Wire rope lubricants

What is wire rope?

Wire rope is often used for a variety of things, most commonly lifting or hoisting objects. Wire ropes are used with cranes, elevators and sometimes planes. WIre rope is used because it can withstand strong forces while still being flexible. Ropes are crush, abrasion, corrosion, and rotation resistant. Wire ropes consist if wire, strands, a core, and of course lubricant. Wire ropes have different strand patterns that dictate one from another, each having different uses. Ropes come in different lengths and sizes and some have different core structures.

Why do wire ropes need lubricant?

Wire rope lubrication happens in the fabrication process and goes all the way into the core of the rope. The purpose of lubrication is to reduce friction and to provide corrosion protection. In order to have good working ropes they need to be properly lubricated so they can work properly. If they are not correctly lubricated or older they tend to become dry and can rust or break, therefore not adequetly perfoming their job. Some ropes are easier to re lubricate than others, so it is very important to consider this before purchasing a wire rope.

Types of wire rope lubricant

There are two types of wire rope lubricant, penetrating and coating. Coating lubricants cover the outside and provide a sealant to the outside of the rope. Penetrating lubricants go deeper and seep into the core, then evaporates, leaving a thick coating on the rope. While both types are acceptable its important to make sure the core of the rope gets proper lubrication or the rope can fail. It is acceptable to use a combination of both techniques. Lubricants can be grease, petroleum oils or vegetable based. Petroleum and vegetable based lubricants penetrate best, while greases penetrate partially.