Sourcing Wire Rope Cable for Manufacturing: FAQs

Wire rope cables and cable assemblies are relied on by our customers across a wide range of industries and product lines. With almost 50 years of manufacturing and engineering experience, we support clients around the world every day with high-quality wire rope cable. These cables are used in a range of simple to complex applications in medical devices, industrial manufacturing, aerospace engineering, consumer products, and beyond. Let’s explore commonly asked questions about finding the best wire rope cable for use in your manufacturing operations.

Which Industries Use Wire Rope Cable?

Wire rope cables and cable assemblies are a diverse range of products that meet many different demands across  consumer and non-consumer markets. 

  • Medical Wire Rope: Surgical robotics and medical cable assemblies rely on cables for innovations like endoscopic and laparoscopic surgeries, as well as applications like lighting, dental equipment, X-ray machines, and more. Wire cable for medical and dental uses must be manufactured, tested, and maintained to meet national and global standards and regulations. From small batch manufacturing that supports clinical trials to large scale manufacturing for single-use disposable tools, medical wire rope is essential to successful outcomes for patients and clinicians alike.
  • Industrial Wire Rope: Wire rope and wire rope cable assemblies are used in applications like machining, processing, farming, and transportation. Uses might include cable pulleys, wire restraints for duct work or other HVAC applications, push-pull cables, wire rope safety lanyards for securing light fixtures, supporting truck tailgates, signage, or even securing a cabinet door or other doors to prevent them from opening beyond a certain range. 
  • Military Wire Rope: Wearable robotics and exoskeletons are transforming many organizations, including branches of the military. These devices support soldiers and support staff in physically-demanding tasks, minimizing fatigue and soft tissue degeneration along with preventing injury. High-quality wire rope is essential to the longevity and quality performance of these devices. Working with an experienced manufacturer also guarantees each piece is produced exactly alike. Additionally, pulleys, cables, and other wire rope applications are used in many instances across military hardware including vehicles, drones, logistical operations uses, aerospace and air traffic control uses, and more.
  • Aircraft Wire Rope: Civilian aircraft also rely on aircraft wire rope to meet compliance standards and provide safe high-quality experiences for passengers and personnel. Heightened sensitivity and attention to detail in manufacturing wires, fittings, and proving products for aerospace and defense applications is a matter of human safety. Cable assemblies used in both commercial and military-grade aircrafts are subject to greater oversight than other mechanical cable assemblies. These standards include special weatherization, lubrication, reliable repeatability, and protection against corrosion.
  • Consumer Products Wire Rope: Consumer products that use wire rope cable include fitness equipment, jewelry, display cases, appliances, restraint equipment like safety harnesses, electronics, and more. These uses require a wide array of diameters as well as unique strength, flexibility, coating, and finishes depending on the intended end-use.

These are just some of the uses of wire rope cable that we help clients and manufacturers achieve. From initial concept to the product run, our principal’s engineering team is experienced at helping organizations achieve their vision while also remaining compliant with unique industry regulations and exceeding end-user quality expectations.

What Type of Cable Materials and Coatings Are Available?

Here is a list of the different materials that a wire rope cable can be made from:

  • 304 Stainless Steel Cables: These cables are common across many industries thanks to their strength and corrosion resistance.
  • Galvanized Steel Cables: Galvanized steel balances the benefits of steel wire ropes with cost efficiency.
  • Tungsten Cables: Tungsten cables are popular in robotics because they can tolerate intense temperatures and are remarkably strong while also remaining flexible. This miniature wire rope  can be produced with wires as fine as a human hair.
  • Nitinol Cables: These cable assemblies are known for being extremely elastic with great shapeability and memory.
  • Vitallium® Cables: This proprietary alloy is fracture-resistant and very biocompatible for medical applications.
  • Inconel® Cables: Corrosion-resistant and oxidation-resistant, these cables can withstand both high temperatures and high pressure.
  • Titanium Cables: Titanium wire rope cables have a renowned strength-to-weight ratio and are especially appropriate for saltwater environments.
  • Molybdenum Cables: This metal has a high melting point, making it ideal for use in high-temperature environments where the wire rope cable cannot expand.

