Select the Most Well-Suited Materials for your Applications with Lexco's Glossaries

Posted by David Karbin | Thu, Aug 24, 2017 @ 11:11 AM | 0 Comments

When shopping for products you’ve never worked with before, it’s important to familiarize yourself with relevant industry terms in order to ensure you select the best solutions for your specific project.

This is particularly important when choosing wire rope products; it’s critical to have a solid understanding of the industry’s vast terminology. To help you understand important terms and learn more about the various wire rope products available, Lexco Cable has put together six helpful wire rope glossaries, which we created specifically for our customers as well as engineers who wish to find the best possible materials for their project.

Below is a preview of all six glossaries, highlighting the kind of terminology you'll learn about in each glossary, each of which contains images of every product. Thus, if you're a visual person, this will be an especially useful resource for you. Take a look:

Wire Rope Products Glossary

wire-rope-glossary-1-thumbnail-1.pngWire rope products are used in a wide range of environments, applications, and industries. At Lexco, we help guide clients toward the solutions best suited to their unique needs.

There are many unique types of wire rope available, such as:

  • PVC/Vinyl Coated Cable — PVC/vinyl-coated wire rope products are jacketed in a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) coating. The terms "PVC" and "vinyl" are used to refer to the same material.
  • Stainless Steel and Galvanized Aircraft Cable (7x7, 7x19) — “Aircraft cable” refers to any cable that meets commercial (RR-W-410, ASTM A1023) or military (MIL-DTL-83420) specifications for use in aircraft applications. “7×7” and “7×19” are two examples of core constructions. While commercial-grade cable can be made either domestically or abroad, military-spec cable — the only acceptable cable type for critical aerospace applications — is always stranded and closed in the United States.
  • Compacted/Swaged Wire Rope — Compacted/swaged wire rope features flattened strands, allowing for higher breaking strength and abrasion resistance. These products are commonly used in the logging industry.

Wire Rope Fittings Glossary

wire-rope-fitting-glossary-2-thumbnail-1.pngWire rope fittings — end fittings for wire rope assemblies — are used either to close an assembly or to attach it to another product, such as a support riser. There are many types of wire rope fittings available, some of which include:

  • Button Stops — Button stops are small cylinders with inside diameters wide enough to accommodate a single wire rope. Typically crimped at the end of a cable (although they can also be crimped at an intermediate point), button stops are often used as a stopping mechanism on an assembly. While aluminum and copper button stops can be crimped with a hand tool, stainless and carbon steel stops require machine swaging.
  • Thimbles — Thimbles are teardrop-shaped stamped parts that are installed on the inside of a loop at the end of a wire rope assembly. They distribute the load carried by an assembly throughout the bearing point to prevent fraying and kinking.
  • Kwik-Grips — Kwik-Grips are wire rope fittings designed to attach to a suspended object, such as lighting, signs, or display monitors. Easy to install and adjust, these fittings are usually used with 1/16 to ⅛-inch cable diameters.

Wire Rope Hardware and Tools Glossary

hardware-glossary-3-thumbnail.jpgWire rope assemblies sometimes require specialty hardware that does not strictly qualify as a “fitting.” Occasionally, specialty tools are needed for the use and installation of such hardware, which may include:

  • Wire Rope Clips — Usually used for forming loops, a wire rope clip is comprised of a U-bolt, a saddle, and hex nuts. The nuts can be easily tightened with a wrench, making these clips ideal for field installations.
  • Turnbuckles — A turnbuckle attaches to a support structure via an eye, hook, or jaw end. Featuring an externally threaded end that can be mated with an internally threaded wire rope fitting, turnbuckles allow for wire rope or threaded rod assembly length adjustments. The turnbuckle body has a left-hand thread on one side and a right-hand thread on the other.
  • Quick Links — Similar in form to a carabiner, a quick link is a fast-connecting, load-bearing hardware piece most commonly used to connect one or more wire rope assemblies. Available in zinc-plated and stainless steel, quick links allow for fast, easy installation. Typically used in rectangular form, quick links are also available in wide-jaw, pear-shape, delta-shape, and square styles.

Architectural Cable Railings

3d-cover-architectural-glossary-1.pngLexco's deep selection of cable railing fittings allows you to find both the appearance and the function to satisfy your project needs.

  • Stainless Steel Cable Railing 1 x 19 Strand — Typical stainless steel cable railing is 1 × 19 construction. 1 × 19 stainless has minimal stretch, ideal for tensioning. It appears clean and shiny in comparison to other constructions and materials. The most popular diameters are 1/8”, 3/16” and 1/4”.
  • Threaded Terminals — A threaded terminal has external thread on one side and a blind hole for the cable on the other side. It is crimped or swaged onto the cable, then fastened to the end post with a hex nut and capped with an acorn nut. It can be installed at one end or both ends of an assembly.
  • Receiver — A receiver has internal thread and a head, which is used as a bearing point with end posts. Receivers are used in tandem with threaded terminals; the receiver design hides the threaded terminal’s external thread for a more architectural appearance compared to just using a threaded terminal with nuts.

