Wire Ropes in the Future thumbnail

Wire Ropes in the Future

Wire rope has become an absolutely essential piece of equipment used in the modern world. It’s wide ranging number of capabilities and benefits, and adaptable nature has seen it adopted by dozens of industries around the world for a huge amount of applications. It has quickly developed from a simply lifting and lowering tool to power the way in which we communicate, travel and even live. With a long and detailed past and plenty of present day usage, it’s clear that this special rope has a future ahead of it too. We’ve laid down some of our own predictions for wire ropes in the future below.

The history of rope

There are plenty of studies and support evidence to show that rope has a long history dating back to around 5000 BC. It was used at key moments in the ages that follow this period, helping mainly with various construction projects.

wire ropes in the future

Rope has helped to build some extremely historical buildings!

However, it was towards the end of the Industrial Revolution, around 1830, that things really changed for this piece of equipment, when it began to feature in “Steam Ploughs”. It was at the same time that Wilhelm Albert, a mining engineer in the German mountains, discovered a new way to manufacture this equipment, greatly increasing its strength and usability.

This invention, although almost 200 years ago, still forms the basis for what is used in the modern era today.

Where do we see this equipment being used today?

Now, steel-based rope is a staple part of dozens of industries around the world for many different applications. To name just a few:

  • Used as the lifting medium for lifting and lowering loads
  • Used as undersea cabling for communication lines
  • Used as internal structuring for buildings
  • Used to pass force and motion throughout an aircraft

For more information on some of the many industries where you’ll find this equipment being used, please read our detailed article here.

So what does the future hold for wire rope?

There is plenty of talk regarding where the future may take us. There is heavy discussion about the use of carbon nanotubes as the chief material rather than stainless steel, a material that would offer heavier strength but in less material.

Could carbon nanotubes be the future of wire rope?

 

Given that the material that we currently use has helped to construct many of the buildings that we live in and work in, as well as forming its internal structuring, as well as form dozens of the other infrastructure that we use, where could a new material take us?

It’s not just around us that it plays a big usage either; cranes and lifting equipment is even used in space! There is a crane permanently attached to the International Space Station (ISS), and it’s predicted that lifting equipment will also help us to explore Mars. And perhaps other planets too!

Without getting too wildly ahead of ourselves, some more obvious predictions are that we are likely to see an increased use of wire rope in factories and manufacturing plants around the world. As it continues to make processes more efficient and quicker, this seems like a natural progression; especially as more and more robots are beginning to dominate the workplace instead of humans.

Speaking of robots, there has been much research conducted into things such as bionic arms recently, and strong cabling or wiring seems like the natural choice for connecting all the parts!

Are you ready for wire ropes in the future?

If you’re interested in being involved in the future making with our equipment, then we’d love to have you on board! You can get in contact with us here.

 

Image credit: David McEachan and C60
Wire Rope Balustrade – Popular Fittings & Assemblies thumbnail

Wire Rope Balustrade – Popular Fittings & Assemblies

Wire rope balustrade are an extremely versatile piece of equipment, finding uses in many places around the world. In this article we have covered a little more on just what balustrades are, as well as how they can be utilised; both for personal use and for business use.

What is a wire rope balustrade?

This equipment is comprised of two parts; the steel rope, and an end fitting. We do sell the end fittings separately too, but these balustrades come as ready-made kits, all set for installation.

With at least 10 different types of end termination, such as rigging screws, swage forks and thread eyebolts, there are multiple ways that balustrades can be used, making them suitable for many different environments.

And, given the strong and sturdy nature of the rope constructed from hard stainless steel, this kit is highly resistant to abrasion and corrosion, making it great for outdoor or harsh environments too. There are also galvanised options too.

wire rope balustrade

Here you can see wire rope balustrade being used on this yacht

They are essentially barriers, comprised of several horizontal parts (also known as balusters) that is used to create a lined blockade, with gaps in between each baluster. They make for contemporary and modern-looking barriers, that still perform a great job of blocking off a certain section or delivering a stable hold or level of protection to an object.

