable loads.

Elements of speed (i.e. acceleration and deceleration), shock load, length, the number and location of sheaves and fitting types (where the rope ends will be secured) must be considered from the outset to ensure safe and secure operation of the application. These factors help to determine abrasion wear, fatigue failure and overall strength of the chosen wire rope.

With more than six decades in the industrial wire rope and cable assembly business, contact Bergen Cable Technology for more information.


Bergen Cable Technology LLC

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