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What Is a Wire Rope Assembly?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Wire ropes are sometimes known as cables; they generally feature thin strands of steel wound together to create a larger rope that is capable of supporting large amounts of weight. A wire rope assembly includes the wire rope itself as well as any other components that may be used in conjunction with that wire rope. The wire rope assembly will also include any hardware that is designed to secure the rope to a particular machine, or to another cable. Such assemblies are often used in winch systems or on cranes.

The main component of any wire rope assembly is, of course, the wire rope itself. The thickness of this rope will usually dictate how much weight it can support, though even thin wire ropes are often capable of handling surprisingly heavy loads. The end of the wire rope may feature a loop that can be used to secure hooks or other hardware in place. The loop itself may be wrapped around a steel reinforcement piece that helps prevent damage to the rope, especially when hardware is attached. The hardware on the end of the cable is used to secure the cable to various objects that must be hauled or otherwise moved.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

A turnbuckle may also be included as part of the wire rope assembly. This device is usually positioned between two lengths of wire rope, and it is used to adjust and hold the tension on those ropes. Such a device is often used on various wire rope assembly types that are fixed, meaning the cable is tensioned and then left in place. Turnbuckles generally are not used on cranes or winch systems. They are usually made from galvanized steel, and will feature threaded eyelets that can be moved inward or outward within the frame, depending on whether the tension needs to be raised or lowered.

On winch systems, the cable must be secured to a roller or cylinder. This cylinder is part of the wire rope assembly and will dictate how much cable is fed out or retracted. When the cylinder or roller moves in one direction, the cable will be fed out; when it moves in the other direction, the cable will be retracted. The cylinder is usually attached to a drive motor that will turn it as necessary, and the motor can be operated using a hand controller that is either wirelessly operated, or wired directly into the winch unit.

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