REDwire Wire rope 101: Material and construction options

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A 1x7 strand is used as a fixed member, straight linkage or where flexing is minimal.

Bergen Cable knows that different applications for wire rope present varying demands for strength, abrasion and corrosion resistance. To meet these requirements, the Fairfield. N.J.-based company produces wire rope in a number of different materials and styles — each with its own ideal applications. 

For applications where corrosion is a concern, stainless steel wire rope is the best option. Type 302 (18 per cent chromium and eight per cent nickel alloy) is the most common grade accepted because of its corrosion resistance and high strength. Other frequently used stainless steel types are 304, 305, 316 and 321, each with its own set of pros and cons. Type 305, for example, is used where non-magnetic properties are required; however, there is a slight loss of strength. Users must determine where their priorities lie in the application, and if the compromise is worth it.

For applications where strength is required and corrosion resistance is not great enough to justify the cost of stainless steel, galvanized carbon steel is an option. Wires used in these wire ropes are individually coated with a layer of zinc, which offers some protection from corrosive elements.

In addition to wire rope material, cable construction is also a consideration. The greater the number of wires the strand or cable has, the more flexible it is. A 1x7 or a 1x19 strand, with seven and 19 wires respectively, is used as a fixed member, straight linkage or where flexing is minimal. The 1x7 offers the least stretch, while the 1x19 is fairly flexible and resists compressive forces. 

Cables designed with 3x7, 7x7 and 7x19 construction are more flexible; however, they have decreased abrasion resistance. These cables are ideal for applications where continuous flexing is a requirement. The 7x19 is the strongest and most flexible cable.

Bergen Cable has the expertise to help its customers select the most appropriate wire rope for their applications. For more information, contact Bergen Cable

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