Product Spotlight: What is Aircraft Cable?

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Product Spotlight: What is Aircraft Cable?

Obviously cables are used in an aircraft, right? Easy—Done!

Well, yes, that’s technically correct…But wait, there’s more!

You would assume aircraft cable is a type of wire rope used throughout an aircraft, for everything from adjustable seat back controls to controlling the movement of the wing flaps and landing gear on planes with analog flight systems. These cables are essentially specialized high strength wire rope, made to withstand the special environmental circumstances found on an aircraft such as harsh temperatures and moisture. Aircraft cable is also known as galvanized wire rope, and is often made from carbon steel and is drawn galvanized. Galvanizing protects the cable from corrosion for a period of time, but will discolor to a white or dull appearance—Prolonged exposure to the elements will eventually cause corrosion, which is why it’s always important to keep your aircraft cable up to date with inspections.

So, what is wire rope?

A piece of wire rope has three main components. Individual wires that make up each strand, the strand itself and finally, the core it’s built around. The core is typically composed of fibre core (FC) or steel wire core, called independent wire rope core (IWRC). The steel core increases strength by 7% and the weight by 10%, which provides more support to the outer strands than fibre cores. Steel cores resist crushing and are more resistant to heat.

The design factor of wire rope tells you the ratio between minimum breaking load of the rope and the working load limit (WLL).

Manufactures, like Hercules SLR, stock aircraft cable to commercial and military specifications in stainless steel, galvanized carbon steel, and a variety of other alloys. If you’re curious, the most common aircraft cable diameters are 1/16 through 5/32 with 7×7 or 7×19 construction. Normal breaking strength varies—Here at Hercules SLR we carry aircraft cable from a normal breaking strength of 480lbs to 14,400lbs.

 

However, aircraft cable isn’t just used on airplanes! It’s typically used in more strenuous applications because of its ability to withstand harsh temperatures and corrosion, but can serve effective in a variety of personal, commercial, industrial and military purposes.

Some examples of uses for aircraft cable NOT found within an aircraft, are:

  • Securing Cargo: Aircraft cable can be used to tie down heavy cargo on ships. Aircraft cable can be particularly useful because as mentioned above, it is resistant to extreme temperatures and moisture.
  • Boats and Docking: Aircraft cable is used for several applications in boats and docking like securing boats, hoisting them out of the water, sailboat rigging and on fishing boats.
  • Pulleys and Winches: The strength of aircraft cable makes it the perfect choice for lifting and hoisting.
  • Stage Rigging: Once again because of it’s strength and durability it is often the cable of choice for the rigging that opens, closes, and lifts heavy curtains, moves backdrops, raises and lowers lighting and so on.
  • Zip Lines: Both galvanized and stainless steel are used for zip lines, depending on the weather conditions in the location of the zip line.
  • Garage Doors: Aircraft cable can be found in garage door raising/lowering mechanisms.
  • Exercise Equipment: Aircraft cable is often used in a variety of exercise equipment, most commonly in weight machines.

Inspecting Aircraft Cable

Aircraft cables, both on and off airplanes, often live in fairly harsh environments—It’s often the wire rope of choice in those circumstances. As well, on some aircraft’s, the cable remains in one static position around pulley bends for extended periods of time. You should always ensure ALL of your rigging gear is inspected on it’s recommended timeline—But it’s especially important when you know the equipment is being exposed to harsh environments.

At every inspection, all control cables must be inspected for broken wires strands—This includes sections of the cable that may be hidden behind or within part of the aircraft structure. One of the easiest ways to do this is to run a cotton cloth over the length of the wire, checking for any places where the material get’s snagged. Any cable that has a single broken wire strand located around critical fatigue areas (where the cable runs around a pulley, sleeve or through a fair-lead; or any section where the cable is flexed, rubbed, or worked) must be replaced. Generally, SOME broken wires in non-critical areas are okay, but always consult your service/maintenance manual.

You’ll also want to look out for any flat spots, any areas where the cable twist is unraveling, or any other condition resulting in the cable being distorted—If any of these things are present, you must replace the cable.

It is recommended to remove the cable from critical areas and flex them to ensure that all cables on the inside of the wire rope haven’t worn down due to environmental deterioration, distortion or fatigue. This is definitely recommended if you haven’t been keeping up with regular inspections. There is a chance that the cable could look completely sound from the outside, but as soon as you remove it from the position it has remained in for so long, it will completely fail.


Need aircraft cable? Need an inspection? We’ve got you covered!

With a full service, one-stop-shop for rigging companies with all the service, inspections and repairs that any company would need, we can top the rest! Our goal is to make it look like you don’t need us! From advice, help with design, problem solutions, through to seamless procurement and excellent customer service, we are here to support your business and move it forward—Whatever it is, we can help.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Product Spotlight: Swivel Hoist Ring

Product Spotlight: Swivel Hoist Ring

What is a Swivel Hoist Ring?