What makes this kit even more handy is that we can create and craft bespoke pieces for you, measured to your exact specifications. This allows you to choose between a range of materials, styles and end fittings to create the perfect final piece for wherever you want to install it.

One other big benefit of this type of barrier is that it doesn’t block out any of the view, meaning it still does the job while taking nothing away from the environment.

How can they be used?

The primary use of this tool is to create a barrier, but given the contemporary feel and the fact that it doesn’t block out a whole view that just mentioned, it has become a piece of decorative design too.

This has seen it being snapped up by the home maintenance industry, where it can be used to form a barrier, while providing a nice feel to any space it occupies too. It’s commonly used in places such as garden decking, for balconies, to hold up shelving units, or on staircases; particularly spiral staircases.

You will also commonly see this type of equipment being used on boats too – again to form a barrier without taking anything away from the elegance of the boat that it is installed on.

Find out more from us today

If you like what you’ve read here and want to discuss how you can use this kit to protect and enhance the feel of your environment, then we would love to discuss it further with you. You can find our contact details listed here.

 

 

Image credit: Stocksnap
10 Applications and Uses for Cargo Restraints thumbnail

10 Applications and Uses for Cargo Restraints

Cargo restraints, which you may also see being referred to as tie down straps or ratchet straps are, like most of our equipment, extremely versatile and adaptable. This has seen them adopt a great number of uses and applications over the years; some obvious and to be expected, others a little strange! Below we’ve covered 10 of these applications and uses.

#1 Securing loads for transport in open-air trucks

An obvious one, but especially important. There were 22,000 road traffic incidents in 2013 that were caused by a falling item or object from a truck or lorry impacting another vehicle. This is clearly something that anyone in the transport industry wants to avoid, and heavy-duty straps are perfect for this.

#2 Securing loads within the back of a van or lorry

As well as tying down loads in open-air trucks or lorries, this equipment is also used inside the same vehicles as well. The primary aim here obviously isn’t to prevent the items falling off the vehicle, but instead to secure them from sliding around and being damaged inside.

cargo restraints

Here you can see cargo restraints tying a load down

#3 Securing a load itself – such as tying it around a box

Alongside the securing of a load down, have you ever considered using a strap to actually tie a load itself? Given their flexible and bendy nature, they can be wrapped around loads of all different sizes and securely fastened. We have often seen them wrapped around boxes to ensure that the contents of the box remain inside.

#4 Building furniture with cargo straps

A slightly more interesting use for a strap, but then can also be used in both the building, and the end product of furniture. We have previously heard of customers using it to tie together different parts of something like a bed. Sometimes, the strap can even be left on display to add an extra modern, contemporary feel to the furniture – more on this below!

#5 Used as a hoist

It can be used as a hoist; commonly used in workshops. Simply thread one end of the strap through a hook or loop attached to the ceiling and then you can clip this end onto a load, and use the other end to hoist it up.

#6 Slacklining

This is slightly different to the other uses that you’ll often see, but has become more and more popular in recent years. Slacklining is a popular hobby, where the strap is fastened around two close points, often trees, creating a tight line that one can walk on. It’s extremely similar to something like tightrope walking, and you can adjust the tension as you wish simply by adjusting the buckle.

Another great use for cargo restraints is for slacklining

#7 Mountaineering

Cargo restraints have a heavy usage in extreme adventure sports such as hiking, rock climbing and mountaineering. They commonly make up the safety gear and survival equipment that is used in these industries, to create things such as safety harnesses or rescue lines. Given their strong nature, they are the perfect fit for this.

Given the nature of this industry, it is absolutely crucial that the equipment used is strong, safe and completely reliable. For this reason, the equipment that we sell has been widely used for this type of application for many years.

#8 For individual transport

As well as heavy usage within industrial sectors and the transport sectors which are linked to it, individuals make great use of this equipment too for their own transporting needs. It can be used to securely fasten loads to the top of vehicles or the back of boats, making sure that none of those all-important items come loose.

