Although wire ropes may not seem like complex mechanical devices on the surface, they are a series of moving parts that work in tandem to move and support an object or load. Within the rigging and lifting industries, wire ropes are firmly attached to hoists or cranes customized with hooks, shackles, and swivels to load and move objects in a controlled manner safely and effectively. Wire ropes are intricate tools, and so the more you know about them, the safer your lifting and moving will be.
One of the most important things to consider when using wire ropes is the direction and type of lay of the rope. Direction and lay type refer to the strand (laid left or right) and how strands lay around the core (alternate lay, land lay, and regular lay).
Alternate Lay – These wire ropes are constructed with the alternating lay of the stand (regular lay and lang lay strands). You can usually find alternate lay wire ropes in special applications.
Lang Lay – This type of wire creates an angle with the axis of the rope. Both the lay and strand lay around the core (in the same direction). Lang lay ropes are known to have a large fatigue resistance rating and robust resistance against abrasion.
Regular Lay – For this rope, all wires line up within the axis of the rope. The direction of the wire lay runs in the opposite direction to the strand lay.