FAQs

Learn everything you need to know about wire rope, bungee cords, end
fittings, hardware, and so much more.

FAQs - WIRE ROPE

Wire rope is a flexible steel cord that is extremely strong. Typical uses for wire rope are: hoisting, towing, and anchoring heavy loads. The core is the foundation of a wire rope. The three most commonly used core designations are: fiber core (FC), independent wire rope core (IWRC), and wire strand core (WSC).


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Strength-resistance to breaking
The wire rope should be strong enough to handle the maximum potential load, including safety factors.

Resistance to bending fatigue
Fatigue is caused by repeatedly bending rope around drums, sheaves, etc. A wire rope with strands made up of many small wires will be more resistant to fatigue, but less resistant to abrasion.

Resistance to vibrational fatigue 
Energy is absorbed via the end fittings or at the tangent point where the rope contacts the sheave.

Resistance to abrasion 
Abrasion occurs when a rope is dragged over the ground or other surfaces. A wire rope with strands made of fewer, larger wires will be more resistant to abrasion, but less resistant to fatigue.

Resistance to crushing 
During use, a wire rope may encounter crushing forces or be struck against hard objects. This can cause the rope to become flattened or distorted, resulting in premature breakage. Wire rope must have sufficient lateral stability to withstand the crushing pressures it may encounter. Regular lay ropes have greater lateral stability than Lang's lay, and six-strand wire ropes have greater lateral stability than eight-strand ropes.

Reserve strength
Reserve strength is the combined strength of all the wires contained within the strands.


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The finished rope has either a right or left-hand lay, which refers to the direction in which the strands were wrapped around the core.

Regular lay means the individual wires were wrapped around the centers in one direction, and the strands were wrapped around the core in the opposite direction.

Lang's lay means the wires were wrapped around the centers in one direction, and the strands were wrapped around the core in the same direction.

The length of lay is measured as the distance in inches for one strand to go completely around the rope one time.


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Bright wire rope is fabricated from wires that are not coated.

Rotation Resistant Bright wire rope is designed to resist the tendency to spin or rotate under load. In general, this rope is used as single part lines or situations where operating conditions require a rope that will resist cabling in a multipart system. The essential nature of rotation resistant rope designs impose certain limitations on their application and necessitate special handling requirements not encountered with other rope classifications.

Galvanized wire rope is zinc coated for corrosion resistance and has approximately the same pulling strength as Bright. In favorable environments, it can provide an economical alternative to stainless steel.

Stainless steel wire rope is made up of corrosion-resistant steel wires and is the highest quality wire rope available. It has approximately the same pulling strength as Bright or Galvanized rope and lasts the longest under harsh conditions such as saltwater and other acidic environments.


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Classification

# of Strands

# of Wires

# of Max Outer Wires

6x19

6

15-26

12

6x37

6

27-49

18

6x61

6

50-74

24

6x91

6

75-108

30

6x127

6

109+

36


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FAQs - AIRCRAFT CABLE

Only aircraft cables have wire strand cores (WSC) and are available in smaller diameters than wire rope. For example, aircraft cables are available in 3/64” diameter while most wire ropes begin at a 1/4" diameter.


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Stainless Steel aircraft cable is the highest quality aircraft cable available and consists of corrosion-resistant steel wires. While it tests at almost the same pulling strength as galvanized aircraft cable, it lasts longer under harsh conditions in caustic and acidic environments such as saltwater. In mild environments, Galvanized aircraft cable is an economical alternative to stainless steel.


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Type 316 has a higher corrosion resistance ranking than type 302/304, while type 302/304 has a higher strength and fatigue resistance ranking. As the carbon content of the stainless steel alloy increases, strength and fatigue resistance also increase, but corrosion resistance is reduced.


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FAQs - Prestressed ASTM A1023

Stranded ropes are not prestretched unless otherwise specified. When specified, ropes may be prestretched using either a process of static or dynamic loading. Prestretch loads shall not exceed 55% of the minimum breaking strength for the wire rope.


