Wire Rope for Outdoor Pursuits

Wire rope for outdoor pursuits

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Wire Rope for Outdoor Pursuits

25 April, 2023

Using Wire Rope Cable for Outdoor Pursuits

Wire rope and steel cable is used for many outdoor pursuits. Take a look around when you are out and about, you will be surprised at just how many you will see!

They can be used for barriers, as supporting structures and for fun, recreational activities. Rope Services Direct specialise in wire rope assemblies and are able to make custom cable systems to suit your requirements.

Here we take a look at some more obvious uses of wire rope for outdoor pursuits.

Wire Rope for Zip Wires

zip wire cable

Wire cable is used for the majority of zip wires but the construction of the rope will effect the run. For example a 7x19 rope construction has fewer outer strands than a 19x7 rope. The fewer strands means the outer surface is not quite as rounded so the speeds attainable will be more moderate and may be a bit jumpy. The smoother outer of the 19x7 gives a much faster and smoother ride.

Zip wires are typically sold with a thimble eye at one end for quick anchoring and a fuse and taper finish at the other which can be connected to a suitable anchor point and secured with wire rope grips. Turnbuckles are commonly used on zip wires as they enable you to tension the rope.

Adventure Playground cables

playground ropes

Adventure playgrounds such as the ones you see in the tree tops commonly use wire ropes and cable along with other fibre ropes. They are typically used as the main supporting strength for suspended walkways and rope bridges.

Gondola Lifts, Ski Lifts & Chair Lifts

gondola ski lifts cable cars

Ski resorts always have ski lifts to take skiers up the mountains, they come in a variety of styles but all will use wire rope; gondola lifts and chair lifts are used in the same way as a means of getting to high altitudes. The wire rope acts as the main support for the carrying element (cable car/gondola or ski lift) and also the means to move them. The cable is usually a continuous loop and is driven by a bull wheel and engine/electric motor to continuously circulates through two stations. These wire rope cables need to be extremely strong.

Aerial Tramways, Cable Cars

Cable cars or aerial tramways are also used to transport people to high altitudes way above ground level, meaning you can be transported over buildings, trees and roads.

Similarly to gondolas, ski and chair lifts they use wire rope cabling for support and movement, however rather than a continuous loop there is usually one or two stationary supporting ropes with a further haulage rope to provide the movement.

Wire Rope For Bridges

wire rope swing bridge

Wire ropes are used on bridges that are suspended over a void of large drop off. There are various types of suspension bridges such as a simple suspension bridge or hanging bridge, these are the most primitive kind and consist of two parallel wire cables to support the wooden platform for walking on; they will typically incorporate cable hand rails together with smaller horizontal and vertical ropes connecting them together to offer more safety from falling over the side.

More modern bridges that can handle traffic include cable stay bridges and suspension bridges. On a typical suspension bridge the deck is suspended on huge cables with additional vertical suspenders. Famous bridges of this type include the Humber bridge and the golden gate bridge.

Stay cable bridges are a little different to the above in that they incorporate one or more towers/pylons standing high above the deck, from which numerous, parallel cables fan out from the top down to the deck top for the support it needs. Stay cable bridges are normally used for shorter spans than a suspension bridge, famous examples include Queensferry crossing, Millennium bridge and the largest Millau Viaduct.

                                        wire rope bridge types

Window Washing Cradles

window washing cradle cables

window washing cradle cableHigh rise buildings typically use hanging cradles to clean windows. These cradles often use wire rope cables for the suspension and can be raised and lowered by a manual winch or a powered winch. These are suspended from the rooftop and are also used for building maintenance.

Barriers and Balustrades

wire rope barrier fence

Wire rope is the modern way to create barriers and is commonly used to provide public safety in areas which could present hazards. Typical uses include stairway balustrading, Public walkways with hazardous drop offs, and for creating permanent area restrictions. Also because it looks good it is also used for highlighting specific areas such as in the garden or on decking.

Yachts typically have stainless steel wire rope barriers around the deck areas as well as using it for some stay rigging and grab rails/prow railing.

Wire rope has endless used for outdoor pursuits, the above are just a few common ones. Stainless steel rope is the rope of choice for permanent outdoor use due to its rust resistant nature whilst being more aesthetically pleasing. Rope Services Direct are able to supply many kinds of stainless steel wire rope as well as the various fittings you may require. And with prices starting at under 50p per metre our ropes are affordable. Most ropes are kept in stock for quick delivery, call us now on 01384 78004 for quick quotes or you can opt to purchase some of the most popular sizes online.