Lubricating wire rope is an essential thing. Lubrication helps to minimize the friction force acting on the device and the moving parts. It makes the operation of the rope more efficient, extends its useful life, and keeps it free from “wear”. The grease used in ropes for block and tackle applications is usually an oil-based material that has been diluted with a minimal amount of petroleum jelly. This article shall discuss some of the benefits of lubricating wire rope. They include;
Saves time and money
When the rope isn’t “stressed” by being pulled or worked hard, it won’t wear as fast. That translates to more hours between maintenance (and no need for maintenance) for a given length of wire rope.
Friction causes wear. When there’s little or no friction, there is minor wear. Wear is one of the causes of a rope breaking down. With less friction, there is less chance of a rope failure due to wear.
Helps maintain flexibility
Lubricating wire rope keeps it supple and pliable to remain flexible and will not harden up like metal if it is not exposed to air.
Maintains smooth operation
Lubrication reduces the “stick-slip” action between the rope and the guides. That makes the operation smoother and the load more evenly distributed.
Squeaks are caused by rubbing noises as the rope moves against the guides. Greasing the rope stops this sound and makes the hoist run more quietly.
There are many benefits of lubricating wire rope. Therefore, it is recommended you use grease that has been specifically designed for wire rope. Some greases have an anti-fungal additive to prevent mounds or mildew from forming on the rope if not exposed to air.
That is very important if the rope will be used in a high-humidity or marine environment. If possible, it is best to use grease with a chemical formula that includes no petroleum jelly whatsoever. A non-petroleum based lubricant will not swell when exposed to heat from friction like petroleum jelly will. That makes it a better insulator and will prevent excessive wear.