Push-Pull Controls

3d-cover-Push-Pull-glossary.jpgSome conduit assemblies are designed for the inner-cable to be pulled. In this type of control the inner-cable is returned to resting position either manually or with spring assistance.

  • Boots/Bellows — The inner cable goes through the hole on the body of the wire stop and the inner screw gets fitted into place. Fitting is designed to be field installed on one side of a pull control.
  • Equalizer — A rubber, accordion-like fitting. It can provide additional protection of dust, dirt, or moisture from contacting inner cable assembly. It would be mounted between the conduit and cable end fitting. 
  • Clevis — An adapter plate that allows you to connect three push-pull controls together. Two legs from one side, one leg from the opposite side.

Bungee Cords

3d-cover-bungee-glossary-1.jpgLexco fabricates bungee cord assemblies and distributes bungee cord and related materials in bulk. Warning: We do not sell bungee cords for critical load applications such as bungee jumping.

  • Bungee Hooks — Bungee hooks are the most common bungee cord end fittings. The typical hook is metal with a black PVC cover, but Lexco can also supply hooks made from steel and stainless steel.
  • Single & Double Crimp — A solid steel wire is crimped onto the cord. Usually, the cord is folded back before crimping to create additional surface area for the termination. Single crimp means one revolution of wire is crimped around the cord, while double crimp means two revolutions of wire are crimped around the cord.
  • Tarp Straps — Normally used to tie down tarps on flatbed trucks, this option is heavier duty than a bungee cord. It’s a molded strap that has less elasticity. Lexco can provide the rubber in two materials: natural rubber and EPDM. These straps come in specific lengths that are pre-molded, and an ‘S’ hook is attached at both ends.

Learn More

As an industry-leading fabricator of wire rope assemblies and value-added wire rope products — including wire rope fittings, hardware, and tools — Lexco Cable can work with wire rope from 1/32 to 1 inch in diameter, bare plastic or PVC/vinyl jacketed. We can fulfill orders of any volume, from 1 piece to 1,000,000+ pieces, as well as orders of wire rope reels, coils, or cuts. Providing a wide range of custom wire rope assembly fabrication services, we’re proud to offer our clients reliable, long-lasting solutions.

To learn more about our wire rope products, fittings, and hardware, download our free, comprehensive Wire Rope Product Glossary, Wire Rope Fittings Glossary, Wire Rope Hardware & Tools Glossary, Architectural Cable Railings Glossary, Push-Pull Controls Glossary, and Bungee Cords Glossary.


3 Case Study Previews

Posted by David Karbin | Wed, May 24, 2017 @ 09:39 AM | 0 Comments

With spring here and summer fast approaching, the team at Lexco thought it would be a great time to review some of our past outdoor projects — providing cables for an outside shopping complex arbor, working on a living wall featuring vertically planted flowers and plants, and assisting in the creation of a landscaped retaining wall.

Bolingbrook Promenade Arbor

1. Bolingbrook Promenade Architectral Cable Railing.jpgBolingbrook Promenade, a popular outdoor shopping complex in the Chicago suburbs, contracted Nick’s Metal Fabricating of Brookfield, Ill., to design, build, and install a centerpiece arbor. They designed a metal arbor with a wire-trellised top, which initially called for 18 separate wire assemblies to serve as the primary trellising, as well as 36 diagonal assemblies to create a crosshatch pattern.

While we determined that the 36 diagonal assemblies were the best option for this application, we knew that the chosen primary trellising assemblies could be costly and inefficient in terms of installation ease and time. Instead, we recommended a single, long assembly — a less expensive option that was easier to manufacture and required much less installation hardware.

Living Wall Cable Rails

2. Mark's Architectural Cable Railing.jpgFor another project, we were contacted by Mark’s Creative Landscape, a Chicago-based company that designs and installs both residential and commercial landscaping. They had taken on a project for a small commercial client on the North Shore of Chicago and needed help in designing and manufacturing two large-scale living walls.

Living walls are specialty structures used to plant vertical gardens. Premade retail models are available, but none nearly large enough for this application — one wall had to be 12 feet wide, and the other had to be 39 feet wide; both needed to be 14 feet tall. Working closely with the Mark’s Creative Landscape team, we were able to design and manufacture the cable assemblies for the living walls efficiently and cost effectively.

Landscaped Retaining Wall

3. Graham Construction Landscape Retaining Wall.jpgGraham Construction contacted Lexco Cable in regard to a community development project they were working on for the city of Edmonton, in Canada. The development, the Station Pointe subdivision, required a landscaped retaining wall to serve as a separation barrier.

The wall already contained pre-drilled intermediate uprights and required more than 60,000 feet of cable, as well as specific hardware to accommodate the existing components. Meeting all required specifications and successfully working with the preexisting uprights, Lexco was able to deliver the cable in just four weeks.

