The range of wire rope products available from Rope Services Direct is second to none. Whether you want a one off crane rope or a dozen wire rope slings, we can supply them all, not only that, but we can also make them up to suit your individual requirements to include the type of rope, construction and size of rope and end terminations, all thanks to us having our own riggers and machinery.
About our Steel Cable Range
Also available within our range are standard stainless steel wire rope and standard galvanized rope; plastic coated rope, compacted rope and anti-spin rope can also be supplied as well as winch rope for any type of winch, trailer rope for lorries and trucks, security cable for securing your precious items, theatre cable for the entertainment industry, catenary wire to hold power cables out of the way, forestry ropes for the arborist, cable socks for guiding wires and garage door cable for up and over garage doors; our gym rope and cable are for use in gymnasiums. Whatever wire rope product you need you can find it here.
Browse our products below and don’t hesitate to contact us on 01384 78004. If you require more help or simply wish to place an order. The contact us page or the rapid enquiry form can be used to send us an email with your enquiry.
Wire Rope and its Uses
Wire rope can be seen all around us, though we may not register it! Utilizing rope can be done in many different ways. Commonly used to lift or support objects but sometimes just for aesthetic purposes. Using wire rope has many advantages.
Probably one of the largest areas to utilise this rope will be within the lifting equipment industry where it is frequently used for lifting heavy loads and seen on cranes, winches and hoists and for lifting slings.
Elevators use wire rope to raise and lower the lift compartment; in cable cars, ski lifts and railways and other aerial lifts. Guard rails, security cables, home maintenance & washing lines and lock systems are some other examples where these ropes are used, though these types of ropes are often coated with plastic for extra handling protection and flexibility. Used for architectural purposes steel cable is used for both for strength, versatility and aesthetic reasons. Often seen on bridges, usually the suspension type, wire-rope adds strength, structure and support. View our A to Z Infographic to find out more.
Other Key Uses
Suspended staircases often use wire rope and also book shelves to give a modern look to homes; they are also seen in types of fencing, decking or barriers for protection, segregation and aesthetic purposes. The aviation and marine industries along with water and sewage treatment facilities often utilise wire-rope. Although it is usually the stainless steel variety due to its high corrosion resistance.
Wire-ropes are often used in the ways mentioned because of the wide array of end fittings that can be attached to the rope to enable them to not only be fitted to almost any anchor point but also to adjust them to the required tension.
Because there are different types of construction it is always best to consult a specialist to ensure you get the correct rope for the purpose you require.
It is most important to choose the correct type of wire-rope for its intended application, there are various features to take into consideration before purchasing or using, these are; the breaking strength of the rope, the corrosion resistance, the difficulty of flattening & crushing the rope, the flexibility and its suitability for its task and the average lifespan.
Diameter is another important feature of the wire rope, of which there are many available. Ropes can be found most commonly with diameters from 3mm up to 76mm, so it will depend on what application it will be used for. A 50mm rope will be of little use if it needs to go round a pulley with a groove of only 10mm. Some other important things to consider are;
Frequency of use and load capacities; diameter of the rope; wear and fatigue resistance needs; working conditions; rotation needs; type of spooling on the drum; length of rope; type of finish(e.g. galvanized or not); minimum breaking force; end terminations needed and also the lay and construction type.
Possibly the most important characteristic of wire-rope is how it will fair under the strain of every day applications which normally include the lifting of heavy or large loads, if the rope fails then serious injuries could occur. It is therefore of the upmost importance to examine your wire-rope regularly for any signs of wear, if in doubt, do not use. Regular inspection and testing is good practice and is carried out by a competent person. Good servicing ensures you can be absolutely sure the rope is safe and fit for its intended purpose.
Understanding Steel Wire Rope
Whatever type of wire-rope you use it is important to be aware of the properties and construction of the rope; this will not only help to ensure that you are using the correct rope for your task but also enhance the safety aspect when using them.
All types of wire-rope are produced in stages, first hundreds of little metal filaments are wrapped, twisted & braided together to produce the inner wires, and these will turn into strands by twisting together the small inner wires/filaments. Twisting strands in various ways around a central core creates the actual rope.
Differently twisted strands and wires within the resulting rope having differing properties such as non-rotating, low stretch, higher breaking strength. Different constructions such as left or right hand lay and a 7×19 or 6×36; the numbers denote the number of wires and strands in the rope, i.e. a 6×36 rope has 6 strands each having 36 wires.
Strength and/or flexibility is provided when strands are twisted/braided around an inner core; the core can be steel wire or fibre.