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FAQs - Proof-Loading

Typically a proof-load is required by engineer's drawing due to a critical application such as lifting, overhead safety, aerospace critical, military critical, structural support, etc. A proof-load is required if a engineer's drawing describe either proof-load test per MIL-DTL-6117 or proof-load test per MIL-DTL-5688.


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The proof-load test load should be specified by the drawing engineer. In cases of a commercial grade assembly with terminations that hold to the wire rope's nominal breaking strength then 40% or 50% of nominal break are common. If the proof-load is in compliance to MIL-DTL-6117 and/or MIL-DTL-5688 then the test load shall be 60% of the terminal break strength or 60% of the wire rope nominal break strength, whichever is lower. Caution should be exercised when proof-loading to ensure that the test does not inadvertently cause stress or fatigue to the assembly unless that was the objective because the tested assembly will be sacrificed.


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FAQs - Domestic And USA

"Domestic" wire rope is stranded & closed in USA. "US Made & Melt" wire rope is made from raw material heats which are melted in the USA before stranding in USA.


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FAQs - DFARS

The following countries are approved by the Speciality Metals flowdown:

  • • Australia
  • • Austria
  • • Belgium
  • • Canada
  • • Czech Republic
  • • Denmark
  • • Egypt
  • • Estonia
  • • Federal Republic of Germany
  • • Finland
  • • France
  • • Greece
  • • Israel
  • • Italy
  • • Japan
  • • Latvia
  • • Luxembourg
  • • Netherlands
  • • Norway
  • • Poland
  • • Portugal
  • • Slovenia
  • • Spain
  • • Sweden
  • • Switzerland
  • • Turkey
  • • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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FAQs - VINYL & NYLON-COATED CABLES

Nylon is harder than vinyl and has better impact, abrasion, and fatigue resistance. Nylon is better suited for friction with pulleys and sheaves, while vinyl is more flexible and has better UV resistance. Vinyl coating costs less than nylon coating.


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Vinyl is well suited for general purpose, sailing, security, towing, and outdoor applications in both warm or cold environments. 


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Nylon is commonly used in applications, including pulleys, exercise equipment, conveyors, and similar use cases. Nylon is additionally well suited for use indoors as well as in acidic environments such as sewers and wells.


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Vinyl and nylon coatings are primarily stocked in 7x7 and 7x19 constructions with other constructions available upon special request.


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FAQs - ARCHITECTURAL RAILING & HARDWARE

A turnbuckle is a metal coupling device consisting of right and left-hand threaded members screwed into an internally threaded body, which, when rotated, expands or contracts. To see examples of turnbuckles, visit our Gallery.


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A machine swaged fitting is attached to the cable by a swage machine that cold forms the fitting directly to the cable. A swaged fitting should not be confused with hand crimp fittings, or other hand tool applied fittings. A specialized swaging machine is the only way to attach swage fittings to cable as they can not be hand-crimped, welded, glued, hammered, or attached to a cable by any other means.


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Hand crimp fittings are attached to the cable with a hand crimp tool. Hand crimp fittings should not be confused with a Nicopress fitting as Nicopress fittings have sleeves made from a soft copper alloy and compress very easily. All hand crimp fittings are made from stainless steel and cannot be swaged, welded, glued, pressed in a vise or with vice grips, or attached to the cable by any means other than specialized tools.


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Mechanical fittings are attached when a fitting compresses the cable with a cone inside the fitting or cable. Mechanical fittings are assembled to the cable with simple hand tools, are larger in diameter than swage and hand crimp fittings, and can be reused with a new cone at a certain expense.


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Generally, 1x19 cables should be used for all railing applications as it is stiff with minimal stretch and ideal for railings with runs up to 50 feet. 7x7 cable is more flexible with additional stretch and can be used for railings with shorter runs, while 7x19 cable is the most flexible but will kink if tensioned on a 90-degree corner.


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3/16” cable is the most popular size and useful for railing applications. In high traffic applications such as airports, stadiums, or amusement parks, 1/4” cable is highly recommended. For residential applications where view and unobtrusiveness are paramount, 1/8” cable works well.


