You are currently viewing 4 Simple Tips to Prevent Wire Rope Corrosion

4 Simple Tips to Prevent Wire Rope Corrosion

Wire rope is an integral part of many structures, equipment and machinery. Comprised of continuous strands wrapped around a steel core, wire ropes are made for specific applications to provide strength, durability and resilience in many industries with high daily demand. Wire ropes are most commonly used for the marine, shipping, mining and maintenance industries, which are subject to the accumulation of debris, exposure to wild weather, dirt and salt and continuous friction that would encourage corrosion. 

During the average life cycle of a wire rope, it should be re-lubricated and inspected often to prevent corrosion and rope damage. This has a range of benefits, just as the threat of corrosion has the potential to spell disaster. Strong or harsh pulling forces can cause corrosion, along with friction, rapidly cooling or heating water and liquids, dirt and debris accumulation, and other environmental factors. 

In this blog, we’ve included everything you need to know about wire rope corrosion and how to prevent it so that you can enjoy a long and effective service life from your wire ropes. 

4 Ways to Prevent Wire Rope Corrosion

1. Select the right rope for your industry

There are many types of wire ropes for various applications and industries. It’s important to select the right wire rope for your equipment or machinery to ensure the right level of flexibility, strength and durability is achieved. Particularly within the mining industry, where there are different wire ropes for elements as fickle as the ocean’s depth, it’s important to understand which type of wire rope will provide the best service for your application. 

2. Keep your wire rope clean 

Keeping your wire rope clean is an important step to ensure comprehensive lubrication. Removing the external contamination, surface debris and old lubricant will allow the new lubricant to penetrate fully towards the steel core to guarantee long-term strength and flexibility.

3. Regularly lubricate your ropes

Wire ropes are lubricated during manufacturing, but their lubrication journey should not end there. Lubrication is an essential maintenance measure and the most effective way to prevent corrosion throughout the rope’s service life.

For best results, use a high quality rope lubricant and a Viper MKII rope lubricators instead of manual greasing.

Select the right wire rope lubricant for your application to protect the outer surface and the inner strands from wear, rust and corrosion. 

4. Choose Moisture resistant Lubricants

Examples of moisture resistant wire rope lubricants include:

Coating lubricant

Coating grease is a popular choice for ropes subjected to water, as it has a high resistance to washout, even in turbulent conditions. In addition, this grease will perform well under a wide range of temperature fluctuations and protects against shock, friction, heat, wear, rust, corrosion and oxidation. 

Discover Viper’s VCG-1 Coating Grease

Penetrating lubricant

This lubricant is designed to penetrate the core of the rope while coating it with a thin film. It can adhere firmly to the rope to seal out moisture, which would encourage corrosion. This lubricant’s wear-reducing additive and water-resistant qualities protect against both premature wear and corrosive attack. 

Discover Viper’s VPG Penetrating Grease

EAL lubricant

Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) are becoming the industry standard for more and more applications. This lubricant is biodegradable with minimal aquatic toxicity and is approved by the EPA’s strict Vessel General Permit. It is designed to coat wire ropes, moving chains and cable parts and has semi-tacky, water-resistant qualities to seal out moisture and protect against rust. In addition, it contains a robust additive package to further protect against corrosion, as it is most commonly used in applications exposed to prolonged saltwater and debris.

Discover Viper’s Eco Rope Guardian Lubricant

Key Benefits of Preventing rope Corrosion

improved service life for wire ropes

Corrosion can result in a shortened life span for your wire rope due to metal loss and stress on the rope. The individual strands of the wire rope move against each other during daily operation, and this abrasive wear can reduce the diameter of the rope and cause premature core failure and internal wire breakage. Adequate lubrication and corrosion prevention can increase the service life of your wire ropes, protecting your financial and practical assets.

Improved safety for workers and equipment

Corrosion can severely impact the quality of your rope. For a wire rope that is taught, particularly when securing large vessels or pieces of equipment, the snap speed can be detrimental to the safety of your workers and job site. Corrosion can cause a weak spot in the line, which can cause sudden breakages, snapbacks and recoil, putting your workers at extreme risk. 

Better wire rope function

As previously mentioned, for your wire ropes to function properly, the individual strands of the rope must be able to move freely against and with one another. This ensures the right amount of elasticity and give to provide the right level of strength during application. If corrosion is present anywhere on your rope, this flexibility and strength will be compromised, resulting in a poorer performance overall.  

Improve rope corrosion resistance with Viper

Viper WRL’s lubrication systems can help you protect against premature rope corrosion. We are committed to providing the best lubricant, systems and techniques to suit your wire rope needs.

Extend the durability and safety of your wire ropes – get in touch with our team today.