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Why Lubricating Wire Rope is Important

Like all products used for industrial applications, wire rope needs maintenance to ensure an optimum life cycle. This includes lubricating the cable for it to function properly. The reasons for lubricating wire rope are:
  • Reducing friction between individual wire strands
  • Providing exterior and interior protection against corrosion

What are the Different Types of Wire Rope Lubricant?

There are two types: penetrating and coating. Penetrating lubricant contains a solvent which carries the lubricant into the core of the wire rope then evaporates-leaving behind a film that covers every strand. Coating lubricants do penetrate but also protects the outside of the cable from corrosion and rust.

For wire rope with a fibre core, mineral oil or petrolatum types are used to lubricate the core which then functions as a reservoir for prolonged lubrication when in use. For rope with a steel core, grease or oil type lubricants are put on the wires before they’re twisted into strands to ensure maximum coverage.

What Factors Affect the Quality of My Wire Rope?

Corrosion: this is a natural process which leads to damage and increased metal loss. May be caused by fumes, humidity, elevated temperatures etc.

Types of operation: Some operations put more stress on wire rope than others.

Wear rate: Heavy loads, stop/start acceleration of the cable and excessive use all contribute to increased wear rate.

Bad practices: may include incorrect winding and splicing or the wrong storage conditions.

Do I Need to Re-Lubricate My Wire Rope?

Initial lubrication is carried out during the manufacturing process but re-lubricating is a good idea if you want to extend the lifespan of your wire rope In fact, the original lubricant can dissipate as a result of constant stretching and bending. It can even dry out from heat evaporation.

For advice or more info on all things wire rope don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Have a question? Email us at sales@steelwirerope.com

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