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Yes. Cable works great for railing, but only if you have the ability to tighten, and if necessary, re-tighten it with a turnbuckle or with a through-bolted threaded terminal. 


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Lexco Cable recommends 350 lbs. of tension on each cable assembly for a cable railing.


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No. A true 90º corner will tweak the cable no matter what construction of cable is used. The physics of the cable does not allow the tension to be equally transmitted from one side of a corner to the other side. Tension must be maintained throughout the entire cable run to meet code, and end fittings should be used to make the corner transition and keep the cable tension in a straight line.


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End attachments are the designer’s personal choice, as there are a variety of ways to accomplish the same results with different fittings. End posts and aesthetics are the most important factors in determining which end attachments to use.


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For all major components, we use Type 316 stainless steel, which is a low-carbon “18-8” chromium-nickel stainless steel modified by the addition of molybdenum that significantly increases its corrosion resistance. T304 stainless steel cable can also be used indoors or in mild environments.


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FAQs - TURNBUCKLE

Turnbuckle's take-up threads provide for adjustability in length, which allows you to maintain your assembly at proper tension over time.


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Turnbuckle hooks are ideal for fast and easy connecting and disconnecting situations, as well as applications involving quick adjustments. They are not suitable for extreme load applications.


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Turnbuckle eyes are used for extreme load applications, permanent attachments, and situations where quick adjustments may be necessary.


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Turnbuckle jaws have an easy removal via pin and are commonly used in extreme load applications and in situations where a fast adjustment may be required.


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Turnbuckle stub ends work well in applications involving welding to permanent fixtures.


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FAQs - PUSH-PULL CONTROLS

7x19 cables are extremely flexible, making them ideal for pull assemblies. They are capable of going over tight 90º bends or over small pulleys that are less than 3” diameter.

7x7 cables are moderately flexible and suitable for pull applications with medium-sized pulleys at approximately 45º bends.

1x19 is a coarse strand cable with little flexibility that is most useful for push-type applications.

Solid wire has minimal flexibility and is suitable for straight-run applications.


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For frequent or continually cycling push-pull applications, a lined conduit, such as Polyethylene lined, is used to reduce friction.


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Lined "Bowden" conduits are most commonly used in industrial applications because of their tight winding and crush resistance.


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FAQs - BOLT SNAP & SNAP HOOKS

Bolt snaps and snap hooks are made from stainless steel, rustproof metal, malleable iron, solid bronze, or steel wire.


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Stainless steel is the most corrosion-resistant material and also has some of the best aesthetics. Bronze is also corrosion-resistant, and because it is cheaper than stainless steel, you can get a heavier duty bronze snap hook for the same price. Rustproof metal, malleable iron, and steel wire are also cost-effective and widely used.


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Bolt snaps and snap hooks have a wide variety of uses. Light-duty snaps and hooks make excellent key chains and dog leashes. Heavy-duty snaps and hooks can hoist loads as part of a crane operation or can be used to tow boats in marine applications.


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FAQs - CUTTING & SWAGING TOOLS

Felco’s C-108 and C-112 are ideal for marine applications. They are especially suited for the quick and easy cutting of shrouds, stays, halyards, and other rigging of high-tensile wire rope or cable up to a 5/16” diameter. These tools can provide an inexpensive peace-of-mind for the rare time occasion when a mast breaks. Additionally, Felco’s C-9 works well underwater as they are protected against rust and saltwater.


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Felco’s CP is indispensable for cutting steel strapping and banding. They are also especially well-suited to cut string, twine, rope, tin, and many other materials with ease. The red plastic-coated handle is fitted to the hand to make cutting comfortable while a thumb catch locks the cutter when not in use.


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FAQs - PULL TESTING

Routine proof loading is recommended for critical load applications such as fall protection cables. Pull testing (to assembly failure) is recommended for any load-bearing cable in order to qualify its design.


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Lexco's equipment is calibrated to test up to 180,000 lbs. To learn more, watch our helpful video


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FAQs - BUNGEE CORDS

Polypropylene is a general-purpose bungee cord that endures well in the outdoors. Nylon bungee cords are ideal in marine applications; however, nylon bungee cord breaks faster than polypropylene in direct sunlight.