In addition, wire rope cables may be coated with some of the following materials:

  • Nylon Extruded Coating: This coating provides resistance to wear, abrasion, and chemicals.
  • Vinyl Extruded Coating: This coating provides UV resistance while preserving high flexibility.
  • FEP Extruded Coating: This chemically inert coating lowers friction as well as increasing weather and heat resistance.
  • Polypropylene Extruded Coating: This coating makes the wire rope cable harder and more chemically resistant.
  • Polyethylene Extruded Coating: This coating increases moisture resistance while preserving flexibility.

Depending on the standards and regulations in your industry, different wire rope cable materials and coatings may be required, or prohibited, by law.

What is the Strongest Wire Rope Cable?

Steel is generally considered the strongest wire rope cable material. However, strong cables can be fabricated of any material depending on the custom requirements of a client’s need. Decades of engineering and manufacturing experience make us a trusted provider of custom wire rope cable solutions that serve any situation.

Each diameter of wire rope cable comes with different maximum load bearing capabilities. We can produce wire rope cables relevant to exact needs concerning the breaking point, cable diameter, cable materials, cable grade, or cable construction specifications.

What is the Most Flexible Wire Rope Cable?

Both fiber core ropes and wire strand core ropes can be engineered and manufactured to provide the required flexibility of your project. Flexibility is determined by both the number of wires in each strand, and the number of strands that make up the rope. For instance, a 7×7 construction would mean there are 7 strands in the rope, and 7 metal wires that make up each strand. This means a total of 49 wires make up the rope. Wire rope cable becomes more flexible as the number of strands increase within a particular diameter.  Therefore, while a 7×7 wire rope cable is thought of as a flexible rope, 7×19 construction is even more flexible. This wire rope would be made up of 7 strands, with 19 wires per strand for a combined total of 133 individual wires. 7X19 wire rope cable is often used in pulley systems where flexibility is required.

What Are Different Cable Assemblies and Fittings?

The success of products using wire rope cable also depends on the quality of associated cable assemblies and fittings. Custom-designed wire assemblies and fittings must be engineered to last, and consistency is essential so that the hundredth or thousandth fitting that is used is the same as the first. Here are some of the wire rope end fittings, cable pulley fittings, and other unique fittings for custom applications that we can provide:

  • Loop sleeve
  • Eyelet
  • Ball
  • Ball and shank
  • Ball and double shank
  • Ball end plug
  • Threaded plug
  • Stop sleeve
  • Fork
  • Loop crimp
  • Straight plug
  • Strap eye
  • Strap fork
  • Thimble
  • Threaded terminal
  • Turnbuckle

Additionally, we also produce a series of different kinds of pulleys, including bearing-mounted pulleys, custom timing pulleys, nylon pulleys, high-endurance pulleys, cable/cord idler pulleys, and other push/pull components and terminals that are essential to the design of a custom pulley system or custom wire rope assembly. We not only can provide the hardware to create the system, but also consult on the design that will help achieve the task at hand with a cost-efficient and long-lasting solution that end users will appreciate.

Safety and Quality Standards of Wire Rope Cable and Fittings

Our principal is not only an ISO 9001:2015-compliant expert but also is RoHS and REACH compliant. They also maintain FDA Registered Status and ITAR Registered Status. Decades of engineering and manufacturing experience is paired with a commitment to stay educated on the changing standards of compliance and quality that allow excellent products to be delivered to manufacturers across the world and used with confidence.

We hope this list of FAQs has given you some insights into sourcing wire rope cables, pulleys, and wire fittings for your manufacturing operations. If you still have more questions about your facility’s needs or whether we have the capability to fill your order quickly, reach out to Zauderer Associates today.

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