#9 Use in home maintenance

As we mentioned above, these straps are beginning to even see a usage as artistic and modern day bits of furniture! Some homeowners have begun to use this item to hang objects or decorations around the home, creating something of a new, rather chic, movement in home design.

#10 To make clothes!

Some individuals have even decided to take it one step further by using this equipment to make items of clothing and other fashion accessories. Again, this is something that you wouldn’t have even comprehended 10 years ago, but given the rise of weird and wonderful new types of design and fashion that we see, it’s probably not completely surprising!

Interested in having your own cargo restraints to use?

As you can see, the equipment that we sell has a huge number of uses for many industries around the world.

If you want to purchase one of our products for a use listed above, or perhaps you have your own application (whacky or not!), then we would love to help. You can call us on 01384 78004, or find all of our other relevant contact details listed here.

 

 

Image credit: skeeze and Mariamichelle

 

 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Synthetic Webbing Slings thumbnail

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Synthetic Webbing Slings

Despite the incredible effectiveness and wide-spread usage for synthetic webbing slings, this handy piece of equipment does have a bad, and, unfortunately, an ugly side too! But it also has a lot of good in it; we’ve examined these three aspects below.

The good

One of the best things about this equipment, and what makes it so good, is its incredibly versatile nature. It seems to have an almost limitless number of uses, finding itself used for:

  • Lifting and lowering tasks where other equipment isn’t quite suitable
  • Safety harnesses and other protective gear for rock climbers and mountaineering
  • Creating slacklines around trees
  • Creating comfy hammocks (our personal favourite)
  • A safety procedure used by fire services to rescue civilians quickly

This highlights just some of the many uses, if you want to know more, you can find our contact details below.

The bad

The bad side is that, unfortunately, synthetic webbing slings won’t be liked by everyone. Although it has a large number of uses, this number isn’t infinite, and this must be remembered! There will, of course, also be times where there is other equipment that is more suitable, such as our range of wire ropes.

Wire ropes are a stronger alternative, hence their occasional preference, but there are many times when web slings are much better; such as when you need a lifting medium that is more flexible and won’t be at risk of causing any damage to a load.

synthetic webbing slings

You must be sure to regularly inspect your equipment 

But, like we said, you can’t use web slings for every single application, and it’s best to speak to us before deciding which piece of equipment you want to use.

The ugly

There is a slightly uglier side to this tool as well, and one that we hope you never have to see! Unfortunately, as with all equipment, this sling has a natural end-life to it, and one that will be reached much quicker if you don’t pay it proper attention!

It needs regular care, safe storage and thorough inspections; without these you may find that your sling just stops working on you one day!

Want to know more about synthetic webbing slings?

If you want to hear more on all the different aspects that make up this small, yet effective, tool, then we’d love to discuss it at greater length. Please get in contact with us here.

 

 

Image credit: geralt
Cargo Tie Down Straps – Perfect at Preventing Cargo Securing Violations thumbnail

Cargo Tie Down Straps – Perfect at Preventing Cargo Securing Violations

Cargo tie down straps offer a safe and secure way of tying down loads, and with multiple end fittings and terminations, they are able to work with an almost limitless amount of shapes and sizes.

Given this flexible and adaptable nature, below we have examined why these straps are perfect for helping to prevent cargo securing violations.

What do the laws say on tying down loads?

There are strict rules and regulations in place when it comes to the transportation of goods and the securing of cargo. In fact, it is something that involves the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, the Freight Transports Association and the Road Haulage Association, so it’s safe to say, you have a lot of people that you need to please!

This, and given the fact that failing to secure loads properly is often the most common cause of violations when it comes to fleet vehicles, with it accounting for over 83% of violations in the US in 2013, it’s important that this is taken seriously.

cargo tie down straps

Here’s some cargo straps in action! 

And, also in 2013 but this time in the UK, there were 22,000 road impact incidents due to objects or pieces falling from vehicles, and these are obviously incidents that you want to avoid.

Why our cargo tie down straps are perfect

With so many things to think about when it comes to the transport industry, we know that you need easy solutions that reduce wastage and time, while making the process as efficient as possible. This is why our straps are the perfect answer.

