Coated Wire Rope & Mechanical CableCoated Wire Rope & Mechanical Cable

Coated Wire Rope & Mechanical Cable

Carl Stahl Sava Industries has been manufacturing coated steel cable for 50 years now using nylon (PA), vinyl (PVC), Teflon® (FEP), polyurethane (PU) and polyethylene (PE). The benefits to coating cable are many, but largely deal in sealing-in lubricants, in prolonging cable life, achieving a desired aesthetic appearance, as well as keeping dirt and debris from contact with the bare cable strand itself and mitigating safety concerns.

But beyond these more obvious advantages to coated cable, extrusion also cushions the cable from shock and pressure, protects from pulleys from abrasion and is easy to clean.

Additionally, coated cable offers enhanced flexibility and adaptability to various environmental conditions, making them suitable for a wide range of applications across different applications. The coating materials can also provide varying levels of resistance to chemicals, moisture, and temperature, thus increasing the overall performance and longevity of the cable in the field.

The specific choice of coating material depends on the application’s requirements, such as temperature range, exposure to chemicals, and the need for UV protection. For instance, Teflon® or FEP coated cables are ideal for applications that require high-temperature resistance and low friction, while polyethylene or PE coated cables are suitable for environments where impact and water are present.

In maritime sectors, coated cables play a critical role in ensuring the safety and reliability of various equipment and systems. Coated cable can be found in mooring lines, winch systems, and lifting operations, where wire rope must withstand harsh conditions, including saltwater exposure, extreme temperatures, and heavy loads.

In robotics and automation, coated cables are essential for providing smooth, precise motion control in various applications, such as the pick-and-place machines, commonly found in large fulfillment centers, such as Amazon and Wayfair. Additionally, coated cable is a popular motion control choice in assembly lines and where automated manufacturing and warehousing take place. Coated cable also helps reduce friction between the cable and mating components, such as a pulley system. Moreover, coated cables can also provide protection against contaminants, such as dust, dirt, and debris, ensuring the optimal performance and longevity of the cable system no matter how harsh the environment may be.

In interior design and entertainment applications, coated cable is used in a variety of applications, including room lighting, smart rooms, wall hangings, stage rigging, lighting systems, and special effects equipment. Coating material not only offers protection against wear and tear, but also helps reduce unwanted noises and vibrations. In cases where cosmetics are an important application requirement, coated cables can be manufactured in virtually limitless colors, allowing for better aesthetics and improved visibility in low-light conditions. This comes in handy if the cable is being used to produce jewelry or other visually attractive objects or systems.

Coated cables offer numerous advantages over their uncoated counterparts, making them a popular choice for a wide range of applications. If you are unsure how to proceed with your coated cable application, contact Sava’s engineers to be sure.

Wire Rope Coating Types

Nylon Coated Cable

Nylon coated cable, also known as polyimide (PA) coated cable, is among the most popular cable coatings in the industry and with good reason. For one, nylon jacketed cables have been shown to extend the life of mechanical cable by a factor three, which taken without any other nylon benefits, makes this extrusion material ideal. Nylon is also hard and durable, secondly. Its toughness and resilience make it the go-to coating for cables in cyclical applications, where cables are being directed over pulleys.

Sava lubricates our cables beneath the nylon extrusion, which further extends the life of the cable in cyclic applications. This lubricant dampens the bending stresses in the wire rope, promising longer cable life and cost-effectiveness of the overall mechanical system.

In push-pull applications, nylon coated cable, also impregnated with lubricant, reduces the friction present in the push-pull assembly. This allows for lower forces required to actuate devices.

Vinyl Coated Cable

Like nylon, vinyl coated cable material is wildly common. However, unlike nylon, Vinyl (PVC) is not as durable or resilient in applications where cables are being repeated cycled over pulleys. When using vinyl over pulleys, the coating doesn’t adhere to its substrate (cable), due to the manner in which is processed onto the cable. Unmoving or static cable applications, where protecting the cable from the elements is important, would make vinyl an ideal choice.

Despite its vulnerabilities to movement, vinyl coated cable has wide-ranging utilitarian applications, nonetheless. No matter how dry or wet, exposed or not the vinyl cable is, PVC extrusion performs exceptionally well in most environments. Accompanied by UV inhibitors, vinyl coated cable will remain stable under excessive sunlight, making it well-suited for outdoor applications.

FEP Coated Cable

FEP coated cable, which is commonly known as Teflon® coated cable, is best-known for its frictionless and chemical inertness, meaning that this extrusion material requires less force to achieve movement and can withstand a variety of chemical environments. While other coated cables may offer minor levels of chemical resistance, Teflon® coated cable offers chemical compatibility, including hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid, along many extremely corrosive chemicals.

Teflon® cable also offers continuous service temperatures, up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and negligible moisture absorption, making this extrusion material ideal in high-temperature and humid environments.

Medical devices using mechanical cable commonly use FEP coated cable. The benefits to Teflon® in these complex endoscopic and surgical instruments are the low coefficient of friction and chemical compatibilities required in such devices.

Polyurethane Coated CablePolyurethane Coated Cable

Polyurethane Coated Cable

Polyurethane coated cable is ideal in mechanical cable applications where resistance to a wide host of particulates and invasive material are present. Polyurethane, or PU coated cabled, is highly resistant to oils, water, exposure to the harsh conditions created by the ozone, artificial or natural and is largely unaffected by the presence of radiation.

But beyond even the environmental benefits, cable jacketed with polyurethane is also highly tolerant of abrasion, making it a perfect extrusion material where cables make contact with pulleys or other mechanical components. PU is lightweight, easily colored, moldable and is less expensive

with which to coat mechanical cable. Combined with its exceptional load-bearing and tear-resistance, polyurethane is an excellent and cost-effective solution when needing more from extruded material.

PE Coated Cable

PE coated cable, similar to polyurethane cable, provides superior protection against water and vapor exposure, while also being lightweight, wildly customizable and cost-effective. But what makes polyethylene cable a unique proposition for extruded mechanical cable is its impact tolerance. Used in virtually any application where impact, or continued contact with potentially harmful surfaces is present, polyethylene acts as a durable and time-tolerant barrier from outside elements and objects.

Polyethylene coated cable also stands up to oxidation and chemical exposure, further making it an enduring jacket material for cables in a host of solutions where exposure to unwanted particulates is constant. If the cable application calls for ease with which the cable or motion control system is cleaned, polyethylene is also nicely suited. It is easily cleaned where either optics, function or both demand a squeaky-clean presentation of the cable.

Lastly, but critically, polyethylene coated cable is eco-friendly. Unless discarded improperly, as compare with many other extruded materials, polyethylene has no verifiable environmental or health concerns, nor negative impacts on ecosystems.