Archive: Nov 2022

Swaged vs. Swageless Wire Rope Fittings

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Swaged vs. Swageless Wire Rope Fittings

A rope fitting terminates a wire rope, allowing it to anchor or attach to another object while also protecting the rope ends from fraying. Many wire rope fittings rely on swage presses to securely clamp the terminal to the wire rope. Swaging provides a tight, tailored, and permanent fit, but installation requires specialized equipment and time-consuming measurements. Although it is the most common fitting method, swaging comes with drawbacks for certain applications.

Swageless rope fittings are an efficient alternative. They can be attached onsite without special tooling. They consist of a three-piece assembly that produces a very strong connection that surpasses the breaking strength of most wire ropes. When comparing the total cost of swaged versus swageless fittings, swageless fittings are often less expensive because there is no need for a swage press.

To help you decide which fittings are ideal for your application, we will explain the pros and cons of swaged and swageless fittings.

Swageless Rope Fittings

Instead of using a swage press to clamp the fitting onto the wire rope, swageless cable fittings use a three-piece assembly that includes a sleeve, plug, and end-fitting (usually a clevis, eye, or stud). Similar to a Chinese finger trap toy, the assembly locks the rope in place when the cable is drawn in opposing directions. A swageless fitting will hold the rated breaking strength of the rope, so the rope will break before the fitting lets go.

Pros of Swageless Rope Fittings

Swageless fittings are quick and easy to install on-site. They are ideal for situations where it is difficult to pre-measure the length of wire rope needed.  They are also more economical for smaller projects because you will not need to purchase expensive swage presses or tools and add the additional process of swaging. There are no chemicals, heat, or pressure involved in installing a swageless rope fitting. If a rope needs a new fitting, swageless fittings allow you to replace just the plug and reuse the sleeve and end-fitting. 

Cons of Swageless Rope Fittings

For large projects, swageless rope fittings may cost more than swaged rope fittings. Although swageless fittings do not require the same upfront equipment costs as swaged installation, the total cost of swageless fittings for larger projects can add up.

Applications of Swageless Rope Fittings

Swageless fittings enhance the safety and appearance of both commercial and residential settings. Electroline®’s swageless rope fittings may be seen wherever wire and synthetic rope is used.  They can be seen in the following applications:

  • Clevis sockets for backstops in major league baseball stadiums
  • Clevis sockets for holding TV cameras
  • Eye sockets for hanging signage
  • Industrial clevis sockets on winch lines
  • Life line fittings for ship military railings
  • Stud sockets for walkway and highway barriers
  • Stud sockets for animal enclosures at zoos
  • Turnbuckle, stud, and clevis fittings for architectural railings

Swaged Rope Fittings

Swaged systems consist of wire rope secured by mechanically pressing a fitting onto wire rope. These systems have been prevalent since the invention of wire cable itself. For larger projects, the per unit cost of swaged fittings may be less than swageless fittings. This would mean the higher volume of lower-cost fittings could offset the cost of purchasing or renting the necessary specialized swaging equipment. 

Pros of Swaged Rope Fittings

If you already have swaging equipment and tools, swaged fittings can be more economical than swageless fittings.

Cons of Swaged Rope Fittings

While swaged rope fittings can be cost-effective for installers who already have the right equipment, it can be costly to rent or buy specialized swaging tools upfront. Unlike swageless fittings, swaged fittings cannot be reused, and replacements and repairs must be done offsite. This can prolong project timelines and increase downtime.

Swageless Rope Fittings From Electroline®

Swageless wire rope fittings from Electroline® are ideal for indoor and outdoor use in commercial and residential applications. Our swageless fittings are manufactured in the United States using high-quality carbon and 316 stainless steel. Our fittings function perfectly with most types of wire rope and meet or exceed the rated breaking strength of these ropes.  

Our swageless terminations include:

  • Clevis Fittings
  • Eye Fittings 
  • Stud Fittings
  • Hook Fittings
  • Stud Fittings
  • and more

Partner With Electroline®

While swaged fittings are cost-effective for installers with specialized tools, swageless fittings are the ideal solution for installing wire ropes quickly and easily. They eliminate the need for costly specialized tools while providing a secure fit through a one-way locking system. 

At Electroline®, we have been delivering wire rope termination solutions for almost 90 years. Our engineers offer innovation, consultation, modifications, and custom designs for our clients. Our swageless fittings provide a hassle-free wire rope installation every time. Contact us today to learn more.