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Brugg Wire Rope, LLC
Elevator design has changed greatly in the last few decades. This can be attributed not only to the creation of taller buildings and the need to transport their populations more quickly and efﬁciently, but changing societal and ﬁscal demands that require them to run nearly continuously. Couple these factors to the need by architects and engineers to use ﬂoor space more efﬁciently (and proﬁtably) and you can understand the rise of installation designs that require the use of smaller, less bulky (and therefore less robust) components and stronger, more exotic composite hoist ropes (as opposed to old fashioned sisal ropes) which use Parallel and Point Contact designs. It seems like that this 'demassiﬁcation' trend will only continue in the future. Indeed the entire elevator industry is moving towards creating 'tight systems'—which feature smaller diameter drive sheaves, closer sheave placements, and lower safety factors in dynamic rope loads.
Groove Types And Their Impact Upon Rope Life Expectancy
Today there are basically three rope groove designs used in modern elevator installations: Round (also known as U-Groove), Undercut U-Groove and V-Groove. Round Groove/U-Groove Due to its simplicity in manufacture, the Round shape (also known as the U-Groove) was the ﬁrst to be used in traction sheaves for elevators. Its design proved to be ideal for early elevator installations that were used in relatively undemanding environments and required the use of large sheaves Round/ and large diameters ropes. U-Groove This type of design cradles the rope somewhat, creating lower speciﬁc pressures in the contact area between rope and groove. This can help hoist ropes attain longer life expectancies. The larger D/d (D/d: is the relationship betweent "d"—the wire rope diameter—to "D"—the diameter of the sheave) ratio makes bending easier, provides a large area of contact between rope and sheave and reduces operating stresses. Another advantage is a lower degree of noise, which is especially noticeable at high speeds. However this design provides less traction than either Undercut U or V-Groove designs. Today if Round Groove/U-Groove sheaves are used used with high-speed elevators (greater than 393.7 ft/min or 2.0 m/s), multiple wrap roping arrangements are often used. Undercut U-Groove An Undercut U-Groove offers distinct advantages in traction, as compared to simple U-Grooves, and distributes its loads more favorably (creating lower groove pressures on the ropes) than V-Grooves. The Undercut Undercut U-Groove was designed to help U-Groove designers cope with the problems inherent in the use of smaller sheaves, and smaller sheave diameters in modern installations. Undercut U-Grooves are commonly used in double-wrap roping arrangements and for installation speeds of less than or equal to 393.7 ft/min or 2.0 m/s. To compensate for the loss of traction created by modern installation designs, an undercut (preferably under 90° and not greater than 106°) has been placed within the groove. In effect the undercut serves to help grip the rope. But this also creates concentrated pinch points on the rope and
Arc Of Contact (ideal)
Traction And Arc Of Contact
Basically, the main factor behind the success of any installation is the amount of traction created by the ropes in combination with the sheave. Simply put, "traction" is the adhesive friction of a body on a surface over which it moves (e.g. the rope on a sheave). The larger the amount of traction attained, the more efﬁciently a load may be moved. In elevator installations the amount of friction created is largely dependent upon the overall volume of sheave surface actually contacted by the rope's surface. This degree of contact of the rope around the sheave's inner groove surface is what we refer to as "Arc of Contact." Certainly the simplest, most efﬁcient roping arrangment would be one where the drive sheave is positioned directly above a car and where the hoist ropes go up from the car, pass around the drive sheave, and then course down to the counterweight below (as seen in the 'Ideal Conﬁguration' diagram above). Indeed, we have found that some installations still do use this basic design and incorporate large drive sheaves to do the job efﬁciently. Such designs offer the ideal degree of 'Arc of Contact' ( for the ropes, which creates excellent traction, while at the same time putting the ropes through as few bends as possible. Unfortunately such direct roping arrangements are becoming less frequent due to the use of close, multiple sheave placements. New system designs have led to a reduction in the rope's Arc of Contact with the sheave. To counteract this designers often utilize a wide range of undercut groove designs to regain, or to augment, the amount of traction lost.
