Storage, handling, installation and maintenance
It is recommended to store wire rope indoors. If stored outdoors, the coils or reels should be covered to protect them from rain, snow, dust, etc. Do not store ropes directly on the floor. It is always better to lift them a little away from moisture.
Handling and transportation:
Treat wire ropes with care. They are made of steel but too often they get damaged by improper handling. If a reel is rolled on the floor, make sure the way is clear and free. If it is transported by a forklift, take care not to damage the rope with the fork.
Never drag wire ropes on sand or grit. It will stick to the lubricant and after installation will cause excessive wear.
Cutting wire rope:Never cut a rope under tension. The sudden release of energy can cause the ends of the rope to whip and cause dammage or injury.
Before the rope is cut it must be seized. Soft iron wire should be wrapped around the rope as seen in the following ilustration. Using pincers, the ends of the wires are pulled and twisted until the seizing is tight. The length of each seizing should be at least equal to the rope diameter.
For pre-formed wire ropes one seizing on each end is sufficient. For non-preformed ropes it is necessary to make 2 or more seizings on each end at a distance of 6 rope diameters of each other.
Only after the rope is properly seized it can be cut. the rope can be cut mechanically (manual or hydraulic cutters), electrically, using an abrasive cutting disk (grinder), gas torch or any suitable means.
Unreeling or uncoiling the rope during installation should be done with great care. Too often mistakes done at this stage result in irreversible damage to the rope even before it is put to use. While unreeling or uncoiling the reel or coil must be rotated. Reels should be raised on a stand with a horizontal shaft or put on a turntable with vertical shaft. Coils should be rolled in a vertical position by hand or put on a turntable with spokes that can be adjusted to the inner diameter of the coil. Unreeling or uncoiling the wrong way will introduce torque (twist) into the rope which may cause the rope to twist around itself and cause kinks in the rope.
Even if kinks are avoided, the torque is still there and although it is invisible and almost undetectable, it will affect the performance of the rope and severely shorten the service life.
If the rope does twist around itself and forms loops, it is still possible to save it in many cases by rotating the free end of the rope in the required direction until all the twist is taken out.
When unreeling a rope from reel to a drum, it is important to do it "top to top" or "bottom to bottom". This will prevent reverse bending and inducing torque to the rope on the drum.
Wrapping direction on drums:
When designing a wire rope drum, either smooth or grooved, it is important to match the starting position on the drum to the lay direction of the intended wire rope. Winding a rope on a drum in the wrong direction will result in uneven or loose winding which will create excessive wear and crushing of the rope.When replacing a wire rope on existing equipment the starting point and the winding direction are already set but the same rules apply for deciding whether a left hand or right hand rope is required.
For more detailed information regarding storage, handling, installation, maintenance and discarding criteria, refer to EN 12385-3; ISO 4309 & ISO 4344. Local standards, laws or regulations allways take precedence.