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Types of Wire Rope

Stainless Steel, galvanised or coated wire rope? Learn about these types of wire rope and select the one most suited for your application. Read on to learn more.


Wire rope is made of metal wire threads braided together to form a helix. Because of its heavy, pliable, and tough characteristics, as well as being weather- and corrosion-resistant, it is commonly used in building and construction, engineering, agriculture, aircraft, and marine industries. Each wire strand bringing equal pressure throughout the bundle contributes to its strength and flexibility, making it an ideal material for pulleys. In Australia, wire rope used to be made of wrought iron; today, the material used is mainly steel. 

Different industries use different types of wire rope. This is because suitability of a specific wire rope for an application depends on the design, size, types of braids, and other characteristics. For example, marine grade 316 wire rope is suitable for various marine applications and settings.

There are three main types namely, stainless steel, galvanized, and coated wire rope.

Stainless steel is the standard alloy utilized in rope and cable. Its resistance to corrosion is much higher than galvanized and coated ropes, although there is no difference in strength. Therefore, it is the preferred material used in marine and salt-water based industries. It does not react easily to chemicals from food processing, textile, and photographic settings. Its high resistance to corrosion, heat and cold, pulp and paper chemicals make stainless steel wire rope a very essential material for creating precise instruments, automobiles, fishing vessels, petrochemical equipment, and other fields.

Galvanized wire rope is also a steel wire material that has undergone a galvanizing process to enhance its corrosion-resistance. The finished wire product is submerged into a zinc bath to coat its entirety, that is, galvanize it. Zinc is utilized in the process because the cathode preservation increases the life expectancy of the wire. Though the coating will wear off as time goes by, it is still resistant to rust, corrosion, and other harsh chemicals. Galvanized wire can be found in industrial and construction fields as well as agricultural and DIY projects.

Stainless steel and galvanized wire can be coated with PVC (poly-vinyl-chloride) or vinyl. Coated wire rope comes in various colours such as clear, black, white, or any other colour that is required in different industries. PVC coated wire is flexible, weather-resistant, and very cost-effective. Nylon coated wire, though not as flexible as PVC, is abrasion-resistant and is ideal for businesses in extremely cold regions.

Wire rope can be assembled to suit specific applications. If you have a project requiring specific types of wire rope, send us an enquiry and we’ll send you a specialised quote.

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