- Issue Time
- Jun 15,2022
Wire rope clips are widely used to make loop-to-loop connections or to join two wire rope cable ends together. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon to use wire rope clamps incorrectly.
Wire rope clamps are also known as wire clamps or U-bolts, etc. It is widely used to make loop-to-loop connections or to join two wire rope cable ends together. Traditional style wire rope clamps usually consist of three parts: a U-bolt, a forged or cast iron saddle, and two nuts.
Unfortunately, it's not uncommon to use wire rope clamps incorrectly. Below are some of the most common installation errors.
Does not meet manufacturer's expectations
Wire rope clamps require a torque wrench to function properly. Tightening the nut on the clip too much or too little can cause the clip to fail. Excessive torque on the clamp may damage the threads of the wire rope. If the clamp is under-torqued, the clamp's holding force will be weakened and the wire rope may slip through.
Not using the recommended number of clips
Use the least number of clips in relation to the diameter of the wire rope. Using less than the specified number of clips may result in inefficiencies and possible malfunctions.
Incorrect spacing between clips
Depending on the number and size of wire rope clips, proportional space is required between the placement of each clip on the rope.
The saddle is on the incorrect end of the rope
The U-Bolt-style rope clamp has two sides: the saddle and the U-Bolt. When securing the wire rope eye, it is important to place the clip on the correct end of the rope.
The saddle of the clip rests on the free end of the rope, while the U-bolt rests on the dead end of the rope.
A common proverb used in rigging to help remember this is: "Never give a dead saddle!" In other words, never put a saddle on the end of a rope.
Incorrect amount of turnback when forming an eye
The foldback is the part of the wire eyelet that extends from the end of the bearing eye to the live end. Less than the recommended amount of foldback will reduce the efficiency of the wire rope eye and may lead to failure.
Using the wrong type of clip for the application
It is important to ensure that you are using the correct rope clamp (forged or malleable) for the application. Malleable clamps should only be used for non-critical purposes, such as forming a perimeter tension cord around a parking lot.
How it is used is critical - if it fails, you could suffer injury or loss of life or property - the correct type of clip must be used.
Clip size does not match wire rope size
The size of the clip used—whether 1/8”, 3”, or another size—must match the diameter of the wire rope. If not, the wire rope may slip out of the clip.
Failure to loop the rope and retighten the clamps regularly
After the clips are installed, the rope needs to be periodically cycled and the clips retightened. It is important to monitor the torque on the nuts as they will loosen with repeated use.
How to install wire rope clips on eyes or thimbles
The basic steps for installing a wire rope clamp include:
First, wrap the wire rope around the thimble or form a loop eye, then turn the correct amount of rope back as specified by the manufacturer.
Apply the first wire rope clamp at the end of the dead space, with a space for the base width. Use a torque wrench to tighten the nut on the wire rope clamp.
When using the second clip (if needed), place it as close to the eye ring or thimble as possible. Again, be sure to use a torque wrench to properly tighten the clamp's nut.
If more than two clips are required, the clips should be evenly distributed between the first two clips placed.
Wire rope clamps are a common and necessary piece of rigging hardware when using wire rope and forming end terminations. They are used to form wire rope eyes or to connect two cables together. It is important to know how to install rope clamps correctly, as incorrect installation can lead to reduced efficiency of the rope assembly.
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