Wire ropes for ships are used in a global marine environment that is typically harsh. Seafarers must conform to universal good practices of marine wire ropes inspection and maintenance to ensure that their use doesn’t compromise the safety of onboard personnel and that these wire ropes are able to perform to the fullest.
A wire rope is susceptible to plenty of performance issues typically associated with the use of damaged rope. Maritime personnel working on ships, need to exercise a great deal of care and restraint to identify any kind of damage before using the wire ropes. Using a damaged wire rope can result in disastrous consequences causing harm to ship’s crew and property.
Better performance of wire ropes is assured when maintenance and inspection of these wire ropes is carried out at regular interval of time by the right person.
Wire Rope Maintenance
The maintenance of wire rope is determined by its working environment that includes weather conditions and the type of wire rope. One of the better ways, and if truth be told, the only way, a wire rope can be maintained is through regular lubrication.
When buying a wire rope, one must ensure that it is properly lubricated. A well lubricated wire rope has a longer useful life than a rope that has problems with its lubrication. In marine applications, the rope is going to be used in a marine environment and will be prone to corrosion. Thus proper lubrication is a must for these ropes.
The ship personnel in charge of wire rope maintenance must subscribe to a stringent lubrication regime to ensure that the wire rope is appropriately lubricated; keeping in mind those areas that will pass through and around the sheaves and also those that would go under water.
Pressure lubrication is best suited for marine wire ropes, but if at all such lubrication cannot be applied, it’s advisable to use other methods. One of the better ways of doing this is by using a brush to spread the lubricant on the wire rope and allowing it to penetrate.
Something else that is really very important during maintenance of wire ropes is the compatibility of the lubricant. For better performance, the makeup of the wire rope must be similar to the lubricant used by the manufacturer, or the one that is recommended by the manufacturer.
Also, as mentioned earlier, there are several benefits of applying pressure lubrication on the wire rope; however, make sure whether it’s advisable to carry out this process on the wire rope you have chosen. In some cases, for certain types of wire ropes, pressure lubrication isn’t a recommended option. In the event such lubrication is recommended, you must make sure that it’s carried out by competent personnel who are well trained in using the equipment necessary for this process.
Lubrication is definitely the most important aspect of marine wire rope maintenance. It is therefore important that expert hands are entrusted with this job. Good maintenance is about hiring the right people for the right job and someone who has good experience at maintenance of marine wire ropes would be the best choice for the job. Training is also an important aspect of ideal maintenance procedures.
Marine Wire Rope Inspection
Wire rope inspection involves thoroughly checking wire ropes for damage both before and after the use and also during routine checks.
Such inspection is dependent on the frequency of wire rope usage and its core objective is to detect any and every deterioration and/or deformation resulting from wire rope usage. If any damage is found, it must be reported to the designated authority who can then take stock of the situation. If the damage can be rectified, well and good, if not, then the wire rope must be replaced.
While inspecting the wire rope there are certain important considerations that need to be kept in mind. Once such consideration is of course the frequency of it use; but some other important aspects include:
- Application of the wire rope
- Operational conditions like weather etc.
- Manufacturers recommendations and statutory requirements
- Analysis of usage history
- Analysis of wire rope history of the previous wire rope used for the same application
Whether maritime professionals are able to identify wire rope damage and take note of the extent of the damage depends on the above mentioned considerations.
Optimal efficiency is achieved if and only if the rope is healthy. The good health of the wire rope is a result of its maintenance and inspection. The relation between health /maintenance and inspection of these ropes is directly proportional to each other. The more you maintain them; the better is the rope’s useful life.
Penny Olmos is associated with Holloway Houston, Inc. a leading industrial lifting equipment manufacturing company. She loves to write on rigging companies and her writing is backed by the knowledge gained through years of experience partnering with clients to build their business through development and implementation of track-proven Internet marketing strategies.