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
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 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
Wire 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
Lexco'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.
- 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.
Lexco 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.
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.