A wire rope has numerous moving parts all working together to help, support and move an object or load. In the lifting and rigging industries, wire rope is appended to a crane or hoist and fitted with swivels, shackles or hooks to attach to a load and move it in a controlled matter. It can also be used to lift and lower elevators, or as a means of support for suspension bridges or towers. Wire rope is a preferred lifting device for many reasons. Its unique design consists of multiple steel wires that form individual strands laid in a helical pattern around a core. This structure provides strength, flexibility, and the ability to handle bending stresses. Different configurations of the material, wire, and strand structure will provide different benefits for the specific lifting application, including:
- Abrasion resistance
- Crushing resistance
- Fatigue resistance
- Corrosion resistance
- Rotation resistance
Wire Rope characteristics:
- Strength of rope: Strength of a wire rope is determined by the size (diameter) of the rope, the grade of steel used for the wire, and the rope construction.
- Abrasion resistance of the rope: Abrasion can be caused by dragging the rope through or over grating materials (sand, rock, and so forth.) as when ropes are utilized as a part of mining and quarrying applications.
- Corrosion resistance of the steel used for the rope: Wire ropes deteriorate from the effects of corrosion when they are in contact with any corrosive agent. Corrosive agents include acids, alkalis, salts, fresh water, oxygen, etc. Corrosion may be minimized or eliminated by selecting a wire rope with corrosion resistant properties.
- Wire rope has various advantages which makes them the preferred solution in the lifting gear and equipment industry. Firstly, perhaps the biggest benefit of wire rope is the fact that it is constructed using multiple wires and strands. This implies the weight, pressure and stress of a load is spread out across multiple pieces of metal, rather than being reliant on one wire or strand alone.
- Another advantage is that a wire rope is much stronger and can lift heavy loads. While the lifting weights vary between different types, such as chain hoists lift up to around 30,000Kg, while ropes can lift weights of around 90,000Kg.
- Wire rope can be used as decorative balustrades in the home, as geothermal cables, as internal support for construction projects, and also for internal cabling within machinery and equipment to allow for the transfer of energy and force.
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