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