The Complete Guide To Wire Rope Thimble
What is a wire rope thimble?
Wire rope thimbles also known as cable thimbles, are used for making reinforce loop(eyelet) with grips, clips or clamps by preventing fraying caused by friction at the bearing anchor point to protect and extend the service life of the wire rope or sling. They are just one of the many types of wire rope fittings (ferrules, wire rope clips, terminals, etc.).
Different types of wire rope thimbles, wire rope thimble installation, and their uses.
Types of wire rope thimbles
Wire rope thimbles are available in a variety of strengths and materials(carbon steel and stainless steel, see our post on Surface Finish: 4 Common Types You Should Know) but mainly they come in two different duty grades.
- Light duty: Our light duty thimbles are all zinc plated, can be used in static applications.
- Heavy Duty: Our heavy duty rope thimbles are hot dip galvanized, which can create thicker coating than light duty thimbles
If you use it in high moisture or corrosive environments, recommend our stainless steel wire rope thimbles which can offer resistance to corrosion on the surface, particularly in marine applications.
Wire rope thimble installation
Simply wrap the end of the wire rope around the outer groove of the thimble, lace the dead end of the wire rope past the U-bolt of the wire rope grips or a wire rope ferrule crimp to hold onto the bearing anchor point at the end of the thimble to prevent fraying caused by friction.
Once in place, put another wire rope clip as near the loop you just wrapped over the thimble. Turn nuts firmly but do not yet tighten to the proper torque, we recommend using a crimping/swaging tool to compress the ferrule firmly onto the rope to hold your thimble loop securely.
Alternatively, you can use a wire rope ferrule crimp to secure your thimble in place. this method is quick and easy to install. For further information on installation using a wire rope ferrule please – click here
Apply all other wire rope clips, spaced equally
between the first two, tighten them securely with an adjustable wrench to recommended torque. They should be 6-7 rope diameters apart.
How to use wire rope thimble?
Wire rope thimbles are used in conjunction with cable and rope to protect the eyes and will allow for smooth rope guiding around natural curves. So that the most important thing is to make sure the thimble eye securely fastened. Here are some tips for correctly using wire rope thimble:
- To know the right rope thimble size to the cable, for example when you are using 1/2″ uncoated rope cable, use a 1/2″ wire rope thimble.
- Make sure that the cable thimbles size properly and securely fastened in the eye of the loop, not too loose or too tighten, so they can create an extra layer of support to connect with other properly sized rigging fittings.
- While you are using a vinyl coated cable, you should multiply the actual size of the cable, usually use a larger size thimble than normal, for the actual diameter is the thickness of the vinyl coating plus the inside wire rope diameter. For example, if you are using a 5/16″ vinyl coated cable that is coated to 3/8″ diameter, you’d want to use a 3/8″ wire rope thimble.
Find our full hardwares for wire ropes and slings, check out our Rigging Accessories category to download fittings file.