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  • swaging wire rope

    Looking at the various ways of crimping onto wire rope, and the materials used. There are hand powered tools, mostly using aluminum crimps, there are hydraulic tools- wondering what other metals are used to make the crimps. I've seen copper used in aircraft applications. Are there other materials in common use? I've made my own in steel, but I would imagine you'd use a stainless steel if it was going to be in outdoor use.

    This then raises the question of how much force is required. I would expect aluminum to be about the easiest to deform, next would probably be copper- more for steel. and there's going to be a limit with those hand powered crimpers. Just looking for a bit of enlightenment on this aspect of 'metalworking'.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    I swage wire 1/8 and 3/16 wire rope with a 16 ton hand held hydraulic unit. Uses hex dies. I also have a 10 ton unit for big electrical terminals that I've used for rope now and then. My swage sleeves are thin wall stainless.

    This one : https://stainlesscablerailing.com/ca...g-systems.html
    Last edited by lakeside53; 06-11-2019, 01:18 AM.

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    • #3
      What thickness and material of cable are you needing to swag? What is the use of the finished cable?
      Location: The Black Forest in Germany

      How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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      • #4
        A popular and effective system is Nicopress with copper sleeves. As you noted, folks who make control and bracing cables for aircraft seem to use copper, so it is obviously possible to do reliable structural connections.

        The crimp sleeve itself has to satisfy some basic requirements.

        The sleeve is deformed when it is squeezed into place, the deformation causes it to flow around the wires in the wire cable, and that "interference fit" is what gives the strength. So one requirement on it is that it must be ductile.

        The material must not cut the cable, it has to flow into it. So beyond just being ductile, the material must be relatively softer than the wire cable, so that the sleeve is what deforms. That lets out most steel or iron, and anything harder.

        The sleeve has to have strength enough to withstand a pull, so really soft materials like lead are not very suitable, although zinc is used in hot poured connections, when the fanned-out cable end is secured in a cone shaped socket by filling molten zinc around it.

        The sleeve should not corrode before the cable, because the corrosion might not be seen inside the sleeve. So aluminum is not as good as copper, which will corrode slower than the steel in most environments.

        Bottom line is that copper sleeves are very good on all points, and tend to be used in high reliability crimped connections. They are not the only type possible, just very good.
        1601

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

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        • #5
          Why reinvent the wheel?

          https://www.mcmaster.com/wire-rope-sleeve-crimpers

          If it is for a critical or safety involved application I would check with the manufacturers of the tools and crimps. I know from doing a lot of electronic crimps that it is easy to use too much or too little force. Many tools have the limits built into them so, when they are fully closed on the proper crimp for the wire size in use, the crimp IS good. This assurance is hard to duplicate in a local shop without a lot of destructive testing.

          If your application is not in that league, then buying the ready made crimps and a simple tool is probably the easiest and least expensive way to go. They also make dies that can be used in a shop press or perhaps even in a bench vise.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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          • #6
            I have a couple applications coming up, which is what has renewed my interest in this. One is an indoor application, and will be a net of sorts- two parallel wires about 10 ft apart, with probably 5 or 7 wires between them with the shortest wire at the center. Once done the main wires are not parallel anymore because they will loop towards each other. This means I need the 5 or 7 wires to be terminated with ends that have a cross drilled hole in them. The main wires will thread through these holes. The main wires would be looped at each end with a common sort of sheave and crimps. They will loop over hooks screwed into the walls of the room. The 5 or 7 cross wires would be kept in place by crimping small beads on the main wires to keep them in position. Since this is mostly decorative, the hardware should look much like the cable itself- stainless would be great here. I'll probably use 3/32 wire for all of this.

            The second app is for supporting wires for an outdoor tower which will carry a small vertical axis wind turbine. Mostly decorative also, as the turbine will be designed to look nice more so than produce power. It will of course produce power, but not on a large scale- I'll be happy to get 300 watts out of it in 'high' winds, and 20 watts will be enough to power the led yard lighting system that is planned. Nonetheless, the tower has to safely stand upright even in freak wind speeds. I'll probably use 3/16 aircraft cable for this one. Copper crimps seem like the right thing for these wires.
            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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            • #7
              The McMaster are, as I recall, the Nicopress.

              The limits are not really built-in, you get a gage with the tool that you can use to set the compression. The tool is adjustable.
              1601

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan

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              • #8
                I used to do alot of wire rope work. Nico press is what I mostly used. I found my clamps but for I tried I cant find my presses LOL One is a manual type. Two pieces of aluminum with five stages of different sizes. The other is a hydraulic type with various dies. Cant find either.

                The hydraulic type is better with stainless steel clamps. JR





                I was wrong. The hand held one was plenty heavy.

                I kinda regret breaking it out of storage for the weight. Just to make a point.

                Oh, it is all off ten pounds, and all steel. .

                Last edited by JRouche; 06-13-2019, 01:51 AM.
                My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                • #9
                  Nicopress is the way to go. I have one of their big crimp tools for 1/4" wire rope.

                  https://www.nicopress.com/

                  JL.....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                    The McMaster are, as I recall, the Nicopress.

                    The limits are not really built-in, you get a gage with the tool that you can use to set the compression. The tool is adjustable.
                    You may have to play around with the crimp tool stop to get the proper amount of compression on each segment. There's also a sequence to follow when you start cramping.

                    JL....

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                    • #11
                      Make a Flemish eye for the greatest strength. Cable typically has 6 outer bundles wrapped around an in er core. Unwrap 4 of the outer bundles and the put them back together as an eye then finish with a crimp sleeve over the open ends. Crane slings are made this way.

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                      • #12
                        I needed to crimp some 1/8 SS cable. Bought a pair of cheap Harbor
                        Freight bolt cutters. Made a duplicate set of the jaws only I put holes in the
                        1/4" new jaws for 1/8, and 1/4 inch crimp material.
                        Works great!
                        olf20 / Bob

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                        • #13
                          Aircraft cables use swaged fittings so the FAA has looked into how to make reliable swaged connections. Nicopress is common for this and if you need to make a modest number of swages then there is a $20 tool that uses bolts to compress the fitting; other tools are faster... and much more expensive. The FAA has standards for the compressed diameter of the fitting to ensure reliability. The Nicopress fittings used in aircraft are copper and may be plated depending on the type of cable used.
                          More info: https://www.aircraftspruce.com/searc...rimper&x=0&y=0
                          Follow the link to fittings for info on plating vs cable type.
                          John
                          Location: Newtown, CT USA

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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=GadgetBuilder;1242e link to fittings for info on plating vs cable type.
                            John[/QUOTE]

                            Kinda funny. I was buying stuff from this damb bird farm before he was selling the the other idiots. JR
                            My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                            https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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