Factors affecting Wire ropes
Due to their construction, regular inspection is important to identify any broken wires or strands which could have severe consequences if used without thorough inspection and testing; however if a few wires or a strand breaks during a lift it is most likely that the other wires and strands still intact will hold the load whilst safely lowered; the rope should then be destroyed. This is one of the main benefits of using wire-rope rather than a chain due to the fact that if just 1 link breaks in the chain, the load will fall.
There are many factors which can affect this kind of rope, including bad coiling using pulleys & sheaves etc. with grooves that are too big or too small, excessive pulling angles and twisting the rope the opposite way to its ‘lay’ construction, dirt ingress and poor lubrication.
You should always correctly identify the construction and breaking strength of a rope before use. This is to ensure it will work safely for your intended application, the features of wire ropes to look out for include; breaking strength, diameter, corrosion resistance, flexibility and crush resistance.
How to Handle Steel Rope Safely
Here we briefly cover how the ropes ought to be handled and stored in a safe manner. We also look at prolonging the lifetime of the rope.
Handling wire-rope can impart numerous hazards. From metal splinters whilst cutting the rope to acute bruising if ever the rope abruptly recoils. Therefore vital safety strategies must be adopted whilst handling the product.
Personal Protective Equipment suitable for the job must always be worn, safety gloves, overalls as well as boots are mandatory when handling wire-rope, eye protectors are going to be required when cutting.
Clean, cool and dry is the best environment in which wire-rope is best kept. Moisture or condensation can develop amid the wires and begin the decay process, rendering the rope unusable. Waterproof containers or breathable tarpaulin like bags should ideally be used if they must be kept outside.
Storage and Protection
Storage should ideally be on a rack, stand or on a pallet. Ensure ropes are not left lying on the ground. Lubrication of wire ropes is added during manufacture. Rurther lubricated at frequent intervals particularly when storing for a prolonged duration should be undertaken. Lubricant should be applied to the entire rope to shield it from moisture ingress.
Damage to wire rope is easy to do, in particular whilst unloading reels from a vehicle. The most effective procedure is to utilize a soft sling passed all the way through the centre in the reel. This will be let down by means of an electric hoist. Passing a pole of bar through then rested over the forks of the forklift truck is another option. Directly placing the forks onto the reel should be avoided. Misguided forks may come into contact with the rope and damage it.
Unreeling a wire-rope needs meticulous care since damage could be easily done. Throwing a rope from the reel in turns is a big no-no. Raising a reel off the floor should be done in a way so the reel turns without restraint. Reels can be raised by using a reel turntable or perhaps a pole through the reel rested on jacks. Clear space is needed for setting out the rope.
Using these techniques the rope can subsequently be pulled off in a straight line safely. Without the danger of bending / kinking the wires. The rope must always be pulled above the top of the reel not beneath. If the rope is in a coil rather than on a reel then the only real safe way to remove the rope is to carefully roll the coil. This can be done like pushing a child’s hoop, again ensuring the ground is clean and clear of debris.
If a wire-rope kinks it will be permanently damaged, and so unusable.
Reeling & Winding
Reeling a wire rope needs extra care to keep the rope tight. Winding rope out in the way in which it had been initially wound will avoid reverse bending of the rope. Winding rope over the top ensures the wires are wound evenly. This makes sure they rest tightly against one another to avoid the under layers crushing.
Manufacturers guidelines and instructions should be followed to keep safe and prolong the lifetime of the rope. If unsure of its capabilities never use it before it has been inspected and load tested, which ought to be done at regular intervals.
How to Store Wire-Rope
Wire rope can be easily damaged, even when not in use; it is for this reason that it is so important to store your un-used wire-rope in the correct way. This will reduce the risk of damage, because any damage, no matter how small may result in a significant reduction in the ropes performance.
Here we have outlined some basic tips regarding the correct way to store your wire rope.
A well ventilated and dry storage area is the best practice.
Periodically rotate reeled rope to help to prevent the migration of the lubricants within the rope.
You should not store the rope in areas where the temperature is high, as this can affect its performance.
You should try to keep the rope elevated, off the floor to allow good air circulation. Reduce the risk of the rope becoming contaminated with dirt, dust and other particles that may affect it.
A-frames or cradles can be used for storing reels.
Ropes that are in storage should be inspected from time to time, and re-lubricated if necessary.
Checking new ropes before being placed in storage.
Storing rope should be done in such a way that it will not be at risk from any accidental damage. Either whilst in storage or whilst removing the rope from the storage area.
Follow all guidelines so you can help to make sure that your wire ropes are kept in tip-top condition.