As we’ve already mentioned, they can be combined with a number of end terminations or fittings, giving you a multitude of options when it comes to the way in which you want to tie a load down.

Alongside this, the strap itself also has many options, meaning you can choose from a range of colours and materials to best suit your own operation. Whether you’re after rope or chain, and hooks or buckles, there are many solutions available.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to our products which can go a long way in helping you to avoid any securing violations is that they can be bespoke. This means that we can manufacture an item for you that fits your specifications exactly, making the securing process much easier for you.

Finally, all of our straps are made from high strength polyester, meaning you won’t have to worry about any breakages during a load moving. This material also has the added advantage of being highly water resistant, as well as being extremely durable and maintaining low stretch properties. This is on top of the fact that they are also resistant to UV, various chemicals, oils, moulds and mildews!

Find out more from us directly about cargo tie down straps

If you’re in the transport industry and are looking for the best way to secure your loads, then we can help. For more information on our range of products, please find our contact details listed here.

 

 

Image credit: skeeze
Buying High Performance Webbing Slings thumbnail

Buying High Performance Webbing Slings

Webbing slings have a great number of uses, seeing themselves used in industries ranging from lifting and lowering to survival gear for hikers. Many of the applications that they are used for exert a high amount of pressure on the sling itself, and it’s vital that it is able to cope with this high level of performance. We’ve covered a bit more on high performance webbing slings below. Continue reading

Training Staff on Lifting Sling Safety thumbnail

Training Staff on Lifting Sling Safety

We stock a wide range of lifting slings here, and each has a different purpose and works in a different way. The below article is a guide on how to train your staff on lifting sling safety in general, with what factors to consider and things to look out for.

We don’t go into huge detail on each individual different type of lifting sling, but you will find the following information useful for general lifting sling safety training. For more information on your specific type of lifting sling, please refer to our contact information at the bottom of this page.

Safety must always come first!

Why do you need to think about staff training?

It’s an obvious point to make, but staff training is important for any piece of work that needs to be completed, whatever the industry. But it’s even more crucial when it comes to industries such as the lifting industry, where incredibly heavy loads and items are often being worked with.

Without proper training, you could cause serious damage to your equipment, harm to your employees, and incur nasty legal costs! Aside from training your staff for common sense reasons, it’s actually required by law too.

The main guidelines that are followed in relation to the lifting industry is the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). These require that staff plan all lifting operations properly, and that the planning and safe overseeing of said operations is done by a competent person. Obviously, for someone to be competent, they need the proper training.

It is also worth referring to the governments guidelines on training and competence, which states “all people using equipment at work must be adequately trained to ensure health and safety in its use, supervision or management.”

You can find more information on health and safety training here, which builds on obligations laid out in the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Factors that your staff need to consider

Below are the general areas where your staff need to be adequately trained in the proper use of lifting slings and lifting sling safety.

Using the equipment

The most important and most obvious place to start is how to actually use the equipment. Lifting slings will have different end terminations such as hooks, some are made from a variety of materials, and some need to be used in certain ways.

It’s obvious, but it’s important that you’re staff are fully familiar with the lifting slings that you have, how to use them, and what to do if something goes wrong.

Weight limits

All lifting slings will have different safe working loads (SWL), which is the maximum limit that a sling should be lifting. It is absolutely vital that your staff know these limits, as well as the limits of the loads, and that these limits are never exceeded.

A lifting sling will also have a maximum breaking load (MBL), which is the point at which your sling will break, and so the SWL should be stuck to at all times. Your staff must know the difference between these.

Storage

Your staff must know how to safely and properly store lifting slings away. There will be certain conditions and environments that aren’t conducive to providing your slings with a long service life, and it’s important that your workers know this.

Risk assessments, inspections and planning

Anyone that will be working with the lifting sling needs to be adequately trained in how to plan a lifting operation, and how to oversee that operation safely. Part of planning a lifting operation also involves writing up a detailed risk assessment, and this must be done properly to abide by the law.

lifting sling safety

Staff training is crucial in the safe use of lifting slings

They must also know how to inspect the equipment, what to look out for, and at what point a lifting sling should no longer be used.

