You are on page 1of 32

Health & S a f e t y Executive

General procedure for making good resin-socketed termination on stranded wire ropes
Prepared by the Health and Safety Laboratory for the Health and Safety Executive


Health Safety Executive

General procedure for making good termination on stranded wire ropes

Health and Safety Laboratory Broad Lane Sheffield S3 7HQ


Crown copyright 2000 Applications for reproduction should be made in writing to: Copyright Unit, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, St Clements House, 2- l 6 Colegate, Norwich NR3 1 BQ First published 2000

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

This report is made available by the Health and Safety Executive as part of a series of reports of work which has been supported by funds provided by the Executive. Neither the Executive, nor the contractors concerned assume any liability for the reports nor do they necessarily reflect the views or policy of the Executive.


There have been a number of incidents in recent years involving the failure of resin-socketed wire rope terminations (commonly known as resin cappings) on cables which were being used for mooring floating offshore installations. Subsequent investigation by Offshore Safety Division (OSD) involved the making up of factory assembled samples, under controlled conditions, which were failing at loads of up to 50% below the specified breaking load limit for the ropes. These samples were made up by two different manufacturers who utilised their normal procedures and site personnel. Since tethered offshore installations are becoming more prevalent, OSD are concerned about the integrity of resin-terminated sockets, particularly as regards the procedures used in their production and where these are made up in the hazardous offshore environment.

HSL have carried out a research project intended to identify the main parameters that affect the integrity of a resin-socketed terminations for 76 mm diameter stranded mooring rope which is typically used for this type of application (this is the diameter of the ropes that failed) and additionally to investigate whether size effects have a significant influence on the integrity of this diameter of rope termination. Part of this project was to produce and validate a reliable procedure for producing good resin-socketed terminations on stranded wire ropes of the size typically used for mooring offshore installations.
Main Findings

The procedure contained in this document is the result of that work and is produced here the main report so that it can be more widely distributed. separately This procedure should be able to be followed by a semi-skilled operator given suitable training and who has demonstrated competence in this area.


An agency of the Health and Safety Executive



1.EQUlPMENTLlST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2. PREPARING THE ROPE AND SOCKET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 3. PREPARING AND CLEANING THE BRUSH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 4 POSITIONING AND ALIGNING THE BRUSH AND SOCKET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 5 MIXING AND POURING THE RESIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 6 DISMANTLING THE CLAMPS AND SERVINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5


An agency of the Health and Safety Executive



The following is a list of equipment and materials needed in order produce a resin-socketed termination of a wire rope: Wire rope Wire rope socket Rope socket rig and fittings Rope 'disc Steel tube for rope strands Steel tube for rope wires Split sleeve for centralising rope in socket (for big ropes only) Serving Reel of soft iron serving wire (diameter of wire to match rope size) Socket alignment tool Plastic sheet Rubber ring High pressure steam cleaner with water soluble detergent Wirelock resin kit/s - volume to match conical bore of rope socket, including silicone grease, stirrer and plasticine Workshop hand tools including prybars,and tubes to fit strands and wires Standard workshop protective clothing 2.


Uncoil new rope from drum. Identify and mark the cutting point. Support the rope horizontally between two rope vices or similar so that the cutting point is midway between the vices and the rope does not sag. Remove any excess rope dressing from the part of the rope to be served. Using the serving mallet, apply two soft iron servings, one at each side of the cutting point, as shown in Figure 1. The length of these two servings must be at least equal to the rope diameter. The gap between the two servings must be just wide enough to allow the rope to be cut without disturbing the two servings. Apply one long serving at the side of the rope to be brushed. The length of this serving must be at least 3 times the rope diameter and must be applied at a distance equal to the length of the rope socket basket, minus half the rope diameter, measured from the cutting point. Prior t o this serving, short lengths of plasticine must be applied in the valleys between the strands, Figure 2, over a distance of approximately the rope diameter and half the diameter from the end of this serving nearest to the cutting point. This will seal the spaces/cavitiesbetween the strands underneath the serving which will help to eliminate possible resin leakage during the pouring process.
An agency of the Health and Safely Executive

