An Overview of Basic Wire Rope Components and Constructions
Wire ropes are used because they are strong, durable, and reliable. How these ropes are constructed directly results in their overall strength and versatility. Understanding the basics of wires and construction types ensures that individuals acquire and use appropriate wire ropes for specific and demanding applications.
The two most important components of a wire rope are:
Core: the core, or the center, of a wire rope, runs the entire length of the rope. Its main function is to support outer strands and keep a relative position during loading, bending, and unloading. A core is made from different materials to meet different lighting strengths and flexibility ratings. Steel and synthetic fibers are commonly used to construct cores.
Strands: these consist of more than two wires that are carefully arranged and twisted into specific arrangements. Individual strands are then laid in helical patterns around the entire core. When using strands with a large diameter, there is more abrasion resistance. If wire ropes' flexibility is important, you need wires with a small diameter.
To meet a vast number of applications, wire ropes are constructed with different patterns. The most popular patterns include:
Single Layer – a single wire runs through the center of the rope, and smaller wires are wrapped around it. A 7-wire strand is the most common variation used.
Filler Wire – this wire rope has two layers of uniformly sized wires wrapped around a center. The inner layer will always have half the wires as the outer layer.