Care of Wires & Ropes

Loss prevention bulletin has been released by UK P&I regarding care of wires & ropes on-board ships. The bulletin draws attention on the general condition of a wire which should be monitored whenever it is in use and specific inspections should concentrate on signs of deterioration and damage.

The most common uses of wires and ropes on board modern vessels include:

  1. Accommodation ladders and gangways
  2. Cranes and hoists
  3. Elevators
  4. Lifeboat / rescue boat / life raft davits
  5. Moorings
  6. Lifting strops and slings.

There are many causes of damage to wires and ropes on board, these can be categorized into:

  • Abrasion
  • Corrosion
  • Crushing
  • Cutting-in
  • Fatigue
  • Stretch

The required intervals between on board inspections should be documented by the manufacturer and is dependent upon the use, size and construction of the wire. These intervals should be transferred to the vessel’s planned maintenance  system.

Deterioration frequently is the result of a combination of factors, including:

  • The nature and number of broken wires: Broken wires at the terminations, Localized grouping of wire breaks, The rate of increase of wire breaks, The fracture of strands
  • Reduction of rope diameter
  • Decreased elasticity
  • Wear
  • Corrosion – internal and external
  • Deformation, including ‘bird cages’, kinks, etc
  • Damage due to heat or electric arcing
  • Rate of increase of permanent elongation.

For more information please refer to relevant UK P&I Loss Prevention Bulletin regarding Care of Wires & Ropes On-Board Ships

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