Being a simple tool, the rope clamp can be one of the easiest tools to use for anyone who is willing enough to understand its mechanism. Its sophisticated part lies in the setting up part of the story. The structure of a rope clamp is made up of a U-bolt, a saddle and two hex nuts. Each of these parts is critical to ensuring a positive performance of your rope clamp.
Just as important to the safety of the clamped ropes, is the amount of a rope clamp used to secure the rope. Improperly installed rope clamps damage wire ropes which can lead to failure of the ropes or clamps well before the load limit is reached. The number of clamps and the spacing between each will depend on the diameter of the rope.
Structurally, a rope clamp consists mostly of a U-bolt, a saddle and a hex nut or two depending on the type of clamp. The purpose of the clamp is to make a form of an eyelet on one end of the rope. You will be instructed on how to use the rope clamp because they come with guidelines on how to use them.
There are different types of U-bolts. There is the G-450 U-bolt that is usually red in color and the SS-450 316 stainless steel U-bolt. The two ends of the ropes go through the U-bolt and it is tightened to hold them tightly together.
The second part of the rope clamp is the saddle. With the saddle, it is stamped with the diameter of the wire rope that the clip will fit. Always remember to place a clip with the U-bolt on the bitter end or the dead end and not on the standing part of the wire. If incase the clips are attached incorrectly, the standing part of the rope or the live end of the rope or have smashed spots. A rule of thumb to remember when attaching a rope clamp is to “Never saddle a dead horse”.
There are two formulas that are used to find the number of rope clamps needed.
- 3 x rope diameter + 1 = Number of clips
- 6 x rope diameter = Spacing between the clips.
There is also the twin base clamp. It is also referred to as the universal or two clamp. With this rope clamp, both parts are shaped to fit the wire rope and therefore the clip can not be attached incorrectly. This clamp allows a 360 degree swing with the wrench when nuts are being tightened.
A wire rope clamp is also use to make an eye in the rope. It may be used with or without a thimble. The eye will have almost 90 percent of the strength of the rope. The two end collars of the rope should be tightened with a wrench(s). This is to help force the wire rope clamp to a good snug fit. The squeeze or the wrench secures the ropes tightly against each other.