What lifting slings do we sell at Rope Services Direct?

You can purchase the following lifting slings from us here at Rope Services Direct:

 

 

Please refer to each individual web page for more information on what these products do, or our contact information below if you have further questions.

Get in touch with us to find out more about lifting sling safety

If you want to discuss our lifting slings further, ask about which may be suitable for your application, or want to find out more about staff lifting sling safety training, please get in touch with us here. We can help give demonstrations with products and equipment and offer you our expert knowledge and insight in the proper use of lifting slings.

 

Image credit: Alexas_Fotos and Startup Stock Photos
The Advantages of Buying Custom-Made Webbing Slings thumbnail

The Advantages of Buying Custom-Made Webbing Slings

Some of the products that we stock only come in specific shapes and sizes, but one of the big benefits of having our own manufacturing equipment means that we can custom make wire rope and webbing slings. This allows us to cater to your exact specifications and requirements. Please read on below to find out more about the advantages of buying custom-made webbing slings.

You get exactly what you need

The biggest and most obvious benefit is that the webbing sling will be made to fit your exact requirements. Lifting equipment is used in a huge range of industries, and webbing slings in particular have such varied usage.

From lifting and lowering loads to supporting rock climbers to being used to create hammocks, there’s an almost limitless amount of sizes that webbing slings may need to come in.

custom-made webbing slings

You can save valuable time by getting a custom-made webbing sling

Whatever your reasons are for needing this piece of equipment, you can have your task completed easily and quickly.

You don’t need to spend time shopping around

Following on from the above, you won’t need to spend hours shopping around looking for webbing sling that fits your requirements. You can simply come to us with your specifications, and have a super quick turnaround time!

You know what you’re buying

By getting custom-made equipment, you know exactly what you’re getting. You know that you aren’t getting second-hand equipment or equipment that may be imported which can carry its own risks. What you ask for is what you get!

It will boost your business productivity

Your business will be able to run much smoother and quicker by having custom-made equipment. You won’t need to waste time trying to get something to work that doesn’t quite fit; you’ll be able to simply hit the ground running.

And, following on from the point above, both you and your workers will know exactly what you’re getting with your equipment. This will allow everyone to get on with their work with no added stress or hassle on your part!

It’s your own!

We all like to own brand new things, and a nice advantage of having custom-made webbing slings are that it’ll be completely your own!

How do we make our webbing slings?

Perhaps you’re wondering how it is that we’re able to make webbing slings of all sizes to fit your exact specifications? We manufacture all of our slings reliably onsite using our state-of-the-art and modern industrial sewing machines.

This also means that we will thoroughly test and inspect the webbing slings for you before any purchase is completed. If you want to see our webbing slings being manufactured in action, please see our YouTube video on the process here.

 

Looking for more information on our custom-made webbing slings?

If you are interested in discussing our webbing slings further, or want your very own custom-made webbing slings, then all you need to do is get in touch. Please either call us on 01384 78004, or visit us by finding our contact details here.

 

 

Image credit: nile
Technical Wire-Rope Information and Guidance thumbnail

Technical Wire-Rope Information and Guidance

Wire rope, a seemingly simple piece of lifting equipment, is actually one of the most widely used products around the world in relation to the sheer number of uses and applications that it has. This Blog looks at technical wire-rope information and guidance for your convenience.

Although many may not realise this, it is highly likely that this piece of equipment will have played some part in your life every single day, whether it’s to form the cabling that allows you to make phone calls, or because it helped to complete the construction of the transport that you use.

wire-rope information

A reel of wire rope

Given the comprehensive nature of this equipment, we thought that it was only appropriate that it deserves its own comprehensive guide to match. This detailed and extensive white paper is suitable to both those who want to learn more on the equipment, or those that are looking for more in-depth wire-rope information to expand their knowledge.

We have broken the wire-rope information guide down into two sections; technical wire-rope information and a guidance section. Within these sections you will find subsections, listing all kinds of information from how wire rope is formed, the different types of rope available, how to get the best use out of your equipment and more.

