Wire rope is the type of product that you are unlikely to give a second thought – that is until the day arrives when you actually need to buy it. It may not be the most exciting product on offer here at Ropes Direct, but it does have a broad range of domestic and commercial applications, and it could be exactly what you need to complete the job in hand.
In the following blog, we offer a complete guide to steel wire rope, including useful information on its unique construction, the different types of wire rope available, and their main uses.
What is wire rope?
Just as the name suggests, wire rope is a specific type of rope, most commonly made from steel and known for its unique construction. This unique construction consists of three main components – including wires, strands, and the core – and they fit together in a very particular way.
Essentially, a wire is a single piece of steel that is carefully drawn to a small diameter. Several of these wires are grouped together to create a strand and, in a standard wire rope, you will usually find six strands in total. Strands are wrapped precisely around the steel core of the wire rope, creating a complex helical structure and giving the rope many of its useful properties.
Three different types of steel wire rope
Steel wire rope can be broken down into three main categories and these include:
- Stainless steel wire rope
This is, arguably, the most popular type of steel wire rope currently available. Stainless steel wire rope embodies all the beneficial features and properties of stainless steel itself. It is incredibly strong and tough, it is resistant to a wide range of external factors – including wear and tear, corrosion, abrasion, and moisture – and it will maintain its bright, modern appearance for many years.
As a result, a stainless steel wire rope is perfect for both domestic and commercial applications. It is most commonly used in the marine industry for rigging. It is also frequently employed for architectural applications such as balustrades, guardrail, handrails and security cabling.
- Galvanised steel wire rope
Galvanised steel wire rope is a type of steel wire rope that has undergone the chemical process of galvanisation. The stainless steel is submerged and coated in zinc, creating a protective layer that is strong, rustproof and resistant to oxidation.
This is a low-cost alternative to stainless steel wire rope and, as a result of the galvanisation process, the rope is particularly suited to outdoor applications. For example, galvanised steel wire rope is often used within the construction industry to bind materials together. It can also be employed around the home, perhaps creating a secure rust-proof fence or simply used as a washing line.
- PVC steel wire rope
PVC steel wire rope is, essentially, a steel wire rope that has been encased with a plastic coating. It demonstrates many of the same properties as stainless steel and galvanised steel wire rope and, thanks to the PVC coating, it is semi-flexible. It can also be bought in a range of different colours.
Once again, this is a much cheaper alternative to stainless steel wire rope and it is suitable for use in both a commercial and home environment. For example, PVC coated wire ropes are commonly employed as security cables, catenary systems, barrier ropes, guardrails, and washing lines.
Contact Ropes Direct today
If you need steel wire rope and you’re unsure of which type to buy, please feel free to get in touch with our team of experts at Ropes Direct. We have a fantastic range of stainless steel wire ropes, galvanised steel wire ropes, and PVC steel wire ropes and can offer tailored advice on the best product for you. Either give us a call on 01692 671721 or contact us by sending an email to [email protected].