Wire ropes are used to lift, drag, and haul heavy objects such as cargo, anchor handling, and docking. They also have a range of other onboard ships, including mooring, towing warps, and snaps for boat handling.
A wire rope consists of several strands of steel wire laid parallel with alternate twisting to form a helix or, in other words, to form a strand. At least three strands are laid together with the wire of adjacent strands twisted in opposite directions so that if one strand is pulled out, the others will hold it in position.
Lubricating wire rope can be done either by dry or wet methods.
Dry lubrication requires a lubricant applied to the exterior surface of the ropes. In contrast, wet lubrication means one would have to take part of the rope and apply lubricant directly to the interior of the strands. Dry lubrication is done by dipping and coating with light mineral oil, often used in marine applications. In contrast, wet lubrication requires removing part of the wire strand and applying a paste-like wax or grease that will be pushed into the core strands while twisted together.
The dry method is the most common. This process involves coating the outside of the rope with light mineral oil, often used in marine applications. The lubricant thickness must be sufficient to prevent corrosion without compromising flexibility. However, this type of lubrication can present problems because it can migrate through the strands and contaminate other rope parts.
The wet method is more expensive than dry lubrication, but it offers some advantages over the dry method. This process involves removing part of the wire strand and applying a paste-like wax or grease that will be pushed into all strands while twisted together. For example, if one were to take apart just half of the strands, the lubricant would be pushed into all the strands and coat them evenly.
In conclusion lubricating wire rope wil prevent rust and corrosion; this will assist with maintaining a clean and safe working environment..Lubrication is usually at least part of a planned maintenance schedule.