Break Testing of Wire Rope

When you think about the major adjectives that describe a rigging operation, one of the first and most important answers would be “strong.” Strength is not only the defining feature of an effective rigging operation, but also the key to increased load capacity, and thereby output, which leads to higher profit margins and wages. Strength, then, is what we’re after.

One of the most reliable ways to increase the strength of a rigging operation is by investing in high-quality wire rope. Formed from a steel core and wrapped with concentric wire strands, wire rope is an extremely versatile asset that can bear hundreds of thousands of pounds of load, yet remain flexible. For more than 50 years, Southwest Wire Rope has been supplying some of the strongest and most recognizable wire rope products on the market.

To determine the true strength of wire rope, though, we need to put it to the test. Destructive or “break” testing can be dangerous, but is a useful measuring tool to gauge the strength of wire rope. Here’s everything you need to know about break testing.

What Is a Break Test?

Put simply, a destructive or break test measures the tensile strength of wire rope by using magnetic and hydraulic arms to pull opposite ends of the rope apart. The test continues until the wire strands begin to fail, and eventually, the wire rope gives out. This results in an extremely loud explosive noise and frayed metal remnants, which can be extremely dangerous. At the conclusion of the test, the true strength of the rope is evident based on the load reading at the point of breakage.

Can You Perform a Break Test Yourself?

A break test should absolutely never be conducted without the proper equipment, certified staff, and safety protocols. If you are unsure whether you can perform a break test at your rigging site, then the answer is undoubtedly no. Only specialized machinery operated by trained professionals is fit to manage a destructive test, and attempting a DIY test is a recipe for a regulatory violation and a potential safety hazard.

How to Get Your Wire Rope Tested

The only way to know the true strength of a piece of wire rope is to perform a break test in a certified testing facility. As wire rope specialists, the team at Southwest is trained in conducting safe, effective tests of all of our products. If you need your wire rope certified, are curious about the capacity of your rigging system, or are interested in stronger products, we can help. In addition to testing, Southwest is a leader in on-site rigging inspections, rental equipment, field spooling, and other services. Get in touch with a rigging professional today to learn how we can help outfit your rigging operation for maximum performance.

Southwest Wire Rope: Your Rigging Industry Partner

The professionals at Southwest have been serving the needs of the rigging and lifting industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence for years. If you are in the market for leading rigging equipment, need your rigging system tested, or are simply looking for an expert opinion, turn to the pros at Southwest Wire Rope. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our products and services or contact a rep today.