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About wire rope lubricants

Wire ropes are typically made of steel. They are used in many constructions and industrial applications, such as cranes, elevators, mine hoists, and ship rigging. The wire rope is at least coiled around a drum to be drawn out to its required length. As the wire rope does not conduct electricity, it is helpful as an electrical cable.

Due to the metal composition of wire ropes, corrosion occurs when exposed to air or other elements resulting in rust build-up. This causes both reduced strengths and decreased longevity of the wire rope. The lubrication of wire ropes is therefore essential for their efficient operation. Wire rope lubricants protect against corrosion by forming a barrier between the wire rope and the surrounding environment.

Types of wire rope lubricants

Oil and wax-based: These types of lubricants are used as a substitute for water in water-flooding oil fields.

Salt/water emulsion: Salt/water emulsions such as calcium chloride brine are used to emulsify the water and oil, resulting in better flow through the wire ropes.

Oil film: Oil film wire rope lubricants are increasingly used in industrial applications because of their convenience.

Cake-type: Cake-type wire rope lubricants are the most common type, as they provide corrosion protection and can be easily applied.

Semi gel or grease form: Semi gel or grease form wire rope lubricant formulations for low-temperature applications.

Grease only: Grease wire rope lubricants are commonly used in underground mines, where they can be applied directly to the drum of the hoist.


Wire ropes need to be lubricated with a wire rope lubricant to prevent corrosion and reduce the risk of failure. When selecting wire rope lubricants, it is important to consider: the working environment, whether the application is temporary or permanent, and the application method.

Wire ropes are used in different environments, so care should be taken when selecting the appropriate wire rope lubricant.