The End of the Rope - Where Only 1 or 2 Wire Breaks are a Killer - Termination Wire Breaks


This article covers termination wire breaks in wire rope, their causes, and the discard criteria provided by ISO 4309.

Why are termination wire breaks such a cause of concern?

Visible wire breaks near the wire rope termination indicate that there are a lot more invisible wire breaks lurking below the surface.

What causes termination wire breaks?

Termination Wire breaks are usually the result of bending fatigue or pulsatory fatigue. Bending fatigue occurs if the rope is bent frequently near a drum, sheave, or hook block. Pulsatory fatigue is the result of vibrations due to the heavy block of steel at the end of the rope. Pulsatory fatigue can be particularly bad in port operations such as bulk unloader crane facilities.

Termination wire breaks in wire rope.

Even one wire break if it is the vicinity may lead you to discard the rope as in this rotation resistant rope with a swaged end stop

Discard Criteria

ISO 4309 provides a discard criterion of two, termination wire breaks. Depending on the condition of the rest of the rope, it may be prudent to discard even in the case of a single termination wire break.

Termination wire breaks in wire rope.

Two or more wire breaks next to the termination means that the rope should immediately be taken out of service

Replace or re-terminate?

The decision of whether to replace the rope or re-terminate depends on the following questions:

If the answer to all these questions is yes, re-terminating the rope is an option.


In this article, we have explored some of the causes of broken wires at the termination and the associated discard criteria as provided by ISO 4309. You should remove the rope from service immediately if you find two or more termination wire breaks, and should consider removing the rope even if you find a single termination wire break.

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Again, thanks for reading,

The Rope IQ team.

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