 

Why do we need wire rope?

Before moving on to the technical wire-rope information and guidance section, it is useful to spell out just why it is so useful.

This may not come as a surprise, but wire rope has its history rooted in traditional rope, which itself has a history that dates back to around 12,000BC. It’s safe to say that the modern form that is used today is hugely different to that which was used in ancient times.

However, it’s useful to be able to trace its history back, because we can see clear periods in the past where new technologies and innovations have led to the advancement and development of rope into the equipment that we use today.

The piece that is utilised in the modern era has remained largely the same since its discovery in 1824 by a mining engineer named W.A.J Albert. Although it has, of course, changed over the years, the basic concept remains similar.

Albert invented wire rope as a sturdier, stronger and more robust alternative to many of the other forms of lifting mediums that were currently on the market. At the time, steel chains were being used, but should one of the steel links break, the whole chain became useless.

Although first developed as a stronger lifting medium, it now has many other uses thanks to its wide ranging benefits. You’ll find its benefits and uses discussed in greater length below.

Technical wire-rope information

What is wire rope?

It is essentially constructed from several different parts, and isn’t formed just like ‘rope’ as we are traditionally used to. Several metal wires are twisted together in a helix fashion to create a strand. This is done several times to create six or more strands. These strands are then themselves wrapped together, in a similar helix fashion, around a strong internal core, traditionally fibre or steel.

This is what the internal structure of the equipment looks like 

Stainless steel or alloy steel are the most common metals that are used for manufacture, thanks to the benefits that they provide. Again, for more on the benefits of this, refer to our benefits section below.

Here we will break down the three separate sections of what forms this equipment:

Core

This is the strong internal core around which all of the wires and strands are wrapped around. It is designed to provide support to these wires and strands, as well as to maintain their position during any operation.

Fibre cores help to provide great flexibility, and they are also lubricated too, meaning that internal lubrication helps to reduce friction and corrosion.

You will also see steel cores on the market too, and these are great at providing high levels of strength, as well as a strong resistance to crushing, heat and distortion.

Strands

Strands are created by wrapping multiple wires together, typically between 3 and 91 wires. The more wires that are used to create a strand, the more flexible both this strand, and the final product in general, will be.

Wires

Each individual piece of metal (often also called a rod) is a wire, helping to make up the strands.

Lays

You will find that wire rope can be laid in a variety of different ways, and we have covered more on this below. A ‘lay’ refers to the way in which the wires and strands have been placed during the manufacturing process.

The first two sections refer to the way in which the wires are laid, while the second two sections refer to the way in which the strands are laid.

A regular or ordinary hand lay (wires)

This type of lay is where the wires in each strand are laid out in an opposite direction to the direction of the strand. You will find that the top of the wires seems to run parallel to the axis of the rope.

This type of lay makes the rope more kink resistant, as well as making it less likely to untwist. It is also much easier to handle, and has a higher level of resistance to crushing than a langs lay, which we have referred to below.

Although this is the most common type of lay, you will find the only drawback is that it has poor wearing qualities due to where the crown wires contact the strand.

Langs lay (wires)

A langs lay is the complete opposite to a regular or ordinary hand lay, and instead has the wires in the strand running in the same direction as the strand itself. The crown of the metal wires are laid at an angle to the axis of the rope as opposed to running parallel.

This type of lay gives the rope a greater length, meaning that abrasion and surface pressure is reduced. It is also more flexible and resistant to fatigue. However, as it is a direct opposite to the type of lay above, some of its drawbacks are where the above finds advantages. This type of lay is more likely to kink or untwist, and so is most commonly used in situations where the load being lifted is not at risk of rotating.

A langs lay is still an incredibly useful type of lay, and is often used for construction, excavating and mining due to the increased level of flexibility.

Right hand lay (strands)

The most common type of lay, where the strands go from left to right around the central core.

Left hand lay (strands)

As the direct opposite to the above, this is where the strands pass from right to left around the core. This type of lay is most often used for special applications such as for cable tool drilling lines.