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Bungee cord strength is tested by percent of expansion. The maximum recommended expansion during application is 50% of the bungee cord’s resting length. When a bungee assembly is stretched beyond this 50% stretch working limit, the decrease in bungee diameter affects the limit of the bungee fittings holding capacity.


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Bungee balls are useful for numerous types of bungee assemblies as they eliminate the rubbing and fraying caused when the bungee cord contacts a surface in the field. In some applications, bungee balls can also be useful as a point of grip or as an alternative end fitting to a hook such as in tarp holding applications.


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Bungee balls are secured via a crimped fitting such as a collar, sleeve, c-ring, or knot. They can be applied to the bungee with varying degrees of pressure in order to best suit stretch needs during application.


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Yes, bungee cord is synonymous with shock cord.


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FAQs - NYLON CABLE TIES

Nylon cable ties are a multipurpose, easy to use, and cost-efficient way of supporting and organizing cable, wire, and rope.


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Nylon cable ties are suitable for indoor as well as outdoor use. Black UV-stable cable ties are recommended for sunlight exposed applications.


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Yes, nylon cable ties are load rated from 18–250 lbs. tensile strength.


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The majority of nylon cable ties cannot be loosened once applied. However, Lexco does carry a releasable 50 lb. tensile strength nylon cable tie, which is available in 3 lengths; CTR8-50C9, CTR11-50C9, and CTR14-50C9.


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FAQs - BUTTON STOP

Zinc plated wire stops, swivel assemblies, and wire clamps are ideal for very light loads and temporary wire holding applications.


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FAQs - PLAIN BALL

No, plain balls do not hold to the cable's nominal breaking strength. When properly machine swaged onto 7x19 construction, 75% efficiency is typical. Single shank balls (or double shank balls) are recommended when 100% strength efficiency is required.


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Plain balls are a multi-purpose cable fitting that creates a bearing point. They can be installed at the end of a cable or at any point along a cable assembly's length.


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FAQs - SLEEVES

Duplex sleeves are synonymous with hourglass sleeves.


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Sleeves can be made to order in custom lengths. We stock aluminum 5/16” cable sleeve x 1” length, aluminum 3/8” cable sleeve x 1” length, and aluminum 3/16” cable sleeve x 11/16” length.

Combination sleeves can also be made to order. A combination sleeve accommodates two different sized cables in a single sleeve. For example, our aluminum 1/8” x 1/16” combo sleeve size as well as our aluminum 3/16”x1/8” combination sleeve size.


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Yes, we are happy to accommodate your needs. We typically polybag sleeves based on customer requested pack quantities.


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FAQs - STAMPED EYES

Yes, custom tooling is needed to swage Stamped Eyelets to cable. Lexco sells eyelets in bulk, but we recommend that you have us swage them for you whenever possible to ensure high-quality fabrication.


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Some of Lexco's stamped eyelets hold the cable's strength capacity when installed onto 7x7 and 7x19 construction. Our 2093-02, 2091-02, and 2103-02 stamped eyelets hold 250 lbs. maximum. Our 2403-04, 2401-04, 2413-04, and 2411-04 stamped eyelets hold 1600 lbs. maximum. Stamped eyelets must be swaged with properly designed tooling in a controlled environment, and a pull test is recommended to verify the holding strength.


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FAQs - THIMBLES

“AN” stands for American Navy.


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Thimbles enhance the longevity of the cable as they protect the cable from fraying and kinking at the bearing point of the loop.


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Thimbles are available in zinc-plated steel, galvanized steel, and stainless steel.


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FAQs - STUD & THREADED PLUGS

Mil-spec threaded studs MS21259 and MS21260 are made to withstand 100% capacity of the cable's strength when installed onto 7x7, 7x19, 6x19, and 6x37 constructions. Many commercial grade threaded studs also fully hold the cable break strength, but exceptions do exist, such as threaded studs intended for cable railing applications. When a threaded stud is being installed on a strand, such as 1x7 or 1x19, a deeper cable hole may be required to achieve the best results. We can provide threaded studs in bulk, but we recommend that you have us swage them for you whenever possible to ensure high-quality fabrication, and a pull test is recommended to verify the holding strength.


