Why is Lubrication of Wire Ropes important ?

Wire rope lubrication is a crucial aspect of maintaining the performance and lifespan of wire ropes. Lubrication helps to reduce friction, prevent corrosion, and extend the rope’s life. In this article, we will explore the importance of wire rope lubrication, how to lubricate wire ropes, and the benefits of proper lubrication.

Why is Wire Rope Lubrication Important?

Wire ropes are commonly used in various industries, including construction, mining, and transportation, and are subjected to harsh environmental conditions and heavy loads. Without proper lubrication, wire ropes can suffer from corrosion, wear, and tear, leading to a decrease in performance and lifespan. Lubrication helps to reduce friction between the individual wires in the rope, preventing damage and extending the rope’s life.

How to Lubricate Wire Ropes?

Lubrication is a simple process, but it requires proper techniques and the right lubricant. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to lubricate wire ropes:

  1. Clean the wire rope: Before lubrication, ensure that the wire rope is free from dirt, debris, and other contaminants.
  2. Choose the right lubricant: The type of lubricant used depends on the application and the environment. Some common types of lubricants include grease, oil, and dry film lubricants.
  3. Apply the lubricant: Apply the lubricant evenly to the wire rope using a brush, spray, or other applicators. Ensure that the lubricant penetrates between the individual wires in the rope.
  4. Remove excess lubricant: Wipe off any excess lubricant using a clean cloth.
  5. Inspect the wire rope: After lubrication, inspect the wire rope for any signs of wear, tear, or other issues.

Benefits of Proper Wire Rope Lubrication

Proper wire rope lubrication offers several benefits, including:

  1. Increased lifespan: Lubrication helps to reduce friction, wear, and tear, leading to an increase in the wire rope’s lifespan.
  2. Enhanced performance: Properly lubricated wire ropes perform better and can handle heavier loads.
  3. Corrosion protection: Lubrication helps to prevent corrosion, which can weaken the wire rope.
  4. Reduced downtime: Wire ropes that are well-lubricated require less maintenance and have fewer breakdowns, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.

What are the properties of a good Wire-rope lubricant ?

A lubricant used for wire ropes must therefore:

  • Be free of additives and compounds which result in corrosive reactions or degeneration
  • Be water-resistant and non-emulsifying
  • Not contain grit, sand, other abrasives, water, chlorine, or similar impurities
  • Have high-quality layering properties

Crosby’s Vitalife® products are far superior and are the preferred wire rope lubricants in the industry because of their ability to penetrate into wire rope and displace water and contaminants, thus reducing wear and corrosion throughout the rope.


Wire rope lubrication is a critical aspect of maintaining wire ropes in various industries. Proper lubrication helps to reduce friction, prevent corrosion, and extend the wire rope’s lifespan. Choosing the right lubricant, applying it evenly, and removing excess lubricant are some of the key steps in the lubrication process. By following these steps and properly lubricating wire ropes, you can ensure optimal performance and extend the lifespan of your wire ropes.