Learn More

To learn more about these projects and our other past work, view our complete case studies, or contact us today to discuss how Lexco can help with your next project.


Lexco Cable Used in Construction of Suspension Bridge

Posted by David Karbin | Mon, Jun 27, 2016 @ 01:08 PM | 0 Comments

Long Travelled and Treasured

Since the French explorer Samuel de Champlain first set foot in Vermont in 1609, the region has held its reputation as a land of natural beauty and rugged landscapes.  These features have been pondered on by luminaries such as Thoreau and Frost, and enjoyed by visitors from across the globe.

Vermont also features some of the best hiking in the country; it is crisscrossed by over 700 miles of trails and thousands of miles of paths and dirt roads. One of the state's most famous is known as The Long Trail. This aptly named route runs 273 miles from the Canadian border in Quebec to the Massachusetts border in North Adams, where it connects with The Appalachian Trail.

Hikers familiar with The Long Trail can attest to its ruggedness and spectacular vistas as it snakes its way north. It is also the oldest established hiking trail in the United States and was built and is maintained by Vermont’s Green Mountain Club. Construction of the trail began in 1910 and was completed in 1930; its trails and shelters are now maintained by an army of over 1000 volunteers.

Crossing the Winooski River

For over 100 years, the Winooski River crossing in Bolton has been an impingement to full completion of the trail. Crossing the river required the use of a ferry to allow passage from Mansfield to Camel’s Hump or a 3.5 mile road walk.


The idea of a footbridge has been in the works for many years; however, raising the funds needed for the 224 foot span would need contributions from a wide range of sources. Funding for the bridge was finally obtained in mid-2013, and a design was created by the renowned structural bridge engineers at the firm of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. of Ferrisburgh, VT.

Construction was then carried out by Kleinhans Construction & Welding of Lebanon, NH.

Proper Use of Cables in a Suspension Bridge

Since this is a suspension bridge, its strength and durability would rely mainly on cabling and cable assemblies. These included cable components for the trusses, the deck, and the cross braces that would support the pedestrian walkway and handrails.

One of the major concerns in a project such as this is the environment. The bridge location is just over 70 miles from the Canadian border, and Vermont winters have a well-earned reputation as being long and harsh, especially in the higher elevations.

What Kleinhans Construction needed in this project was a partner that had broad experience in the fabrication and installation of cable assemblies.  For these reasons, they selected Lexco Cable of Illinois to provide all of the required cable and cable assemblies.

Lexco has over 30 years of experience designing and fabricated high strength cable assemblies for some very demanding industries. Their design expertise can be the difference between a good bridge and a great bridge, and their understanding of assembly and installation of structural elements makes the overall build process much easier.

After being contracted, the Lexco team performed a comprehensive review of the architectural drawings. In their study, they identified a number of clearance issues that would have impeded design functions of various support cable assemblies. Without altering the original design, they were able to develop alternatives that would not affect any aspect of the project.


During Lexco’s design process, they created individual engineering drawings for each of the numerous cable assemblies. Each assembly was unique and varied in length and diameter; in addition, each unit required a special turnbuckle.

 Lexco’s manufacturing operation relies heavily on quality control; all components were checked for dimensional accuracy, and each assembly was load tested to ensure a long trouble free service life.

In a short time, Kleinhans Construction had all the parts and components that they required to quickly build a suspension bridge that would provide safe crossing of the Winooski River for thousands of hikers every year.

Lexco Cable specializes in providing services that go far beyond just fabricating parts; they work closely with customers to obtain a full understanding of specifications, design intent, and what is really expected of the finished product.


Submit Your Photo of a Lexco Product for a Chance to Win

Posted by David Karbin | Thu, Nov 20, 2014 @ 10:38 AM | 0 Comments

Do you own or work with a Lexco Cable product? If you do, then you are eligible to win a prize just by submitting a photo.

All you have to do is snap a quick picture of your Lexco item that has been used in one of your projects or products. As you know, we are one of the largest wire rope manufacturers with our products such as the wire rope, aircraft cable, and the bungee cord!

describe the imageFor example, our products have been used is within the brewing industry. Hops, which give beverages their tangy taste, is grown very similar to grape vines.  Utilizing strings that are tied to a Lexco-produced cable, the growers can keep their hop plants off the ground via the wires, saving it from harmful bacteria and spoilage.

So, now is your chance to become the photographer and capture one of your products in action. If you win, it could become as well-known as the cables that assist the Skycam in its vital Super Bowl work. Who knows? 

The photos can be taken anywhere, whether it’s at the car dealership holding the spare tire into place, or even you playing at a slot machine, where it is in use. The more creative you get, the better!

Here's one idea — capture one of our products by hanging from an anchor of a boat.  In many anchors, the cable used to help raise and lower it is a product of ours. The possibilities are endless!

Once you take your photo, be sure to go to to fill out the form and submit your photo! May the best photo win.

Submit Your Photo