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It depends on the exact model and cable construction being installed as some threaded plugs do not have a cable hole deep enough for full strength efficiency. We are happy to provide threaded plugs in bulk, but we recommend that you have us swage them for you whenever possible to ensure high-quality fabrication. A pull test is additionally recommended to verify the holding strength.


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FAQs - SWAGLESS MECHANICAL FITTINGS

Swageless mechanical fittings are tremendously convenient on the job site as the only tools needed to assemble these fittings onto cable are two wrenches. Swageless mechanical fittings are also useful as they are not permanent and can be removed from the cable and reinstalled as needed.


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It depends on several variables, such as the swageless model, the cable’s construction, and the installer's proficiency. Swageless fittings designed for cable railing applications hold at least 1/3 of the cable strength. Many Electroline brand swageless fittings can hold up to 100% of cable break strength, but we always recommend a pull test be performed to prove the adequacy for your application.


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To install a swageless fitting, first slip the sleeve over the end of the cable. Next, insert the plug into the center of the wire strand(s). The socket should then completely cover the wires that have been upset around the plug. Once tightened, the combination of these three pieces of hardware secures the cable in a strong assembly.


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FAQs - STRUCTURAL HARDWARE

Eye nuts are available as thread tapped as well as in blank form. Eye nuts can be secured to threaded rods and eyebolts.


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Threaded and upset rods are used in conjunction with a turnbuckle body to keep the structural support at the desired tension. This allows the structural support to accommodate adjustments while spanning a large distance.


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Plain and adjustable yoke ends are available.


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FAQs - EYE BOLTS

A regular eye bolt, also known as a plain pattern eye bolt, should be used in applications where the load is pulled away from the eye.


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A shoulder eye bolt should be used in applications where the load is pulled toward the eye.


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A lag eye bolt is used for threading into wood.


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Both hot-dip galvanized steel and stainless steel eye bolts can be used in outdoor applications. However, stainless steel eye bolts will endure longer in marine applications and are considered to be more aesthetically pleasing when used in architectural applications.


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FAQs - HOOKS

While drop-forged steel is strong, stainless steel combines strength and beauty for applications requiring attention to aesthetics.


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Double safety latch hooks and single safety latch hooks are the safest options. Double safety latch hooks make the most sense in fall-restraint applications while hooks without latches are ideal in non-critical applications.


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S-hooks are intended for use with class I, II, and III trailer safety cables.


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FAQs - WIRE ROPE CLIPS

The correct way to attach wire rope clips is as follows:

  1. Apply the first clip on the base width from the dead end of the wire rope. The base or saddle should bear on the line end of the rope with the u-bolt on the short end. Tighten nuts firmly.
  2. Attach the second clip as close to the loop as possible and loosely tighten the nuts.
  3. Attach a balance of clips, spaced equally between the first two clips. Tighten all nuts completely. Finally, apply the initial load and inspect the nuts and retighten them as needed. Remember to periodically inspect all clips.

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The preferred method of splicing two wire ropes together is to use interlocking turnback eyes with thimbles along with the recommended number of clips on each eye.

An alternate method is to use twice the number of clips as used for a turnback termination. The rope ends are placed parallel to each other, overlapping by twice the turnback amount. The minimum number of clips should be installed on each dead end. Regular spacing, installation torque, and other instructions also apply.


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Stainless steel type 316 wire rope clips are used for applications involving saltwater or acidic environments.


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Malleable electro-galvanized wire rope clips are used for general purpose applications both indoors and outdoors. They should not be used for extreme load applications.


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Drop forged galvanized wire rope clips are used for heavy-duty and high-load applications.


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FAQs - SHACKLES

Both varieties of shackles are for towing and hoisting situations. Hot-dip galvanized drop forged steel shackles are ideal for industrial applications, while stainless steel shackles are more corrosive-resistant and ideal for marine applications.


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Anchor shackles are designed for multi-dimensional pulling applications. Chain shackles are designed for straight pull applications.


