It is essentially constructed from several different parts, and isn’t formed just like ‘rope’ as we are traditionally used to. Several metal wires are twisted together in a helix fashion to create a strand. This is done several times to create six or more strands. These strands are then themselves wrapped together, in a similar helix fashion, around a strong internal core, traditionally fibre or steel.
This is what the internal structure of the equipment looks like
Stainless steel or alloy steel are the most common metals that are used for manufacture, thanks to the benefits that they provide. Again, for more on the benefits of this, refer to our benefits section below.
Here we will break down the three separate sections of what forms this equipment:
This is the strong internal core around which all of the wires and strands are wrapped around. It is designed to provide support to these wires and strands, as well as to maintain their position during any operation.
Fibre cores help to provide great flexibility, and they are also lubricated too, meaning that internal lubrication helps to reduce friction and corrosion.
You will also see steel cores on the market too, and these are great at providing high levels of strength, as well as a strong resistance to crushing, heat and distortion.
Strands are created by wrapping multiple wires together, typically between 3 and 91 wires. The more wires that are used to create a strand, the more flexible both this strand, and the final product in general, will be.
Each individual piece of metal (often also called a rod) is a wire, helping to make up the strands.
You will find that wire rope can be laid in a variety of different ways, and we have covered more on this below. A ‘lay’ refers to the way in which the wires and strands have been placed during the manufacturing process.
The first two sections refer to the way in which the wires are laid, while the second two sections refer to the way in which the strands are laid.
A regular or ordinary hand lay (wires)
This type of lay is where the wires in each strand are laid out in an opposite direction to the direction of the strand. You will find that the top of the wires seems to run parallel to the axis of the rope.
This type of lay makes the rope more kink resistant, as well as making it less likely to untwist. It is also much easier to handle, and has a higher level of resistance to crushing than a langs lay, which we have referred to below.
Although this is the most common type of lay, you will find the only drawback is that it has poor wearing qualities due to where the crown wires contact the strand.
Langs lay (wires)
A langs lay is the complete opposite to a regular or ordinary hand lay, and instead has the wires in the strand running in the same direction as the strand itself. The crown of the metal wires are laid at an angle to the axis of the rope as opposed to running parallel.
This type of lay gives the rope a greater length, meaning that abrasion and surface pressure is reduced. It is also more flexible and resistant to fatigue. However, as it is a direct opposite to the type of lay above, some of its drawbacks are where the above finds advantages. This type of lay is more likely to kink or untwist, and so is most commonly used in situations where the load being lifted is not at risk of rotating.
A langs lay is still an incredibly useful type of lay, and is often used for construction, excavating and mining due to the increased level of flexibility.
Right hand lay (strands)
The most common type of lay, where the strands go from left to right around the central core.
Left hand lay (strands)
As the direct opposite to the above, this is where the strands pass from right to left around the core. This type of lay is most often used for special applications such as for cable tool drilling lines.
A sizing guide
You will see that when shopping for wire rope, there will be two numbers next to each piece. This is a sizing guide that is used worldwide, so the numbers will mean the same wherever you shop.
For example, we stock 6 x 19 wire. The first number, 6, refers to the number of strands contained in a wire rope. The second number, 19, refers to how many metal wires are in each strand.
Some of the different types of wire rope constructions available
The most popular types that we sell are:
19 x 7
6 x 36
6 x 19
7 x 19
1 x 19
7 x 7
As well as coming in a variety of different wires and strands, you will also find that wire rope comes in various diameters too. This can range from 2cm to 13cm, or more, and will entirely depend on the application that you need to use it for.
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