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Wire Rope

Count on US Cargo Control for all your wire rope needs. We have a wide variety of cable railing and cable railing assemblies. For more information, visit our cable railing page or call our product experts.

Learn More About Wire Rope

Incredibly durable, wire rope is ideal for outdoor environments because its strength and length remain constant when wet or dry. There are many different sizes, configurations, and materials that form wire rope. Our category includes a variety of 304 stainless steel wire rope, galvanized wire rope, and bright wire rope in configurations from the 6x19 and 6x37 classes.

Wire rope is generally composed of wires, strands, and a core formed in a helix (spiral) pattern. Steel wires are precisely formed in a helix geometric pattern to form a strand, which is called "stranding." Strands are then laid around the core to form a wire rope, which is called "closing."

We also carry steel cable that's also known as cable railing or aircraft cable. It's a wire rope but with a smaller diameter, resulting in lighter-duty end uses.

Wire Rope Variations

The size, finish, and braided wire rope construction are important factors depending on the application, but there are other variables to take into account as well.

  • Rope Diameter: To properly measure the diameter, measure at its widest point. This is an industry standard with wire cable manufacturers and steel cable suppliers.
  • Grade of Steel (IPS, EIPS, EEIPS): IPS is the abbreviation for Improved Plowed Steel. EIPS is Extra Improved Plowed Steel and has roughly 10% more strength than IPS. EEIPS is Extra Extra Improved Plowed Steel and is approximately 10% stronger than the EIPS.
  • Direction of Stranding and Closing: Right hand and left hand designations indicate which way the strands wrap around the core of the steel rope, while regular lay and Lang lay designations specify which way the wires are formed in the helix pattern. Regular lay means the wires are rotated opposite the direction of the strands around the core. Lang lay means the wires are twisted in the same direction as the strands are wrapped around the wire rope core. Our wire rope lay is right hand regular lay, with strands wrapped around the core to the right, and the wires making up the strand turned and rotated to the left.
  • Wire Finish (Bright Wire, Galvanized Wire, Type 304 Stainless Steel): Most wire ropes have a bright, self-colored finish, hence the name. They also generally have a coating of lubricant to reduce friction and protect from corrosion. However, there are wire ropes that are galvanized, 304 and 316 stainless steel, or coated in vinyl and other plastics. These are three of the most common finishes.
  • Material of the Core (Fiber Core or Independent Wire Rope Core): Fiber cores (FC) are made of vegetable (sisal, etc.) or synthetic (polypropylene, etc.) fibers. Independent wire rope cores (IWRC) offer more support to the outer strands, and have a higher resistance to crushing. IWRC also offer more resistance to heat, reduces the amount of stretch, and increases the strength of the rope.
  • Strands: Another variable in wire rope is how many strands make up the rope and how many wires make up one strand. For instance, a 6x26 wire rope has 6 strands around a core with 26 wires making up each strand. The 2 main classes of wire rope that US Cargo Control carries are 6x19 and 6x37. In the 6x19 Class, the wires per strand can vary from 19 to 26. In the 6x37 Class, the wires per strand can vary from 27 to 49. The 6x19 class is the most common class and offers higher resistance to abrasion but the 6x37 class offers a higher flexibility.

Although wire rope is extremely strong, it can become damaged with improper use, making it unsafe to use. It's important to inspect your wire rope for broken wire, corrosion, overuse wear, and kinks.

Looking for accessories? Our rigging supplies category includes hardware and accessories for cranes, dredging, excavating, hoists & winches, logging, and marine uses. If you're unsure what you need or have questions, call for help from our product specialists with expertise in wire rope/rigging supplies. 

Browse our specialized categories for: 6x37 Wire Rope, 6x19 Wire Rope, 7x19 Wire Rope, Guy Wire.