Arc of Contact
To Car Brugg Lifting_Brugg Wire Rope 0712 To CWT
Single Wrap Conﬁguration
Phone (US): 1.706.235.6315 • Toll free: 866.54BRUGG (542.7844) • Fax: 1.706.235.6035 • info: email@example.com • www.bruggrope.com Teléfono (E.U.): 1.706.235.6315 • Llamada gratuita: 866.54BRUGG (542.7844) • Fax: 1.706.235.6035 • info: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.bruggrope.com
This in turn leads to greater system operating stresses. adjusting to stresses and then straightening out again.235. Klaus Feyrer of the University of Stuttgart) reveal that an undercut of 75°can reduce rope life by 60%. Bending Cycles Many professionals fail to appreciate that hoist ropes are not single static pieces of wire but are carefully crafted machines bearing a surprising number of moving parts.706. Each rope is made up of strands of wire. while an undercut of 105°reduce rope life by as much as 93.8 m/s).6315 • Toll free: 866. All these parts are composed of soft steel that must be strong.6%. Drive Sheave with Undercut V-Grooves for four ropes The angle for a V-Groove is usually 30° but can go as high as 38°.5 ft/m and higher (or less than or equal to 0. In addition.706.bruggrope. and stresses and distorts the hoist rope. Phone (US): 1. And this process is carried on often for millions of cycles. while Undercut V-Grooves are more commonly used with slower speed elevators carrying heavier loads.TECH TIPS: SHEAVES AND GROOVES BACKGROUND greater speciﬁc pressures within the sheave itself—which can lead to accelerated wear of the sheave. Such conditions often compromise rope performance dramatically by increasing the number of rope bending cycles and creating improper ﬂeet angles. Naturally this negatively impacts rope life expectancy.4%.com .7844) • Fax: 1.40° D D F F V-Groove Undercut V-Groove In contrast to the Round or U-Groove. bending over a sheave (frequently multiple sheaves). V-Grooves are often used for installations of speeds up to 157.): 1. rope performance and hoist rope life expectancy. and often demand the close placement of secondary. Using Brugg RLP (Rope Life Prediction). V-Groove/Undercut V-Groove Drive Sheave with Undercut U-Grooves for four ropes Both V and Undercut V-Groove (also known as the Progressive V-Groove) designs offer even greater amounts of traction to installation designers. Clearly. more challenging groove proﬁles. It should come as no surprise that this exponential rise in bending cycles has resulted in a corresponding increase in elevator breakdowns and decrease in rope life expectancy. studies show that an Undercut V-Groove featuring an undercut of 35° can shorten rope life by as much as 94.6315 • Llamada gratuita: 866. while a 45°undercut can decrease rope life by 75%.235.54BRUGG (542.54BRUGG (542. deﬂector sheaves and primary sheave. To address this fact some manufacturers have developed new rope designs and are using advanced.235. consider that a single 8 x 19 Seale hoist rope is basically composed of 152 parts (8 strands.bruggrope.com • www. relatively lightweight and ﬂexible — which poses a real engineering challenge.6035 • info: elevatorrope@brugg. a 32°. However this design also creates higher speciﬁc pressures within the groove. wire fatigue and hoist rope breakage. bear in mind that hoist ropes are constantly in motion.com • www.6035 • info: elevatorrope@brugg. To illustrate the complexity of the matter.706. This necessitates the implementation of complex roping arrangements and the use of multiple sets of sheaves. Each rope must work in harmony with the surrounding equipment. while an Undercut-V may range between 32-45° (measured as the included angle of both sides of the groove). The Positioning of the Secondary Sheave Has A Critical Impact on Sheave Wear and Rope Life Modern elevator designers are constantly working to create installations that use ﬂoorspace more efﬁciently.com Teléfono (E.235. the V-Groove's degree of undercut dramatically increases speciﬁc pressures placed on the hoist rope and creates speciﬁc areas of contact that can be identiﬁed by pronounced crown wear on the surface of outer wires. which can negatively impact sheave surface wear. the increase in traction provided by undercuts are balanced by a signiﬁcant trade-off in reduced rope life.706. 19 wires per strand).7844) • Fax: 1. These compact designs frequently utilize less massive components. These are composed of bundled collections of smaller wires that are helically wound together.U. Indeed such wear can be very signiﬁcant as analyses performed using Brugg RLP (Rope Life Prediction an online application based on the works of Dr.
