Stranded wire ropes such as these are popular in heavy industrial applications such as mining, oil rigging, and construction as well as aeronautical and architectural applications.
Stainless steel ropes and cables are among the most popular in several industries especially those in which operations are performed under harsh or caustic environmental conditions such as pulp and paper or marine industries. This is because stainless steel, as the name would suggest, is a particular family of steel alloys that are produced with a heightened level of resistance to stains, wear, and corrosion while maintaining relatively the same fatigue strength as other materials.
Though the initial cost may be more expensive, the lifespan of stainless steel is often considerably longer than alternative metal cables.
Each of these factors is crucial in selecting the proper wire rope as these cables are often used as safety or control cables and mechanical failure can be costly and even deadly.
Other considerations include diameter, length, specific composition, resistance to crushing or flattening, and ductility. These should be examined with regard to the intended use of the cable which can range from supportive guy lines, hoist ropes, and cable railings to safety cables and braking mechanisms.
The particular design of a stainless steel cable should also be carefully considered. Like all wire ropes, these devices are composed of three main elements: filaments, strands, and cores. The filaments are the individual chromium steel wires which are often cold-drawn though may be produced in a number of ways.
Multiple filaments, which have a relatively small diameter, are twisted or braided together to form a grouping referred to as a strand. Most wire rope suppliers identify them by listing both the number of strands and the number of wires per strand. Strands are then helically wrapped around a core that may be stainless steel or an alternative material.
While alternative rope designs are available, the helical core design is often favored as it allows a wire cable to hold a lot of weight while remaining ductile.
The specific weight bearing and shock absorption abilities of a stainless steel cable depend on the particular alloy chosen. Grades 304 and 316 are the most popular types of stainless steel chosen for pulling, driving, and supporting applications.
316 offers superior corrosion resistance and can withstand temperatures up to 900°F while 304 has sufficient corrosion resistance and increased fatigue strength. Both offer impressive product lifespan with little need for maintenance and boast a high scrap value on decommissioning.
Wire rope manufacturers can provide helpful insight when selecting application specific stainless steel cables.