Years of field experience have shown that wire rope life can be maximized by using the right lubricants combined with the right application method.
Companies that recognize the importance of proper wire rope lubrication and adopt best practices gain a huge advantage in the marketplace. For example, they can lengthen wire rope life, eliminate costly replacements, and improve safety. Factors that influence wire rope life and performance include type of operation, care, and environment. Two problems include wear and corrosion.
Stress-loading; shock-loading; heavy, jerking loads; or rapid acceleration or deceleration all contribute to wire rope wear. Similarly, fumes, acids, salt brines, sulfur, gases, salt air, and humidity all contribute to corrosion. Moreover, high temperatures can amplify the effects of these environmental conditions. The right type and quantity of lubricant will protect the wire rope from degradation, regardless of cause.
Key performance attributes to look for in a wire rope lubricant are wear resistance and corrosion prevention. For wear resistance, look for products with anti-wear additives and proven results in the field. For strong corrosion protection in extreme environments, look for wire rope lubricants with salt spray resistance value above 60 hours and humidity cabinet values of more than 60 days. LE lubricants have been designed specifically to meet or exceed a variety of requirements, depending on the application and operating environment. Check with your LE consultant for specific recommendations.
Lubricant Types for Protecting Wire Rope
Penetrating lubricants contain an evaporative solvent that facilitates migration of the lubricant into the core of the wire rope, then evaporates, leaving behind a heavy lubricating film that protects and lubricates each strand.
Coating lubricants penetrate slightly and seal the outside of the cable from moisture, reducing wear, rust, and corrosion.
Because most wire ropes fail from the inside, it is critical to ensure the center core receives sufficient lubricant. We recommend a combined regimen in which a penetrating lubricant is used to saturate the core, followed by a coating lubricant to seal and protect the outer surface.
Application & Cleaning
For maximum core penetration and coating, we advise the use of an automatic lubrication system. Further, this system should include a cleaning component, as cleaning wire rope prior to lubricant application is critical. Contamination buildup acts as an abrasive and accelerates wire rope wear. In addition, the buildup keeps in water and increases the rate of corrosion. Contamination buildup also interferes with visual inspections.
Identify Suffering Points
Move forward with LE’s proven solutions for extending wire rope equipment life.
Lubricating wire rope can be difficult. It is frequently done by hand, which is time-consuming and can create a safety hazard. Likewise, it can be messy and create housekeeping challenges. To properly lubricate, it is important the lubricant makes its way to the core of the wire rope, something that is difficult to achieve with hand application.
Eliminate messy, time-consuming hand application with an efficient automatic lubrication system. We recommend the Viper MKII system. With one pass, it injects the perfect amount of lubricant to protect the rope, getting it into the core.
Abrasive wear can occur on the inside and outside of the rope, depending on the operating environment. Abrasive wear usually reduces rope diameter and can result in core failure and internal wire breakage. Therefore, picking the correct heavy-duty industrial wire lubricant is critical to prolonging wire rope life.
Wire rope lubricants have three principal functions. First, they reduce the friction as individual wires move over each other. Second, they provide corrosion protection in the core, inside wires, and exterior surfaces. Third, they prevent abrasive wear.
We formulated a line of penetrating and coating wire rope lubricants to meet the challenges of friction, corrosion, and abrasion. When you properly apply them to wire rope, their outstanding adhesive strength helps them remain on the rope and maintain a strong lubricating film between wires and strands. Additionally, they resist oxidation, water and contaminants, all while remaining pliable in use.
Wire ropes are working pieces of equipment that are normally exposed to air, water and soil. Today, some industries are required to conform to certain environmental standards, such as the EPA VGP for the marine industry. Other industries, including forestry and logging, are seeking to implement their own green initiatives.
LE offers lubricants – including an EAL grease – formulated to minimize environmental impact if accidentally released into soil or aquatic environments.
Lubrication Reliability Program
In conclusion, Lubrication Engineers can help put together a lubrication reliability program for your wire rope applications to help them last longer, subsequently eliminating downtime and reducing maintenance costs.
Our certified lubrication experts can be onsite to help put together a program that will bring lubrication excellence to your operation. Start now by finding your local LE consultant or registering to purchase online.