A sizing guide

You will see that when shopping for wire rope, there will be two numbers next to each piece. This is a sizing guide that is used worldwide, so the numbers will mean the same wherever you shop.

For example, we stock 6 x 19 wire. The first number, 6, refers to the number of strands contained in a wire rope. The second number, 19, refers to how many metal wires are in each strand.

Some of the different types of wire rope constructions available

 

The most popular types that we sell are:

 

  • 19 x 7
  • 6 x 36
  • 6 x 19
  • 7 x 19
  • 1 x 19
  • 7 x 7

As well as coming in a variety of different wires and strands, you will also find that wire rope comes in various diameters too. This can range from 2cm to 13cm, or more, and will entirely depend on the application that you need to use it for.

How is wire rope made?

Interested to know how this tool is constructed? This wire-rope information section contains everything you need to know.

Firstly, using machines, the metal wires are woven together to form the strands. This is done by loading the wire onto a stranding machine, which more or less works as a giant winder. As the wires are being twisted, they are converged in a dye, which is what helps to form them to the required diameter.

At the same time, the wires are also being lubricated, not only to help them move through the dye more smoothly, but also to provide a higher quality product for use. (We’ve written more on this below.)

The wires now exit the machine as one compact and lubricated strand. The strand is run through a large rubber band, which helps to trim any excess lubrication off of the surface, and is then run through a row of straightening rollers.

These rollers exert a heavy amount of pressure onto the strands, which prevents them from unravelling due to the twisting process that they went through previously.

For more information and a visual demonstration of how wire rope is made, please visit How It’s Made – Industrial Wire Ropes.

The benefits and advantages of wire rope

Now that we’ve covered the manufacturing process, it would be useful to briefly examine the advantages and benefits that it provides to its users.

Strength

Wire rope is designed to be extremely strong and reliable. Not only does the sturdy inner core and strong metal provide strength, but as there are several strands involved, an operation isn’t reliant on one strand alone.

This is a big advantage over products which have relied on the use of steel chains. Although chains are incredibly reliable, should one chain break then the whole chain becomes completely unworkable. This is the reason that Albert, as referred to above, sought an alternative.

Cost-effective

Although the manufacturing process can make it seem that this tool incurs a high cost, wire rope is actually a highly cost-effective solution for businesses.

High resistance

Thanks to the metal used and the lubrication, wire rope has a high level of resistance to corrosion, as well as both hot and cold temperatures.

 

With a high resistance to corrosion and rust, so you won’t be seeing this!

It is also abrasion resistant too, although it is still likely to suffer some damage after continued and constant use. This is why regular lubrication is so important, as well as inspections. This has been covered in the section below.

The different types of wire rope

There are many types available, each designed with a specific purpose in mind. We stock several of these types, and you can find out more on each one by following the links below.

 

Gym cables are what operate the machines we use at fitness centres

Guidance on correct usage

Now that we’ve covered some of the comprehensive technical details, we wanted to offer some brief guidance on safe usage. You can read more on the guidelines under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and Lifting equipment at work.

Using wire rope safely

To ensure that you use it safely, all staff will need to undergo proper training. Only competent persons are allowed to work with lifting equipment and to plan lifting operations.

Any staff that are working with the wire rope will need to be fully aware of its lifting capabilities, as each piece of equipment can only handle a certain load weightage, known as the safe working load (SWL).

Please carry out a full risk assessment before conducting any lifting operation. Again, this risk assessment must be carried out by a competent person.

Maintaining the quality of your wire rope

To maintain quality, there are certain factors that you must consider.

Inspections

You must regularly inspect and test your wire rope to ensure that it is safe to use. Depending on the type of equipment you have, the length of time between each required inspection changes, so please speak with your manufacturer for this information.

However, we would recommend inspections before each new lifting operation. A thorough inspection needs to be conducted, as it may be that there is an internal problem that may not be so obvious at first.

Although wire rope is built to be extremely long lasting, problems can happen, so it’s important that this is taken seriously. If you do notice any damages, please stop using it and get in contact with us immediately.