Temporary rope clamps can be fitted at each side of the cutting point prior to cutting. These are normally used if single stranded serving wire is used. Place the rope on the ground on "vee" block supports at each side of the cutting point. Cut the rope squarely using a slitting disc or similar equipment, as shown in Figure 3. Flame cutting must not be used as this is likely to affect the mechanical properties of the steel wires. Remove rope clamps. Examine the rope socket to ensure the interior of the socket is clean and free of dirt etc. Roughness of the inside surface is not important provided that there are no obstructions to the prevent the resin cone from bedding into the socket when a load is applied to the termination. If the socket has been used previously then any resin adhering to the socket wall should be removed. The taper bore of the socket must be concentric within the socket and, in particular, the wall thickness should be the same all around the socket periphery. Physical damage or non-concentricity of the socket can lead to failure of the termination under load. Such sockets must never be used. Secure the socket in position on the rope rig, Figure 4. The rope rig serves as a secure brushing bench and helps to eliminate the manual handling of heavy rope sockets. It also provides accurate axial alignment between rope and socket and it can be elevated and locked vertically to enable the casting to be carried out correctly. If a purpose made rope rig is not available, a reliable method of accurately aligning the rope with the socket must be developed and used. This alignment must be maintained during the casting process. If this is not done, the load in the rope and in the socket will not be axial, the wires will be unevenly loaded and failure of the termination may result. Apply a light smearing of silicon compound, supplied with the resin kit, to the inside the rope socket bore. This will help the resin cone to bed into the socket when a load is applied, essential for the termination to develop its full strength, and will also help the removal of the resin cone if the socket is to be reused. Apply plastic covering over the portion of rope to be threaded through socket. Secure it with masking tape, Figure 5. This will prevent contamination of the socket bore when the rope is threaded through the socket. Push the "0" ring onto rope over plastic covering and slide it on the rope so that it will be clear of the brushing. This "0"ring will later be used as a seal at the socket neck. Thread the served end of the rope through the socket so that the end to be brushed is clear of the socket. Fasten the rope to the rope rig using the clamps provided, Figure 6. Ensure that the end clamp is positioned exactly at the point on the rope to which the wires will be unlayed.



Adjust the rig to the desired position for brushing. Brushing is best carried out with the rig set at an angle most convenient to the ropeman.
An agency of the Health and Safety Executive

Remove and discard the short serving on the end of the rope. Using the large steel tube, unwind and open out each rope strand, in turn, to form a basic brush as in Figure 7. A flat blade is used to prise out each strand from the cluster before the tube is pushed on over the strand. Great care must be taken when carrying out this operation as the strands are springy when they are bent back and any slippage or accidental release of tube is a potential hazard to persons standing nearby. Starting with the inner wire rope core, and using the small steel tube, gently ease out of lay and unwind each individual wire, in turn, to form a complete brush. As the wires are opened out they should be brushed with paraffin to remove loosen the rope dressing, Figure 8. Each wire must be unwound down to the serving whilst still retaining its helical shape. Do not attempt to straighten the wires. Do not repeatedly bend wires to achieve their correct position as this can seriously weaken them. Over bending, nicking, and twisting of the wires must be avoided as this could later cause fatigue failure of the wires during service. The finished brush, Figure 9, must be as concentric as possible and the wires must be as evenly distributed as possible. Adjust the rope rig so that the brush is pointing downwards to allow the cleaning fluids to drain away. Cleaning fluid must not be allowed to penetrate down into the rope underneath the long serving. Using the high pressure steam cleaner, Figure 10, thoroughly clean the brush using the detergent spray. Finally clean the brush with pure water to rinse off the degreasing agent or detergent. Allow the clean brush to drip dry whilst it is still pointing downwards, Figure 11. Carry out a visual check of the brush to ensure that the wires are clean and that no lubricant or dressing is present on the brushed wires. Check that the rope dressing is visible under the serving, Figure 12.


Measure and mark on the serving a distance of half the rope diameter measured from the inner end of the long serving, Figure 13. Discard the plastic covering which was previously placed over rope. Position the socket in the rope rig, using socket spacers if needed, to align the socket with the rope clamps. Undo the clamps on the rope rig and pull the brush into the socket so that the small end of the socket is in line with the marking on the serving. Ensure that the ends of the brushed wires protrude approximately 3 mm above the end of the big end of the socket. If all three servings have been positioned accurately, everything should fit correctly, Figure 14. The objective is to achieve a length of half the rope diameter inside the socket neck. This will ensure proper support of the wires at the root of the brush and help to protect them from fatigue damage. It is important to minimise the rotation of the socket to prevent the silicon from inside the socket being scraped off onto the freshly cleaned wires.


