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  1. How to Secure Wire Rope

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    Wire rope is composed of a metal or fiber core, metal wires, and the individual twisted strands of metal that form those wires. It is used to handle heavy loads in applications that involve lowering, hoisting, and moving objects horizontally. The ends of wire rope must be safely secured with a termination that prevents fraying, maintains tension, and facilitates connection to a load or tool. Wire rope ends terminated using traditional wire rope clamps and clips leave unsecured and unenclosed ends, posing a safety danger.

    Due to workplace injuries and fatalities caused by wire rope failure, there has been a growing movement for more safe and reliable wire rope end terminations. Electroline offers innovative wire rope end fittings that provide more security than other termination styles and are easy to install. Instead of a clip, which is never recommended for overhead lifting applications, our wire rope assembly products feature a three-piece system that includes a sleeve, plug, and end fitting to secure and enclose the ends of your wire rope. This blog post will further discuss why securely enclosing wire rope is critical and how to secure wire rope correctly.

    Why Should Wire Rope Be Enclosed and Secured?

    There are several ways to secure the end of a wire rope. Traditionally, the end of the rope is folded back to create a loop, and clips are used to secure this loop in place. However, traditional clips do not enclose the ends of a rope and instead leave it fully exposed. This poses a significant safety risk.

    When traditional clips are used, the sharp endings of wire rope are left loose and dangerous. They can easily snag on clothing or objects and injure workers. Ropes with high rotation characteristics must only be used when both ends are fixed and secured for safe use. To solve these safety issues, Electroline’s Safe-Line Clamps feature a fully enclosed design that prevents cuts and snagging. 

    Dangers of Unsecured Wire Rope Dead Ends

    Traditionally secured wire rope features a dead end that is left dangling. This sharp, exposed metal end poses several dangers for personnel and equipment. The numerous, sharp metal strands of wire rope pose a safety hazard to unprotected hands. The unenclosed ends easily cause lacerations, especially when the rope is released. 

    There have been many workplace injuries and even fatalities that have occurred as a result of improper wire rope handling. The loose, exposed ends of a wire rope become distorted over time, gradually becoming more tightly coiled. When they suddenly spring and unravel, the people and equipment nearby are at serious risk of injury.  Nearby items are easily snagged when the rope is rapidly released or swung. Electroline clamps eliminate these dangers by safely encapsulating wire rope ends. 

    Securing Wire Rope with Electroline Clamps

    Electroline’s Safe-Line Clamps are a safer alternative to traditional wire rope clips and clamps. Our products secure wire rope behind the termination to prevent sagging and loose wires. Safe-Line Clamps are an excellent choice for field installations that need fast, easily installed rope terminations. The finished assembly resembles a swage fitting with a neat, clean profile but with added reliability. There are no sharp edges or loose ends and the hold is strong. The Safe-Line Clamp is rated with an efficiency of over 90% of the rated wire rope strength. Other advantages include:

    • Easy assembly: Installation can be completed in minutes on-site without special equipment, chemicals, heat, or pressure.
    • Enhanced strength and durability: Electroline clamps are zinc-coated to prevent corrosion and are produced in cast, forged, or machined materials allowing them to surpass the breaking strength of other ropes.
    • Versatility: They come in a variety of finishes, platings, and designs with custom designs available.

    Learn More About Electroline Clamps

    Properly securing wire rope ends is critical for safety reasons. While traditional clips leave a dangerously exposed end, Electroline clamps offer unrivaled security. Not only do they provide a unique dampening zone that increases the lifespan of the rope, but they are stronger and more reliable than other termination options.

    You can see for yourself how easy Electroline wire rope clamp installation is by reviewing the assembly instructions here. To learn more about our Safe-Line clamps, browse the selection on our website or reach out to our team with any questions. 

     

  2. Swaged vs. Swageless Wire Rope Fittings

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    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.