If you want to know about cables, look at aircraft.
Cables used on aircraft are not normally "oiled", they will pick up and hold
grit it they are tacky, it wears them out faster than if left dry on the
"outside". There is little rubbing on the strands inside a cable, but there is
some. After 40 years my cables in my Cessna are still fine. Only around salt
water do you have a real problem, and then SS cables are preferred by most. But
SS cables wear out faster than galvanized cables. ( Galvanizing acts as a
The problem with "outdoor" cables it water (corrosion), not wear.
Check the FAA AC 43.13-1B
For everything you ever wanted to know about keeping cables in the air, see:
Look close to the bottom of page 7-38
b. Lubrication and corrosion preventive
treatment of carbon steel cables may be effected simultaneously by application
of compound MIL-C-16173, grade 4, or MIL-C-11796,
Class I. MIL-C-16173 compound should be brushed, sprayed, or wiped on the cable
to the extent it penetrates into the strands and
adequately covers the cable surfaces. It will dry "tack free" in 24 hours at 77
°F. MIL-C-11796 compound is applied by dipping the cable for
1/2 minute into a tank of compound heated to 77 ° ± 5 °C (170 ° ± 9 °F) for 1/2
minute then removing it and wiping off the excess oil. (An
example of cable corrosion, attributable to battery acid, is shown in figure
David F. Branson
Action Communications, Inc.
Freedom isn't Free, Support our Troops
----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Gallo
Cc: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; K7LXC@aol.com
Sent: Sunday, May 11, 2008 9:35 AM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] crankup winch cable ... etc.
On 5/11/2008 email@example.com wrote:
> Hello All,
> Does stainless steel aircraft cable require a coating???
> Thanks in advance for any input...
> Ted K2QMF
Don't know about coating, but ANY "wire rope" that moves - aka you are using
it in your hoist system should be regularly lubricated, and preferably with a
lube meant for wire rope. (there are a few sold specifically for hams - I have
a couple of cans from when I used to work in the hoist industry)
The problem is NOT only rust, the problem is that when the wire is
bent/moves, each wire in the cable slides over it's neighbors. If they are not
lubricated, they wear on each other. Stainless can be particularly bad, as
certain grades of stainless are notorious for "galling" when rubbed against
itself (probably why you don't see stainless on lift cables all that often)
The 2 main problems in wire rope lubrication is that 1)You have to get the
lube down into the center of the cable - the worst wear is on the inner strands
of each bundle and 2)What ever you use should dry "non tacky" - if it remains
tacky, it WILL pick up dust/dirt, and you have just re-created "lapping
compound" - it will wear out your cables very quickly
Most wire rope lubes are a very waxy lubricant (possibly even wax) dissolved
in a solvent that evaporates fairly quickly. You apply it to the rope (most
I've seen are spray on) and usually you are told to wipe down the outside to
remove any excess lube. In use, the lube tends to squeeze out between the
strands to lube the outside
73 de KG2V
For the Children - RKBA!
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always
and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them..."
-- Richard Henry Lee, 1787
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