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Stainless Steel Wire Rope vs. Galvanized Steel Wire Rope

Sunday, December 22, 2019

At Carl Stahl Sava Industries, our steel mechanical cable choices include 304 and 316 stainless steel and galvanized steel cable. Sava is both a wire rope supplier and a wire rope manufacturer that is able to work with exotic steel alternatives upon request, both stainless steel and galvanized steel mechanical cable offer distinct benefits, depending upon the application. Read on to learn the differences between the two types of cable wire ropes, and determine which custom wire rope will better serve your application requirements.

Stainless Steel Wire Rope

One of the greatest benefits of stainless steel wire rope is that it is suitable for nearly any application. While it may have a slightly higher cost than galvanized steel cable, stainless steel cable provides customers with greater ROI and maintains its high-strength qualities over its lifespan under most conditions. While not as strong as tungsten or tolerant of excessive temperatures, stainless steel mechanical wire rope is an incredibly effective cable construction material. 

Stainless steel has high corrosion resistance due to it being treated with chromium. This additional element makes stainless steel suitable for use in moist environments, even when harmful salty conditions are present. Specifically in marine environments, for instance, stainless steel wire rope can be used for years without corroding. And in the medical devices field, stainless steel is commonly the metal of choice for many medical device instruments like endoscopes because of its high sanitization level and durability over many cycles makes it ideal.

Galvanized Steel Wire Rope

Galvanized steel is steel that has been dipped in a zinc coating, which gives it good corrosion-resistant qualities. But even with the addition of zinc, It is weaker than stainless steel because of the presence of chromium, making the cable stronger and more tolerant of corrosive elements like saltwater. Galvanized steel cable will rust and corrode if salty wet conditions are present. But unlike stainless steel, galvanized steel cable will not weld together if in contact with one another, as is true with stainless steel cable.

However, since it is made of coated steel, galvanized steel wire rope is typically less expensive than other wire rope alternatives.

Galvanized steel cable is often found in industrial applications, since items may brush up against the wire rope in the field, which again, are environmental conditions that galvanized steel tolerates quite well over time. For this and other reasons, Galvanized steel wire rope works exceptionally well in aerospace applications. 

Which Type of Wire Rope Is Better?

Stainless steel wire rope is a cost-effective solution that works across a range of applications, is impervious to salty wetness and is stronger than galvanized steel cable. But galvanized steel wire rope is corrosion-resistant, except when salt is present and tolerates contact with itself far better than stainless steel cable. 

It's important to remember that since each application has unique needs, these comparisons are general guidelines. Contact Sava today to discuss your project, so we can help you determine whether a stainless steel wire rope or galvanized steel wire rope is best for you.