March 11th, 2019

Wire Rope Safety and Considerations

One must conform to good universal practices while working with wire ropes. Frequent inspection and preventive maintenance is must to ensure a long service life. Wire Ropes are meant to undertake rigorous loads through extreme hostile environments.

Wire Ropes are built to fulfill a particular purpose that is defined by the key attributes like its construction, properties and coating. A rope can only move in an intended set way that validates its purpose and establishes its end use. Pushing a rope past its set limits jeopardize the safety of man and material involved, thus load should be set under permissible work limits.

Wire Rope Considerations:

  • Handling cables is a precarious task as contact can cause damage, invisible to the naked eye. One must avoid contact between wire and metal through the use of lift items or a forklift to carry the reel wound around a shaft.
  • Wire ropes must be stored indoor in areas that are dry, cold and clean. Operator should ensure the wire rope is kept elevated using blocks or wooden pallets. Wire ropes should be protected against dirt, moisture and corrosion in case of outdoor storage.
  • The ideal way to unwind a steel wire ropes involves the use of an unreeling stand for a reel and turntable for coil. A less common but conventional way includes a reel mounted on a shaft sustained by two separate jacks.

Wire ropes often exhibit discernable patterns before a failure occurs. Visual Inspection can often highlight such potential issues that reflects the outstanding life of the wire rope. Replacing wire ropes that risks the structural integrity is safe and smart decision, as they costs substantially less when compared to a downtime loss.

Consider replacing wire ropes that show:

  • Variations in diameter
  • Broken wire
  • Deformed Strands
  • Changes in normal appearance

Visual Inspections provides little insight into the condition of wire rope, but it’s still a valuable tool to evaluate a rope degeneration as it occurs. Important elements to inspect in a wire rope,

  • CRITICAL POINTS: More attention is needed to the points that are subjected to greater internal stresses and forces as they are susceptible to damage.
  • PICK-UP POINTS: Initial load bearing section of the wire rope contacting the sheaves or drums
  • ATTACHMENTS: Pressure points near an attachment hinder the free movement of wires and are main cause for broken wires
  • DRUMS: Inspect grooves for overall smoothness and wire rope corrugation. Check the condition of drum flanges.
  • SHEAVES: Ensure the grooves on the sheaves are kept under standard parameters
  • HEAT DAMAGE: Look out for damage due to excessive heat

Please consult BWRL Wire Rope manual for comprehensive inspection procedures.

Inspection of Wire ropes must be carried out by Qualified Trained personnel.



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