In rigging, we all know that the setup is only as strong as its weakest link. Any failure is a potentially dangerous situation that puts your entire operation in jeopardy. Every component must be relentlessly reliable. Synthetic rope is one such tool that bears heavy responsibility. While incredibly strong and durable, it often immediately supports a load; if it were to fail, the results would be catastrophic.
You will likely never see natural rope used in a rig as they are weaker and less durable than their synthetic counterparts. With this in mind, let’s discuss the advantages of synthetic rope.
Synthetic rope is made from nylon, polyester, or polypropylene fibers. These ropes can be made using one or a combination of these synthetic fibers. Much like a natural rope, these fibers are drawn out into strands and then woven together. The end result is a durable, strong rope that can bear markedly more weight and tension than its natural counterpart.
Because of the materials used, synthetic rope is better able to withstand friction, making it more durable. It should be noted that how much you use the rope and its length of service will directly affect how long it lasts. Sporadic use could see it surviving for up to 10 years, whereas heavy use will require replacement every year or two. Synthetic rope is great for outdoor uses, as it is resistant to rot and mildew that can arise from exposure to moisture.
Synthetic rope is useful for a host of additional purposes. Its resistance to moisture makes it ideal for use in marine applications, but it has various advantages outside of the rigging sphere. It serves as an excellent climbing rope due to its abrasion resistance – it can handle rough edges of the terrain without fail. This is also what makes it perfect for rigging in film and theater. Where creative problems often require creative solutions, crews know they can rely on these ropes to hold the scene together. Synthetic rope can also be used effectively in towing and hauling applications.
Southwest Wire Rope has been a leader in wire rope and rigging supplies in the Gulf Coast region since 1966. We provide quality supplies and reliable service to each one of our clients so they can meet the tough demands of the industry with confidence and excellence. We are happy to share our decades of experience to help you find the best solution for whatever undertaking you have in front of you. From synthetic rope and slings to wire rope and chains, we have a comprehensive product offering to completely outfit your rig. Get in touch with our team today to level up your operation.
The commodity that “holds up” the rigging, lifting, and overhead securement industries is indisputably wire rope. Combining strength with flexibility, wire rope helps operations of all sizes move heavy loads where they need to go with safety and ease. Without enough properly tested and verified wire rope on hand, the output and productivity of the entire plant can grind to a standstill.
Because every project has different requirements, various types of wire rope are designed and fabricated to serve different purposes. With a variety of orientations, strengths, and load capacities, it’s important to know exactly which variety works best for your job. Here’s a breakdown of the major categories.
The “class” of wire rope refers to the number of wires that compose a strand, as well as how many strands surround the core. For example, 6×31 FC wire rope consists of 6 strands containing 31 wires each, which are wrapped around a fiber core.
General purpose wire rope – the variety most commonly used for daily rigging operations such as lifting, overhead securement, pulling, and establishing tension – most often contains six strands and an Independent Wire Rope Core (IWRC). Each of these strands can contain anywhere from 16 to 49 wires, with more wires increasing the flexibility of the rope.
General purpose wire rope can range in diameter from ¼ inch to 6 inches, with larger diameter ropes having breaking strengths of hundreds or even thousands of tons. For a detailed wire rope strength chart, consult our catalog here.
Most cranes and some overhead lifting and securement devices require specialized wire rope that prevents the load from rotating. This is often achieved by having layers of compacted strands, oriented in a tightly-knit pattern around a core and layed in alternating directions. For example, the Oliveira NR Maxipact PPI contains 18 outer strands, forming wire rope that can be effectively implemented in a non-rotating environment at temperatures from -50°C to +80°C.
Compacted varieties of crane wire rope provide increased fatigue resistance, strength, stability, and abrasion resistance. Often considered the strongest wire rope on the market, these types of wire rope are perfect for mining, industrial, construction, logging, and oilfield applications.
Other rotation resistant varieties come in 19×7 and 8×19 classes with an IWRC; for more detailed information, view the wire rope strength chart and select Wire Rope > Crane.
Finally, in addition to customized lengths and types of wire rope, a qualified rigging equipment provider can also supply pre-fabricated wire rope slings. These slings are outfitted with eyes or sockets that affix the load to a lifting device. Wire rope slings come in dozens of orientations, sizes, and diameters, allowing for ultimate customization when outfitting your rigging operation. Check out the catalog or connect with a rigging equipment professional for guidance and to place your custom order
The professionals at Southwest Wire Rope have been serving the needs of the rigging, overhead lifting, and securement industries with an unwavering dedication to quality and excellence since 1966. If you are in the market for industry-leading lifting gear, or need your system inspected by a certified inspector, turn to the pros at Southwest Wire Rope. Our experienced team can provide insights and recommendations for the type of wire rope, end fittings, hardware, and operational procedures that best suit your facilities and equipment. We look forward to answering your questions and forming a lasting partnership. For more information, browse our service offering and get in touch.