This blog post is part of a new feature on AWRF where our members provide valuable insight into the industry.
Mishandling of workplace materials is the single largest cause of accidents in the workplace. Fortunately, most of these accidents are avoidable. With wire rope slings playing an important role with cranes, derricks, and hoists, it’s important to understand how to make a proper selection.
A wire rope sling is made of wire rope. It is composed of single wires that have been twisted into strands. These strands are then twisted to form a wire rope.
Here are 4 important characteristics to keep in mind when selecting a wire rope sling
The strength of a wire rope sling is a function of size, grade, and construction. It needs to accommodate the applied maximum load. The more a sling is used, both the design and the sling’s strength are reduced. A sling loaded beyond it strength will fail. For older slings it’s important to inspect often.
Wire rope slings must be able to take repeated bending without wires failing due to fatigue, sometimes called bending without failure. The best way to preventing fatigue failure is to use blocking or padding to increase the radius of bend.
3. Abrasive Wear
The ability of wire rope to withstand abrasion. It’s determined by size, number of wires, and construction of the rope. Remember that smaller wires bend easier and offer greater flexibility, which also means they are more susceptible to abrasion.
The misuse of a wire rope will cause the sling to be unsafe well before any other reason. Kinking or bird caging will reduce the strength of a wire rope. Bird caging is forcibly untwisting the wire rope strands and they become spread outward. Be sure to keep up proper use per the manufacturer specifications.
These are just four factors to consider when determining the best wire rope slings for your application. Keep in mind that weight, size, flexibility, and shape of the loads being handled will also affect the life of a wire rope sling.
Common Wire Rope Fittings You Need To Know
Wire Rope Fittings
Wire rope can be prone to fray easily at the ends making it difficult to connect to equipment. Wire rope fittings or wire rope terminations are used to secure the ends of wire rope and prevent fraying. There are many different types, sizes and finishes of wire rope fittings which are suitable for most types of rope. Some of the more common types of wire rope fittings are detailed below.