An agency of the Health and Safety Executive

Using the split sleeve, Figure 15, align the rope so that it is concentric inside the socket neck. Further axial alignment of the rope will be given by the seating clamp positions on the rope rig when the rope is reclamped. Reclamp the rope on the rig ensuring all the clamps are tight. Remove the socket alignment tool. Slide the "0" ring into position so that it fills annular gap between the rope and the socket neck, Figure 16. Seal the neck of the socket by applying plasticine over the top of the Adjust the rope rig so that the rope socket is vertical, Figure 18. ring, Figure 17


Detailed information on the use of the resin kits can be found in the Wirelock Technical Data Manual and in the information leaflet which accompanies each kit. Consider the temperatures of the rope, socket and resin kit. Are they the same or is any of these likely to be at a temperature below Ideally, all components should be above this temperature, if not then the use of accelerator packs may need to be considered. The easiest way to use these is to ensure that all components are at the same temperature and to follow the resin kit supplier's instructions. If there is any doubt as to the component temperatures, then they should be measured. If low temperature casting of the resin is unavoidable, it is particularly important that the root of the brush has been properly cleaned and that the procedures for mixing, stirring and pouring the resin are closely followed. It may be possible to use a warmed socket on a cold rope and some users have produced successful cappings using this technique. In this case it is important to warm the socket only to room temperature and not beyond. Storing the socket for a period in a warm area is better than heating it artificially. Use of a warmed socket reduces the need for accelerator (booster) packs. Examine the resin kit to be used, Figure 19. Each kit consists of two containers one with liquid resin and one with powder together with a stirrer, silicon grease release agent and plasticine. These are supplied in an outer container which is used for mixing. Booster packs are available separately and are sized to match to the volume of the resin kits. Check that the resin kit is not out of date. Out of date kits must be discarded. Check that the colour of the powder is off-white and the resin is free flowing. Kits can be added together to give the required volume. Always use the full container contents, never use part container contents. Wear eye protection and a dust mask for mixing the resin. Mix the liquid resin and powder in the container supplied with the resin kit. Stir for approximately 2 minutes whilst checking the and one booster pack viscosity and colour of the mixture. For temperatures between and two booster packs must be added. Booster packs must be added and between do not work below Pour the mixture into the socket immediately, ensuring that the mixture is poured at one position only, as in Figure 20. Any movement is likely to introduce unwanted air into the
An agency of the Health and Safety Executive

mixture inside the socket. Fill the socket up until the level of the fluid is flush with the end of the socket. Finally, using a straight piece of wire of similar tool, broddle the mixture inside the socket basket to remove any trapped air, Figure 21. The socket may be topped up as necessary as the resin settles. Any leakages must be stopped immediately by simply applying further plasticine around the socket neck as necessary. At room temperature, gelling will normally take place in approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The mixture will be fully set after approximately 1 hour. At low temperatures the gelling and setting may take much longer and full setting can take as long as 2 hours even when booster kits are used. When the resin has hardened, using a sharp instrument, carry out a scratch test by scoring the set resin in the end of the socket, Figure 22. This should leave a shallow scratch mark indicating the resin is fully set. The final colour of the resin is likely to be either bluish green, Figure 23, or sandy brown, Figure 24, depending on the temperatures reached during curing. A sandy colour indicates a hotter cure than the bluish green colour.


Remove the plasticine and "0" ring from the socket neck. Examine the completed socket termination for any defects. Unwind the long serving wire and cut it off as close as possible to the end of the socket neck, Figure 25. Remove the plasticine from between the rope strands and scrape off any leaked resin compound. Finally relubricate the rope with rope dressing taking care to seal the neck of the socket. Remove the completed socket termination from the rope rig. When the rope is put into use, it is advisable to ensure that the resin cone has bedded into the socket. Unless the cone pulls into the socket by a few millimetres, the resin cone may not be subjected to the compressive forces which give the termination its strength. The use of release agent will help the cone to bed into the socket.


An agency of the Health and Safety Executive


An agency of the Health and Safety Executive

Printed and published by the Health and Safety Executive C0.35 11/00


HSE priced and free publications are available from: HSE Books PO Box 1999 Sudbury Suffolk CO I0 2WA Tel: 01787 881 l65 Fax: 0 1787 3 13995 Website:

HSE priced publications are available from good booksellers


HSE InfoLine Tel: 08701 545500 e-mail:

OTO 2000/068