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Types of Lubricants

verope® generally uses two types of lubricants: wax- and oil-based lubricants. The selection of the basic lubricant depends on the application, rope type and environment. There are also lubricants that are used in areas that have special requirements such as water solubility, drip resistance or nature conservation guidelines. The variety of lubricants is as diverse as the number of different applications.

Menge und Frequenz der Nachschmierung

In general, we recommend that the rope should be relubricated 10 times over its entire service life. For applications with a comparable short service life (e.g. due to high and rapid wear), re-lubrication must be carried out as required.

Preparing the rope for re-lubrication

The rope must be prepared so that the re-lubrication and the newly applied preservative fulfil its full function. Applying the new lubricant without removing the existing lubrication, which is often dried out and and has lost its lubricating effect, defeats the purpose of the operation. In addition, a rope that is free of surface dirt should be inspected more closely to detect possible defects. There are several ways to remove the existing lubricant from the rope surface. One way is by using a cleaning system which removes the contamination from the rope surface by means of rotation.

In order to increase rope service life and protect the rope interior, the lubricant film on the rope surface must remain constant. Lubricant is usually lost during operation and must be re-applied with regular re-lubrication. The lubricant used for re-lubrication needs to be compatible with the lubricant used during production. If you are uncertain, which lubricant can be used for re-lubrication, we are happy to assist you.

The amount of re-lubricant to be applied can be determined using the following equation:

Another conventional method to remove the lubricant from the rope surface is by the use of steel wire brushes. The lubricant is simply scraped off the rope surface by relative movements. The more lubricant removed from the surface the better the effect of the new lubricant. This method requires a great deal of force and is time-consuming, depending on the rope length. However, if no other method is available, this procedure is very effective.

Application of the re-lubricant and the different methods

After the old lubricant has been removed from the rope surface, the new lubricant can be applied. Various methods and procedures exist. There are several companies that offer complete re-lubrication solutions. In the first method, the principle differs only in appearance. The rope is enclosed by a sleeve (often made of cast iron). In the sleeve there is a cavity into which the lubricant is forced under high pressure. Excess lubricant is removed at the end by means of a wiper.

Many applications, such as container gantry cranes, have automatic lubricant spraying devices, that continuously re-grease the rope. This type of re-lubrication occurs when, for reasons of time or cost, the system cannot be shut down or the need of lubricant is increased. This device can easily be retrofitted by companies offering this service. Another and most cost-effective method is manual application. Here, either atomizer systems using compressed air or simple tools such as brushes or rags can be used.


With this method, care must be taken to ensure uniform application. Both, too much and too less lubricant, is counterproductive, an even film of lubricant is the best way to achieve the best results. For diameter ranges between 10 mm – 30 mm there are lubricants in spray cans for post-conservation. The practical aerosol cans allow an even mist to settle on the rope. The propellant gas in the can flies away and leaves pure lubricant on the rope. verope® also offers a lubricant in aerosol cans for verope® specialwire ropes. The verolube® aerosol cans are available upon request.

With the following hints we would like to draw your attention to some essential points for correct selection, operation and maintenance of wire ropes. In addition to technical literature on wire ropes, national and international standards, the verope® team will be happy to assist you with all questions concerning wire ropes.  Please contact us! 

The following points refer to the information that complies with the indications in this article. Here you will find an overview of all important information.

No. 11: 

Ropes, that are are not re-lubricated suficiently or in time, tend to corrode internally and externally. The functional capability of the applications greatly reduce. On the other hand, too much or the wrong lubricant will cause the dirt to adhere, which causes the rope drive to wear out faster and obstructs the evaluation of possible discard criteria.