Modern aggressive groove angles (featuring dramatic undercuts) coupled with roping arrangements featuring reverse bends. expensive to maintain. rope design. the angle between the rope axis and the radial plane of the pulley is called the 'ﬂeet angle. and close placements of secondary sheaves. This angle must be carefully monitored and remain relatively shallow for an installation to work properly. the more corrupted groove will accomodate the rope poorly and lead to shortened rope life expectancy.6315 • Llamada gratuita: 866. Too wide an approach angle and the hoist rope will rub up against the side of the side of the sheave groove (the ﬂanges). wire breaks on the rope. How this occurs is detailed in the various enclosed illustrations we have provided.U. This is a natural sequence of events. our industry's preference in utilizing installation designs that place secondary sheaves within close proximity of the drive sheave.TECH TIPS: SHEAVES AND GROOVES BACKGROUND Brugg Wire Rope.): 1. LLC innovative materials in rope construction.com Teléfono (E.6035 • info: elevatorrope@brugg. Worn Groove with Worn Rope C. Incorrect alignment of sheaves present serious problems for rope life expectancy and sheave performance. For instance a 4° ﬂeet angle can reduce rope life by as much as 33%. Rdn Rdw Rdr . shortened rope life.235. and premature rope death.6035 • info: elevatorrope@brugg. a ﬂeet angle is a measure used to describe the angle of a rope as exits from one sheave (the main traction sheave) to connect with another sheave (the deﬂector or secondary sheave). stresses naturally wear down the diameter of the rope. Simultaneously.7844) • Fax: 1. despite what some professionals choose to believe.' Simply put. This will be marked by evidence of early crown wear.235. For while it is theorectically possible to construct a nearly indestructible rope.706. This results in a loss of rope diameter and the simultaneous retreat of the rope within the groove channel (creating both a deeper and narrower groove channel than).706.bruggrope.706.com Brugg Lifting_Brugg Wire Rope 0712 This drawing details the natural progression of groove wear after a new rope is installed on a new sheave. as it is only through a careful examination of rope wear that one can determine the existence and cause of even larger problems with surrounding machinery. Areas of increased wear where hoist rope crown wear will be evident. or the type of materials used in rope composition today. As detailed previously. Consequently should a new rope be placed into the worn groove (even if the new rope matches the older rope in every detail). Close sheave conﬁgurations. which induces rope torsion and cause the rope to roll into sheave grooves.bruggrope. this continuous cycle of rope and groove wear. such a rope would be far too unwieldy to install. or the failure to thoroughly consider the impact of high ﬂeet angles during the design and installation process results in excessive bending cycles for the ropes and higher overall system operating stresses on all components. A. New Groove with New Rope B.235. and the steady rise in public elevator usage (due to societal and economic factors). New Rope (Replacement) in Worn Groove Phone (US): 1. Fleet Angles Technically speaking. forcing it to settle more deeply into the groove. the sheave groove surface is worn as well. And. One quickly ﬁnds that discussing sheave groove wear without simultaneously addressing the topic of rope wear is a fruitless endevour. Close placement of secondary sheaves and the drive sheave results in high ﬂeet angles. Sheave Groove Wear versus Rope Wear: a relationship that tends to wear on each. has absolutely nothing to do with modern rope construction. or the entire sheave being replaced—a mismatch between rope diameter and groove shape/diameter will occur.706. the type of sheave groove used has a dramatic impact on the amount of speciﬁc pressures and the kind of stresses placed upon the rope itself. as the rope withdraws into the groove. Clearly. Should the corrupted groove host a new rope—without the groove being regrooved.com • www. and far too rigid for practical use as a ﬂexible support medium. can only mean that problems due to increased bend cycles will only increase. Over time the rope and groove wear together. However there is a practical limit as to how far one can go to create a rope that can totally withstand increased bending cycles.235.54BRUGG (542.com • www.54BRUGG (542. and poor system performance overall. resulting in exaggerated rope wear and premature rope death. causing them to roll into sheave grooves. leading to increased wear on one plane of the rope. However the key point to understand is that once a new rope has been placed into a grooove. Indeed it can be said that no other pairing of components has such such a profound impact upon the wellfare and performance of the other.7844) • Fax: 1. create unforgiving conditions where rope cross sections actually deform under load conditions. Indeed such a rope would be nearly useless to all. Fleet Angles induce torsion into hoist ropes.6315 • Toll free: 866.
