Wire rope is designed to be used in a specific manner and must be maintained properly. Allowing wire rope to become damaged or worn can result in possible failure. Avoid wire rope failure by keeping the following practices in mind.
l Installing wire rope on the drum.This avoids causing a reverse bend in the wire. A reverse bend will cause spooling problems and damage the wire rope.
l Prevent kinks in the wire: If a loop forms during unreeling STOP! Pulling on a loop will produce a kink that will not work itself out. A kink is a permanent defect and will cause increased wear on the drum, sheaves and the wire rope itself.
l Keep the wire rope lubricated: Rust and dirt can deteriorate and weaken a wire rope.
l When inspecting wire rope, first clean the rope using a wire brush, solvent or steam cleaner. Next, inspect the entire rope for damage in accordance with OSHA 1926.550. Once the rope has passed inspection, lubricate it well. Good lubricants are thin enough to penetrate all the way to the core but thick enough to coat each wire individually.
l The best method for assuring proper cleaning and lubrication is to use a manufactured lubrication system. These systems work in the following steps:
(1) all corrosion and rust is removed;
(2) pressure forces out all moisture;
(3) a high-pressure pump forces lubricant throughout the entire rope.
The capacity of wire rope is based on new or well-maintained rope. Its strength can dramatically decrease if it’s poorly cared for. The rope may look strong, but is it safe? Human life and valuable property may depend upon your answer!