FEATURED ARTICLE: Extend The Life Of Wire Ropes and Cables

TECHNI-TIP: Wire Rope Lubrication

PRODUCT VIDEO: Viper Mark ll In Use At Major Coal Export Terminal


FEATURED ARTICLE: Extend the Life Of Wire Ropes and Cables     

The life cycle of wire ropes and cables are influenced by several factors, including the type of operation, maintenance practices such as improper winding and splicing, and the operating environment.
Wire ropes can be damaged by worn sheaves, high stress loading, improper storage, rapid acceleration or deceleration, corrosion and abrasive wear.

Lubrication Engineers has found through years of field experience that longer wire rope life can be obtained through the use of penetrating lubricants, either alone or when used in conjunction with a coating lubricant and proper application device.


The Viper MkII Wire Rope Lubricator provides fast and effective cleaning and lubricating of wire ropes. Wire ropes from 8mm (5/16") to 165mm (6-1/2") in diameter can be automatically greased at speeds up to 2,000 metres per hour, provides fast and effective lubrication of wire ropes, it eliminates the labour-intensive task of manual lubrication, at the same time achieving superior lubrication results by forcing lubricant under high pressure to the core of the wire rope with a single pass lubrication process


Many types of equipment and structures use wire ropes, including draglines, cranes, elevators, shovels, drilling rigs, suspension bridges and cable-stayed towers. Each application has specific needs for the type and size of wire rope required. All wire ropes, regardless of the application, will perform at a higher level, last longer and provide greater user benefits when properly maintained

For ordering information, please contact us at info@lubeng.com or 1-800-465-8237.

TECHNI-TIP: Wire Rope Lubrication

Lubricating wire ropes is a difficult proposition, regardless of the construction and composition.

Ropes with fiber cores are somewhat easier to lubricate than those made exclusively from steel materials.
For this reason, it is important to consider carefully the issue of field re-lubrication when selecting rope for
an application.

Wire rope lubricants have two principal functions:
1. To reduce friction as the individual wires move over each other.
2. To provide corrosion protection and lubrication in the core and inside wires, and on the exterior surfaces.

There are two types of wire rope lubricants, penetrating and coating. Penetrating lubricants contain
a petroleum solvent that carries the lubricant into the core of the wire rope then evaporates, leaving behind a heavy lubricating film to protect and lubricate each strand (Figure 1). Coating lubricants penetrate slightly, sealing the outside of the cable from moisture and reducing wear and fretting corrosion from contact with external bodies.

Figure 1. Foam Penetrating Type Wire Rope

Both types of wire rope lubricants are used. However, because most wire ropes fail from the inside, it
is important to make sure that the center core receives sufficient lubricant. A combination approach in which a penetrating lubricant is used to saturate the core, followed with a coating to seal and protect the outer surface, is recommended. Wire rope lubricants can be petrolatum, asphaltic, grease, petroleum oils or vegetable oil-based (Figure 2)

Figure 2. Grease Lubed Wire Rope

Petrolatum compounds, with the proper additives, provide excellent corrosion and water resistance. In
addition, petrolatum compounds are translucent, allowing the technician to perform visible inspection.
Petrolatum lubricants can drip off at higher temperatures but maintain their consistency well under cold
temperature conditions.

Asphaltic compounds generally dry to a very dark hardened surface, which makes inspection difficult.
They adhere well for extended long-term storage but will crack and become brittle in cold climates. Asphaltics are the coating type.

Various types of greases are used for wire rope lubrication. These coating types penetrate partially
but usually do not saturate the rope core. Common grease thickeners include sodium, lithium, lithium complex and aluminum complex soaps. Greases used for this application generally have a soft semi-fluid consistency. They coat and achieve partial penetration if applied with pressure lubricators.

Petroleum and vegetable oils penetrate best and are the easiest to apply because proper additive design
of these penetrating types gives them excellent wear and corrosion resistance. The fluid property of oil type lubricants helps to wash the rope to remove abrasive external contaminants.

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PRODUCT VIDEO: Viper Mark ll In Use At Major Coal Export Terminal

To view the product data sheet for the Viper Mark II Wire Rope Lubricator, please click here

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