(either by themselves or in combination with other With Brugg GDC factors) severely impact rope one can gauge life.235.bruggrope. Variable sheave groove depths impact rope life. construction processes and structural designs in hoist rope. However this is not a sign that the rope is inadequate for the job or that the diminished rope diameter is the sign of an inherent constructional ﬂaw.235.235. If this situation is left unaddressed (with either the sheave being regrooved.706.7844) • Fax: 1. the matter is largely out of their hands. Such conditions create a pitch diameters multiplicative effect. one would quickly see that this equates into a difference in pitch diameter between sheave groove and rope as well. Indeed. Indeed. and general suggestions on tensioning. if one were to measure the amount of variation in groove depths of the drive sheave.706.com .6035 • info: elevatorrope@brugg. Undercut V-Groove Phone (US): 1.7844) • Fax: 1. one will detect evidence of rope crown wear and this will lead to shortened rope life. which create higher radial pressures on hoist ropes. performing infrequent lubrication or poor tensioning). they are made to do this.235. while the lower images detail the natural impact of loads placed upon ropes. where one and rope traveling factor impacts another and distances. loss of system peformance and decreased rope and sheave life.54BRUGG (542.6315 • Llamada gratuita: 866.g. Rope will naturally stetch and become smaller in diameter over time due to the impact of both friction and load stresses. Indeed.6315 • Toll free: 866. is why simply replacing the ropes (without addressing the underlying cause of failure) results in reduced rope life in subsequent generations of replacement ropes—no matter how closely one tries to match future rope choices Undercut U-Groove The ﬁrst drawings detail the long-term effects of sheave groove and rope interaction. Instead.TECH TIPS: SHEAVES AND GROOVES BACKGROUND Rope and Groove Wear Progression Round/U-Groove Undercut U-Groove Undercut V-Groove Road Deformation Effects (No Load vs.54BRUGG (542. A difference in pitch diameter (the contact point between rope and groove) is more than just an interesting discrepency. creates consequences far more damaging that it could by itself. rope failure. caused by pitch diameter discrepencies. And the impact of tensioning and lubrication is not insubstatial. No matter how much attention manufacturers pay to rope design. And since ropes are constructed to be used as a cohesive group. Other than a basic quantity of lubricant applied in the factory.706. For they can. they are helpless should maintenance professionals fail to adequately and routinely lubricate and tension hoist ropes.): 1. As this action is repeated thousands of times rope life is dramatically impacted. Under Load) Round/U-Groove Certainly manufacturers have managed to counteract these effects somewhat by creating new compositonal materials. the most efﬁcient being the substitution of high-performance hoist ropes for Sisal Core ropes. any difference in groove height will result in a difference in how far each rope will individually travel.bruggrope. Should maintenance proove less than adequate (e. A rope that has situated itself into a lower groove carries less load in comparison to other ropes and will slide in the groove to equalize the length.U. The development of an ovoid cross section can be addressed through various remedies.com Teléfono (E. or those responsible for maintaining an installation be forced to take shortcuts (through not monitoring sheave wear or replacing worn sheaves). such basic matters such as lubrication and tensioning can create conditions where a rope can actually ﬁle into a groove.6035 • info: email@example.com • www. and drastically affect groove depth variances. as well sheave groove integrity as as calculate altered well. However these measures have also created issues of their own. this hastens rope wear and impacts the sheave groove surface. slicing through the hardened outer casing of the sheave. As stated previously. not to mention the cost of more advanced ropes (and the attention care that must be taken to install and maintain them properly). such as increased rope weight. or the sheave being totally replaced) the widening discrepency between sheave groove diameter and rope diameter will lead rope slippage. working in unison with each other. the movement of the industry towards MRL elevator designs (and the need to compact elevator machinery) has created installations that have led to the use of smaller sheaves.com • www. This wearing action.706.
