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Wire Rope

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Lexco Cable carries an extensive inventory of wire rope products. Our outstanding selection makes it easy to find the ideal wire rope for your particular application.  Additionally, Lexco Cable can coat our wire rope in-house, with PVC/vinyl, nylon, or polyethylene. These coatings can be tailored to your needs, including color, thickness, and durometer. Most of the wire rope types listed above are available as plastic, nylon, or PVC/vinyl coated wire rope.

This wire rope product category is being used in a general sense to classify multiple product families such as Aircraft Cable, Coated Aircraft Cable, general purpose Wire Rope, Strand, Rotation Resistant Wire Rope, Compacted/Swaged Wire Rope and Cable Laid Wire Rope.

Wire rope is technically defined by multi-wire strands laid geometrically around a core.  Or put in laymen terms, wire rope is defined by strands of wires constructed around an independent core that runs straight through the center of the outer strands.  Aircraft Cable doesn't fit this definition in the strictest sense because it does not have an independent core.  Instead Aircraft Cable has a strand core, which means the center strand is one of the strands that's laid with the outside strand layers. Aircraft Cable is available in diameters 3/8" and less.  Aircraft cable has breaking strengths similar to that of equal diameter IWRC wire rope and it's available in galvanized steel and stainless steel materials.

GP (General Purpose) wire rope conforms to US Fed Spec RR-W-410 Type I.   RR-W-410 Type I, Class 2 represents 6x19 class.  RR-W-410 Type I, Class 3 represents 6x37 class.  Both 6x19 and 6x37 classes are available in IWRC (Independent Wire Rope Core) and FC (Fiber Core) constructions. These GP wire ropes are typically available in diameters 1/4" and larger.  6x37 class is approximately twice as flexible as 6x19 class. This is because 6x37 class has many more smaller wires to comprise its diameter.  IWRC wire ropes are stronger than FC wire ropes.  However FC wire rope is more flexible than IWRC wire rope.  The most typical 6x19 class constructions are 6x25 and 6x26.  Technically 6x26 is Warrington Seale construction (RR-W-410 Type I, Class 2, Construction 5) and 6x25 is Filler Wire construction (RR-W-410 Type I, Class 2, Construction 4).  The most typical 6x37 class construction is 6x36.  

GP wire rope is available in bright, galvanized and stainless steel materials.  Bright wire rope is plain carbon steel.  Galvanized wire rope is carbon steel wire rope with zinc coating.  Stainless steel wire rope is either Type 302/304 or Type 316.  Bright wire rope and Galvanized wire rope is available in IPS (Improved Plow Steel) and EIPS (Extra Improved Plow Steel).  EIPS has a higher breaking strength than IPS wire rope.

Wire rope can be galvanized via three processes.  Listed in order from the least corrosion resistant to the most corrosion resistant: EG (electro-galvanizing), HDG (hot dip galvanizing) and DG (drawn-galvanizing).  In addition to being the most corrosion resistant type of galvanized wire rope, drawn-galvanized has another added benefit which is its breaking strength.  Drawn-galvanized wire rope has the same breaking strength as bright wire rope does.  Whereas electro-galvanized and hot dip galvanized wire rope have breaking strengths approximately10% lower than bright wire rope. Drawn-galvanized wire rope is not available in Chinese origin.  

Drawn-galvanized wire rope is what you can expect from domestic (made in USA) wire rope.  High quality wire rope mills in countries such as S. Korea, Malaysia and Turkey also produce drawn-galvanized wire rope.

Putting together the concepts of IPS vs EIPS with the galvanizing method here's a list of galvanized wire rope types sorted by strength:

  1. IPS galvanized, EG or HDG (weakest; 10% lower than bright).  Example: 1/2" IPS EG/HDG = 20,700 lbs.
  2. EIPS galvanized, EG or HDG (mid-strength; 10% lower than bright).  Example: 1/2" EIPS EG/HDG = 24,000 lbs.
  3. EIPS drawn-galvanized, DG (strongest; same strength as bright).  Example: 1/2" EIPS DG = 26,600 lbs.

There are two elements to wire rope lubrication, the core and outer strands. IWRC wire rope always has a lubricated core (unless special ordered differently).  Bright wire rope always has lubricated outer strands.  Galvanized wire rope can be manufactured in either dry finish or lubricated with respect to the outer strands.  Typically stainless steel wire rope is manufactured with a lubricated IWRC and dry finish outer strands. 

Lexco sells all our wire rope by the foot, most commonly on wooden reels. If needed, we can deliver your wire rope on specialty reels, such as plastic reels or reels with unique dimensions.

Specifying Wire Rope

Wire rope is specified by the number of strands in the rope, the number of wires in each strand, and a description of the core’s material of construction. For example, the notation “6x7 FC” means that the rope has six strands, there are 7 wires in each strand, and a fiber core. Commonly used core designations include FC (fiber core), independent wire rope core (IWRC), wire strand core (WSC), and poly core (PC).

Lexco Cable supplies both domestic and imported wire rope. Domestic wire rope is stranded & closed in USA.  US melt wire rope is more stringent than domestic because the wire rod must be US melted in addition to the stranding & closing in USA requirement.  Please let us know if your specification has Domestic, US melt or DFARS wire rope requirements. Additionally, let us know if your order requires certain standards, such as IWRC RR-W-410 or ASTM A-586, and we will ensure that your wire rope meets these specifications.

If you need to replace any wire rope you are currently using, but are unsure of its correct specifications, send us a sample and we will find identical wire rope or an equivalent replacement. Additionally, you can download our wire rope specification sheets for free at any time.

Request a quote today for the stainless steel wire rope, structural strand, or other wire rope that you need. Or, feel free to contact Lexco for more information.

Please visit our Wire Rope FAQs for more information.

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Wire rope products are utilized in vastly diverse industries and environments. Our job at Lexco Cable is to guide our customers' decisions in selecting the optimal combination of wire rope products for their unique applications.