The Importance of the Wire Rope Test Certificate!


We seem to be weighed down by paper these days, but legislation requires us to keep certain documents - it’s not just red tape! This article deals with the importance of the wire rope test certificate. Later posts will deal with maintaining records of your regular inspections and examinations.

Example wire rope test certificate.

An example wire rope test certificate. Actual test certificates may vary in content and appearance.

What does a Wire Rope Test Certificate include?

The test certificate is vital to ensure that you fit the correct rope to your crane. The key elements are:

1. Breaking Load

There is a massive difference in breaking loads for the same rope diameter. Wire rope construction, the tensile strength of the wires, the type of core, and whether the rope is compacted or not will make a huge difference in breaking load values. 

The following table details a range of values for 16mm ropes:

Construction Tensile (N/mm²) Core Type Rope Type Breaking Load (t)
6x36WS 1770 SFC Single Layer 15.2
6x36WS 1770 IWRC Single Layer 16.4
6x36WS 1960 IWRC Single Layer 18.2
6xK36WS 1960 IWRC(K) Single Layer Compacted 22.0
6xK36WS 2160 IWRC(K) Single Layer Compacted 23.9
8xK19S 1960 EPIWRC(K) Single Layer Compacted 23.0
8xK26WS 2160 EPPWRC(K) Parallel Lay Compacted 27.18
18x7 1960 WSC Rotation Resistant 19.4
K35xK37 2160 WSC Rotation Resistant 27.7

2. Rope Type

Installing the incorrect rope type will, at best, dramatically reduce rope life, and at worst, could result in a rope failure. For example, installing a non-rotation resistant rope when a rotation resistant rope is required will lead to instability of the load and damage to the rope. The reduction of diameter discard criteria with regards to ISO 4309 may also be different.

3. Lay Type and Direction

From a paperwork perspective, this is not especially important as lay types are easily identifiable. However, in terms of inspecting wire rope, it is a critical piece of information as it impacts the discard criteria for broken wires.

4. Core Type

The core type is not always apparent from visual inspection. The core type is important when determining the maximum diameter reduction allowed by ISO 4309.

5. Rope Diameter

The rope diameter must correctly match the machine to which it is fitted. Rope diameter will have been matched to the drum diameter, sheave diameter and sheave groove diameter by the crane manufacturer.  

6. Tensile

Tensile. Knowing what the original tensile is versus that of the to be installed rope is critical to ensure the compatibility with the sheave and drum material. If the rope tensile is too high, premature sheave and drum wear are likely.


Thanks for reading this far! We have detailed the important elements on a test certificate. This will aid inspection and is critical to determine that the rope is strong enough for the application. The correct use of discard criteria detailed in the ISO 4309:2017 tables is only possible if you know the information contained on the rope certificate.

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Again, thanks for reading,

The Rope IQ team.

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