What is Compacted Wire Rope?
Compacted wire rope refers to a standard rope which has undergone a process whereby the rope is either passed through a die or rollers on a special machine to compress the rope. The compacting process can be applied to individual strands
during the manufacturing process of the rope or swage compaction of the entire rope; this enables either inner strands, outer strands or both to be compacted. A simple/standard compacted rope has a normal inner core but compacted outer strands, which flattens the surface and increases the contact area of all strands.
The strands of standard wire ropes are round but after undergoing the compacting process the wires and strands become flattened, thereby creating a much smoother rope with a smaller diameter.
Benefits of a Compacted Wire Rope
compacting process which reduces the voids within the rope and therefore increases the cross sectional metallic area resulting in a rope with a higher breaking force factor.
Whilst compacting a rope increases its strength it also reduces its diameter which means that a smaller diameter compacted rope will have the same strength and lifting capacity as a standard, conventional rope with a larger diameter (of the same construction). The smaller diameter also allows it to be used with smaller
sheaves and drums and/or reduces the frictional wear due to lessened contact with the sheave or drum. This also lessens wear on the sheaves themselves and thereby extending their working life.
A compacted wire rope has a much flatter surface which gives it a smoother and larger contact area than a traditional rope. Because the wires and strands are flatter they have more contact area with neighbouring wires / strands, creating much less friction between them, this is highly beneficial to the wear resistance of the rope, both internally and externally and also to ancillary equipment.
The smoother, flatter shape of compacted rope is ideal for use with sheaves and drums; Giving an improved spooling performance, winding this rope on a drum minimises any abrasive wear taking place between the layers of rope, the excellent crush resistance of a compacted rope is also more beneficial for drum winding when compared to a standard round, non-compacted rope.
Bend fatigue resistance is another key benefit to using a compacted rope, as they
can withstand much more repetitive bending when lifting fluctuating or constant weights. The compacted, flattened strands ensure much less friction/wear to the wires when bending over sheaves or in a reeving system which increases the rate of fatigue.
Other benefits of using a compacted rope is that they are easier to handle and less harsh to the hands due to their smoothness. They have less constructional stretch and can withstand shock loading. Compacted ropes have a much lower occurrence of wire breakages due to low friction and abrasion between strands. A Compacted ropes can last up to twice the life of a standard rope, meaning they are also cost effective.
Due to the flatter, smoother and tightly compressed strands these ropes have some corrosion resistant qualities in that they are able to resist dirt ingress and minimise the ingress of other harmful substances between the wires. They are easier to clean and inspect too.
Compacted Rope Uses
Compacted rope can be used for most types of crane ropes and are often recommended due to their excellent properties as discussed above. They are ideal for heavy lifting applications and special operations requiring high breaking loads and bend fatigue resistance which cannot be obtained with a traditional rope.