September 18th, 2019

Wire Rope Sling Inspection: What factors signify the removal of wire rope from service?

Wire rope slings play an intricate role in the lifting mechanism. Considering its end use in heavy-duty material handling operations, a wire rope that is properly inspected ensures a safe and stress-free working environment. The inspection must be carried out before its use, regardless of how frequently it is used. This due examination must be documented and recorded by a Qualified Person on a timely basis as specified by the ASME B30.9. This competent person must possess the knowledge necessary to perform the comprehensive assessment as listed under the OSHA.

The detailed set of instructions pertaining to the inspection procedure is not explicitly stated by the OSHA or ASME, hence the person must understand the factors or conditions which may jeopardise the lifting process. Sling must be inspected after a proper cleaning process across its entire length. Extra attention must be granted to fittings and end attachments, as they are more susceptible to damage due to wear.

OSHA and ASME have listed a standardized set of conditions which constitutes the removal of a wire rope from service upon inspection.

Among the several factors that can raise a red flag, OSHA has described some of the key factors which insinuate the removal of the wire rope from service entirely, such as:

  • Visible and Non-Visible broken wires in a strand or a lay
  • Distortion of wire rope structure in forms such as kinking, doglegs, bird caging, damaged fitting, etc.
  • Wearing or scraping of exposed wires
  • Damage due to excessive heat
  • Damaged end attachments (cracks, deformation or wear)
  • Damage due to Corrosion
  • Hooks with opening more than 15% of the normal throat opening

ASME standards that specify the removal of wire rope sling from service:

  • A wire rope tag that is missing or illegible must be considered as a cautious
  • Randomly distributed broken wires in a lay or a single strand must be discarded
  • Identification of different types of distortion to the wire rope structure
  • Damage due to excessive heat
  • Cracked, broken or bend end attachments
  • Bent Hooks must not have a throat opening more than 5% at the narrowest point from the plane of the unbent hook body
  • Damage due to corrosion
  • Identifiable conditions for slipped eye splices

Proper inspection practices eradicate the possibility of an undue failure and drastically decreases the downtime and cost associated with equipment malfunction. Thus, maintaining a proper inspection procedure goes a long way in handling a material safely.


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