Lubricating Wire Ropes

wire ropeOne of the most common questions we hear is, “should we lubricate our wire ropes? While applying lubrication to wire ropes is not required, adding oil can increase the overall life expectancy. Although it takes some time, lubricating ropes can be cost-effective in the long run. If you want to save money and extend the life of ropes, consider keeping wire ropes properly lubricated.

Standards are set for how engineers lubricate during the manufacturing process. Frequently, it is a generic lubricant that is used when creating ropes. Routine lubrication adds extra protection and ensures that ropes will run optimally. Lubrication will not last for the entire life of a rope.

Lubrication for ropes function in two specific ways. These include:

  1. The reduction of friction while wires move over each other: friction is the leading cause of wear and tear, and after enough time ropes can become unusable. Ensuring that your team is routinely lubricating wire ropes will drastically reduce the amount of friction that is applied to ropes. Less friction equals a long life for ropes.
  2. To provide better corrosion protection: regular lubrication protects the exterior surface of ropes, which increase protection against corrosion.

When choosing lubricants for lubrication or relubrication, you will want to make sure that you choose one that does not contain acids or alkalis. Find lubricants that have the necessary adhesive strength to stay on ropes but can also penetrate in-between wires and strands. You also want to find a lubricant that has high fluid film strength, can remain pliable, and resists oxidation.

For more information on protecting wire ropes, you should not hesitate to give our team a call. We also carry rigging supplies like nylon slings.

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