Mechanical damage

This is due to rope movement over sharp edge projection while under load.

rope with Mechanical damage

Localized wear

This is due to abrasion on supporting structure. Vibration of rope between drumand job head sheave.

rope with Localized wear

Narrow Path of Wear

This results in fatigue fractures, caused by working in a grossly oversize groove or over small support rollers.

rope with Narrow Path of Wear

Parallel Broken Wires

Two parallel paths of broken wires are indicative of bending through an undersize groove in the sheave.

rope with Parallel Broken Wires

Severe Wear

This is associated with high tread pressure. Protrusion of fibre main core.

rope with Severe Wear

Severe Wear in Lang Lay

This is caused by abrasion of cross-over points on multi-layer coiling application.

rope with Severe Wear in Lang Lay

Corrosion of severe degree

This is caused by immersion of rope in chemically treated water.

rope with Corrosion of severe degree

Typical Wire Fractures

This is a result of bend fatigue.

rope with Typical Wire Fractures

Wire Fractures at the Strand

Fractures at the strand, or core interface, as direct from ‘crown’ fractures, are caused by failure of core support.

rope with Wire Fractures at the Strand

Break of IWRC

This is a result from high stress application. Note nicking of wires in outer strands.

rope with Break of IWRC

Strand Core Protrusion

This happens as a result of torsional unbalance created by ‘drop ball’ application (i.e. shock loading).

rope with Strand Core Protrusion

Localized Wear and Deformation

Typical example of localized wear and deformation created at a previously kinked portion of rope. The danger here is that it’s invisible during the rope’s operation, and that’s why you need to inspect this portion of an operating rope regularly. The rope should be pulled off the sheave during inspection and bent to check for broken wires.

rope with Localized Wear and Deformation


Multi-strand rope ‘bird-caged’ due to torsional unbalance or the sudden release of tension and the resulting rebound of rope. These strands and wires will not be returned to their original positions. Typical of build-up seen at anchorage end of multi-fall crane application.

rope with Bird-Caged damage

Protrusion of IWRC

This is resulting from shock loading.

rope with Protrusion of IWRC

Some information on this page was taken from AWRF (American Wire Rope Fabricators)