A swivel hoist ring is a type of heavy-duty lifting ring that is used with a hoist to lift or lower a load. It is often the hardware of choice when the object being lifted has no clear attachment points, as the hoist ring is able to be screwed directly into the surface of the load. Once the swivel hoist ring is successfully installed, it essentially creates an attachment point for your hoist chain to attach to.

Swivel hoist rings are of a similar design and intended use to the eye bolt, a piece of hardware that has been around for a very long time in the rigging world. While standard eye bolts are effective when used properly for a suitable job, they often fail when put at any amount of angle. If the load shifts causing the direction of the load to be as much as 10 degrees off the line of force, you could have a bent eye bolt. This can result in a failed lift, causing damage to your load, property damage, and injury to workers.

Swivel hoist rings are designed to lift at any angle because they can swivel 360 degrees and pivot 180 degrees. A swivel hoist ring can rotate with the direction of force without loosing rated capacity, which gives increased safety and peace of mind. When a load is lifted or lowered, wind gusts may cause it to turn—This can result in the chain or rope getting twisted together with static hardware. Swivel hoist rings solve this problem by allowing the load to rotate back and forth as it needs without twisting the chain or rope.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Installing and Using Swivel Hoist Rings

DO:

  • Always read the safety precaution page prior to use or installation.
  • Inspect the hoist ring before each use – see below for what you should look out for when doing this! 
  • Choose a hoist ring with the proper load rating.
  • Only use hoist rings in materials that have a tensile strength of at least 80,000 psi.
  • Make sure the thread engagement is at least 1.5 times the diameter of the
    hoist ring screw.
  • When installing a hoist ring in a through­-hole with a nut and washer, make sure to use a Grade 8 nut that has full thread engagement.
  • Consider periodic load­-testing as an extra precaution.

DON’T:

  • Never exceed the rated load limit or apply shock load.
  • Never use a hoist ring that you believe may be damaged – it’s not worth the risk!
  • Never use a hoist ring that is not tightened to the recommended torque.
  • Never replace the components of the hoist ring.
  • Never use a hook larger than the diameter of the hoist ring opening.
  • Never shim or use washers between the hoist ring and surface of the object being
    lifted.

Swivel Hoist Ring Inspection and Maintenance

Always inspect the hoist ring before each use, make sure that:

  • The screw is tightened to the recommended torque using a torque wrench – If it’s not, the threads may be stripped on a vertical lift.
  • The bushing of the hoist ring is sitting flush against the object being lifted – This ensures that the hoist ring is able to reach its full 5:1 safety factor.
  • The hoist ring is free to swivel and pivot in every direction – If the hoist ring binds up in any direction, it should not be used.
  • There are no signs of corrosion – This can result in the hoist ring cracking or binding up.
  • There are no signs of wear or damage, especially on the screw, shoulder pins, and bail – Damage may be an indicator that the hoist ring is coming into contact with something during use. This should be avoided as such contact can cause binding and shock loads, which exceed the rating of the hoist ring.
  • The shoulder pins are secure and do not rotate or come loose – This can be checked by using pliers to try to rotate the shoulder pins by hand. If it does rotate, it should not be used as this could cause the hoist ring to come loose or break during use.

In need of an affordable and reliable swivel hoist ring? 

That’s where YOKE comes in—With YOKE you never have to sacrifice quality for price. Find YOKE swivel hoist rings at your local Hercules SLR. A YOKE Swivel hoist ring is innovative and meets all requirements of occupational health and safety. Due to its ball-bearing construction, YOKE hoist ring rotates freely 360 degrees – This free movement means it turns automatically in the direction of the load.

Main Features

  • Easy to install – needs only one tap hole.
  • Comes with both the bushing type and ball bearing inside.
  • Rotates 360º and pivots 180º.
  • Designed to a safety factor of 5:1.
  • 100% rated at 90º angle.
  • 100% magnaflux crack detection.
  • Proof load tested to 2.5 times W.L.L. and certified.
  • 20,000 cycle fatigue rated to 1.5 times W.L.L.
  • Each product has a batch code for material traceability and links to test certificate.
  • Drop forged Suspension Ring.
  • The bolt has a result of Charpy-V-test according to EN 10045, part 1 of at least 27 Joules at -20º C.
  • The bolt is UNC grade 8 per ASTM A 574 and Metric Grade 12.9 per DIN EN ISO 4762.
  • Multi-directional loading.
  • Self aligns in direction of load.
  • Avoids torsion forces to the suspension ring – Which means it’s safer!
  • No friction transferred to the bolt as it turns – Which means it will last longer!
  • The bolt is galvanized with an alternative phosphate treatment for increased corrosion protection.

Since 1985, YOKE manufactures durable, reliable & high-quality rigging hardware that keeps your load secure, and your team safe. They run a strict production facility, with a huge emphasis on quality control & safety at every stage of the manufacturing process—From raw materials to the finished product for the end-user, with facilities across the globe, in Canada, Los Angeles and China. To learn more about YOKE at Hercules SLR, click here.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.