short term ﬁnancial concerns take precedence.com Brugg Lifting_Brugg Wire Rope 0712 Visual C reveals how successive generations of ropes placed on sheaves with unequal groove depths can have life expectancies impacted in an inversely proportional manner.6035 • info: firstname.lastname@example.org) • Fax: 1. Although the individual difference in distances traveled by the ropes may seem insigniﬁcant. Impact Of Worn Groove On Estimated Hoist Rope Life 18 16 14 12 10 * Estimated Bending Cycles 8 Measured 6 In Millions 4 2 0 Bending Cycles* original 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Subsequent sets of ropes to the original rope's speciﬁcations. then the possibility of a rope proving to be too hard becomes less than negiligible. over time this condition will lead to excessive rope wear.54BRUGG (542.TECH TIPS: SHEAVES AND GROOVES BACKGROUND Brugg Wire Rope. If the original metal casting for the sheave is made correctly (and this means meticulously controling the chemistry and cooling rate of the drive sheave blank when the casting is poured).54BRUGG (542.bruggrope.706.): 1. and the rope is properly matched. as it encourages the view that they are unresponsive to new challenges in elevator design.706. when confronted by the expensive cost of changing a sheave versus replacing a rope. a failure by rank and ﬁle members to invest the time and effort necessary to throw aside old industry maxims and keep informed. than some ﬁctional clash of the original metal casting of the sheave versus the hardness of outer strand wires.235. That this situation is even a problem in our industry today is due to a conﬂuence of factors: sheave and rope manufacturers have not fully cooperated together to ﬁnd solutions for the problem. Visual B illustrates how a small variation in groove depth equates into a difference in Pitch Diameter. but it fosters a view that rope manufacturers are blithely creating ropes that stress strength above .bruggrope. the discrepency in groove depth means that the ropes do not travel equal distances. 1370. And though replacing the initial rope with a high performance rope can delay the occurance of subsequent reropings somewhat. No matter how closely one tries to match the original speciﬁcations of rope initially placed upon a sheave. Despite the fact that that both of the ropes are moving at the same speed.706.706. intstalled and maintained. the replaced rope will never match the longevity of the ﬁrst set of ropes used. performance—neither case is true.235. LLC PD PD PD Visual A Visual B Visual A details both the exterior view and a cross section of a single groove of an elevator sheave.6035 • info: elevatorrope@brugg. Visual C Phone (US): 1.7844) • Fax: 1. The idea that today's ropes are simply too hard for modern sheaves is categorically untrue.235.com • www.235. This is dramatically illustrated in the chart labeled "Impact of Worn Groove On Estimated Hoist Rope LIfe". As we have shown.com Teléfono (E. 1570 and 1770) are too hard for sheaves. which further exacerbates the problem.6315 • Toll free: 866.U. This is not only unkind to sheave manufacturers. a loss of system performance and continued sheave/groove degradation.com • www. The Pitch Diameter (PD) is the contact point between rope and sheave groove. this pattern is inevitable. Over the decades some have encouraged the idea that hoist ropes (featuring outer strand wires in tensile strengths in MPa of 1180. The myth of our times — Elevator ropes are just too hard for today’s sheaves.6315 • Llamada gratuita: 866. there are factors that have far greater impact upon sheave and rope life.
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