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Screw pin shackles are convenient because of their quick releasing pin, which saves set-up time on the job site. Round pin shackles, also known as safety pin shackles, should be used in applications when safety is paramount.


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FAQs - SWIVELS

Swivels are used to prevent over-twist stress on a cable or line.


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Light-duty swivels have a wide variety of uses, from key chains and dog leashes to securing two cables or lines.


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The most common types of applications for heavy-duty regular swivels involve moving load applications and extreme load applications.


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Heavy-duty swivel jaws are commonly used in moving load applications, extreme load applications, and in situations where an easy removal via a pin is preferred. 


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Heavy-duty chain swivels should be used for chain hoisting applications and applications involving extreme loads. 


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FAQs - PULLEYS

A single wheel pulley accommodates one line or cable while a double wheel pulley accommodates two lines or cables.


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Solid eye pulleys should strictly be used in straight run applications. A swivel eye pulley can rotate, allowing the line or cable to enter and exit the pulley in non-straight run applications.


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FAQs - ROUND RINGS AND D-RINGS

Round rings and D-rings are connecting hardware, which can be used in cable assemblies as an efficient connecting point.


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When used as connecting points, round rings, and D-rings prolong cable life.


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FAQs - TITLE CLAMPS

The most common custom fastening bolts are Allen, Phillips, and tamper-proof.


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The 3mm zinc die-cast tiller clamp fits a 1/8” cable diameter, and the 4mm fits 5/32” or 3/16” cable diameters.


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FAQs - STRAP FORKS, EYE ENDS, AND FORK ENDS

Strap fork ends and strap eye ends are used when carrying loads because the fork or eye swivels around the ball end fitting allowing the load to twist freely without transferring tension to the cable.


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No, the clevis and cotter pins must be ordered separately.


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FAQs - GENERAL QUESTIONS AND POLICIES

Please contact your sales representative to ask any questions about the status of your order. Alternatively, you can reach out to customerservice@lexcocable.com for an update.


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Your tracking number will be on your invoice, which is emailed the first business day after your order is shipped. If you have not yet received your invoice and would like to know your order status, reach out to your sales representative or email customerservice@lexcocable.com.


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Yes, for most orders, we can provide manufacturing certifications and Certificates of Compliance (COCs) upon request. Additional charges for COCs may apply. If not noted on your purchase order, please let your sales representative know as soon as possible which certification your order requires. First article inspection reports or PPAPs must be quoted on a case-by-case basis. Additional charges may apply if requested after your order has shipped.


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Yes, in many circumstances we can offer expedited services. Contact your sales representative to learn more. Additional charges may apply. 


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Let your salesperson know if a first article should be shipped for approval while the production is backordered pending approval. 


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Yes, we can provide additional testing and inspections to ensure zero defects for critical applications. If it was not noted on your purchase order, please let your sales representative know as soon as possible if your assembly is for a critical application. Please note, Lexco is not insured to make critical flight controls.


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Lexco Cable’s policy is to overship up to 10% of the original order in overruns for custom assemblies. If you have not already noted it on your purchase order, you can contact your sales representative with any minimum or maximum overrun percentage requests.


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If it was not noted on your purchase order, please communicate any packaging requirements, such as maximum weight per box, pieces per bag, or reel length requirements for cable, to your sales representative as soon as possible.


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If it was not included with your purchase order, you can email your sales representative or contact customerservice@lexcocable.com with your tax-exempt certification or to receive an update or any necessary clarification. 


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We email your invoice after the order has shipped, typically within one business day.


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Yes, we have lot-number traceability to determine the origin of materials for every order. Lot numbers are included on our COCs. For more information, please contact your sales representative.


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Contact your sales representative with any repeat or revised orders. We keep all specifications on file, including those from prior years, to ensure a simple and efficient reordering process. Please let your sales representative know as soon as possible if there are any revisions to specifications with a recurring order you have with us.


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Sales are final on custom items, such as custom coatings, custom reel length, custom assemblies, custom fittings, custom hardware, etc. View our full return policy at ​https://www.lexcocable.com/return_policy.html.


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