Wire rope can contain hundreds of individual wires. When a wire rope bends, each of its many wires slide and adjust in the bend to accommodate the difference in length between the inside and outside bend. The sharper the bend, the greater movement, and the greater capacity for stress on the wire rope. Typical wire rope has three basic components:
- The Wires, which form the stands and collectively provide the rope strength;
- The Strands, which are helically around the core; and,
- The Core, which forms a foundation for the stands.
- Surface wear and tear (abrasions)
- Broken wires
- A reduction in diameter
- Elongation in wire rope
- Integrity of fittings
- Evidence of neglect or poor maintenance
- Heat damage
When a wire rope shows surface wear, corrosion, or has broken wires within the rope strand, it can fail. Is this a risk worth taking?