You must have your wire rope inspected by professionals at regular intervals so that you can be provided with a certification labelling its continued safe usage.

Storage

It is crucial that you store your equipment in conditions that will ensure its long-lasting life is prolonged even further. For example, never store wire rope in conditions with moisture in the air.

For a full list of recommendations on how to safely store wire rope, please refer to the section at the bottom of this page.

Lubrication

Your wire rope will come with some level of lubrication already and we’ve covered it to a degree in this white paper, but please make sure that you regularly lubricate your equipment. This will help protect it against any friction and abrasion, as well as protecting the load that it is working with.

What industries can wire rope be used for?

As we previously mentioned, wire rope has an almost limitless number of uses, helping to serve dozens of industries around the world. These are just some of the industries which make use of it:

 

  • Construction and engineering for use with cranes
  • Aerospace and automotive for help on the production lines
  • Marine for strong shipping cabling
  • Food and breweries, also for the production lines
  • Warehousing for help with the storage of items
  • Mining and oil and gas for deep drilling
  • Military for vibration isolators

The construction industry is one of the heaviest users of wire rope

Find out more wire-rope information

As you can see from the above, wire rope is an incredibly complex piece of equipment, with a detailed history and, given the usefulness for so many industries, most likely a detailed future too.

We hope that the wire-rope information guide above has provided you with everything that you need to know when it comes to this piece of lifting equipment, and that you have been able to find any information or answers to questions that you have been looking for.

Should you have further questions, or are perhaps looking to source some equipment for your own business, then we are ready to help. Please give one of our team a call on 01384 78004, or get in contact with us via our support page here.

You can also view more on our products by visiting our YouTube channel here.

 

 

Image credit: tsaarni, duckduckgo, rkit, janeb13 and chuttersnap
Inspection Guidelines for Wire Rope thumbnail

Inspection Guidelines for Wire Rope

Inspection Guidelines

Recently bought a shiny new piece of wire-rope and want to know the best practice and recommendations for inspecting it? You’ll find all of the information that you need listed below in our inspection guidelines.

Why does wire-rope need inspecting?

Wire-rope has been designed to be one of the most reliable and sturdy pieces of lifting equipment on the market. It’s been designed in such a way so as to result in a higher level of strength, efficiency and capability.

It features strong wires woven together to form strands, which are then woven around an even stronger inner core in a helix fashion. This creates a piece of equipment where the strength and weight lifting ability is shared across the wires, rather than relying on one piece.

However, this doesn’t mean that wire-rope is invincible. All equipment, regardless of its composition and manufacture and regardless of the industry that it is used in, won’t last forever.

inspection guidelines

You need to ensure that you carry out proper inspections of your equipment

And, generally, the more often you use your wire rope and the more pressure that it is put under, the lower its service life is going to be. It’s crucial that you inspect it so that you know with full certainty it’s okay for the lifting operation at hand, and to check for any problems.

If you do notice any problems, please stop using the equipment immediately, and get in contact with one of our team straight away on 01384 78004. To explain more about the problems to look out for, please read on below.

How should you inspect your equipment?

Any recommendations for the inspection guidelines come from the government’s Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). Under these guidelines, we recommend that you inspect your equipment at least every six months.

However, it is best practice to inspect all lifting equipment before you conduct each lifting operation, so that you know for certain there are no problems involved. The lifting equipment is designed to have a long and reliable service life, but you still must be prepared for any eventuality.

It’s important to carry out thorough inspections, as it could have both internal and external problems with the wiring. It will obviously take a little more time to inspect its internal workings. Be sure to check it thoroughly from top to bottom, and look for any signs of damage, abrasion, corrosion, rust, snapping, or anything else that could be a danger to your lifting operation.

Getting the right certifications

While you can carry out pre-use checks of lifting equipment yourself (as long as it’s a competent person doing so), you’ll need to have your equipment inspected by the experts at least every six months. This is so that you can be provided with certifications stating that the equipment is safe to use. For more help on getting inspections from the experts, please get in contact with us here.

 

 

Image credit: geralt