Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in the Wire Rope Industry

Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in the Wire Rope Industry

You will come across a variety of abbreviations and acronyms being used in the wire rope industry. Many of these abbreviations and acronyms are used throughout the lifting gear and equipment industry, so the chances are you’re already familiar with many of them, or will certainly see them elsewhere!

We’ve explained the various terminologies below so you’ll have no problem understanding any of the jargon that comes your way!


ISO standards

ISO standards are standards that have been put in place by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). They are a global organisation that has set over 20,000 standards worldwide; standards that relate to the quality, safety and efficiency of various products and pieces of gear or equipment.

While the ISO doesn’t only operate in the wire rope industry, they have still set many standards for this piece of equipment. You can see some examples of ISO standards that relate to steel ropes here.



WLL stands for ‘working load limit’ and MBL stands for ‘maximum breaking load’. Every piece of lifting gear has a WLL or MBL. These two acronyms refer to the absolute maximum weight that your rope is able to lift. However, this is not the limit that your equipment can safely lift; for this you should consult the SWL below.



SWL stands for ‘safe working load’. The SWL of a piece of lifting equipment is lower than the WLL or MBL, but this is the maximum lifting weight that you should lift so that it remains in a safe working condition. For example, our 2mm 7×19 rope has an MBL of 212Kg, but a SWL of 35Kg. It’s important that you follow these guidelines to keep yourself and those around you safe.


Kg is a unit of measurement meaning kilogram. You will regularly see this acronym being used to describe the lifting weights of pieces of lifting equipment.

wire rope industry

Kg, or kilogram, is a standard unit of measurement in the lifting industry



T is another unit of measurement that you will commonly see, and this stands for tonne. While Kg or kilogram is more often used, you will still see this acronym occasionally.



This is one other unit of measurement that will be used frequently throughout the industry. Mm stands for millimetre, and is used to describe the diameter. As these diameters are often very small, millimetre needs to be used as opposed to centimetre.



This symbol is the symbol for diameter, so you will often see this being used in conjunction with Mm, as explained above.



SKU is an acronym meaning ‘stock keeping unit’ and isn’t specific to the lifting equipment industry, but it is an acronym that we use. SKUs serve as identification codes, helping us know which products are which. For example, one SKU for one of our wire ropes is 7×19-2mm.



PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. You will see this used in the industry when someone is talking about PVC coated rope, which is a flexible, rubbery coating applied to your lifting gear.

wire rope industry

An example of PVC coated wire rope


It can come in a range of colours, protects the rope from UV, and makes it softer; useful for things such as guard rails.


Anything else that you don’t understand about?


The above abbreviations and acronyms should make things a little easier for you, however, there is much more to these handy pieces of lifting equipment than a few abbreviations! If you want to know more, get in touch with us here.



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