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.

General Purpose Wire Rope

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.

Crane Wire Rope

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.

Wire Rope Slings

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

Discover the Strongest Wire Rope with Southwest Wire Rope

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.