Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Dayawansa, D, Kuruppu, M, Mashiri, F and Bartosiewicz, H, Wear of Dragline Wire Ropes, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2005: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2005, 153-160.


Wire ropes are one of the most heavily used components in a dragline. They are subjected to harsh conditions during the regular usage of a dragline in a mining operation. Hoist ropes are subjected to fatigue due to the cyclic nature of load handling as well as due to rope bending over the sheaves and the drum under load. This leads to wire breaks due to fatigue. Accumulation of a number of wire breaks close to each other can have a detrimental effect on the rope. Furthermore, to allow for the increasing demand for higher load capacity coupled with the inconvenience of having very large ropes, the factor of safety is often compromised, which increases the wear rate. Drag ropes are also subjected to heavy loads. More importantly, they are allowed to drag along the rough mine surface subjecting them to external physical abrasion. This makes the life of drag ropes one of the lowest among those used in a dragline. Suspension and IBS ropes are relatively uniformly loaded during their regular usage although they need to withstand dynamic load cycles as well as bending. Hence they tend to last for a number of years on average. The paper analyses the wear types and their severity of each of these rope applications, and suggests methods to determine rope wear rates and the resulting rope life. The paper further gives suggestions for good operating and maintenance practice that can extend the rope life and help reduce the large expenditure associated with every major rope change in a dragline.