What’s keeping the US rigging shops from converting
to aluminum turnbacks?
The benefits of the system are simply too great to be argued
against with old “facts”
In the April 2020 issue of Wire Rope News (Denny’s Notes), aluminum turnback terminations are referred to as a “poor rigging practice”, stating that they are unreliable and not recommended for lifting/hoisting. This is untrue; nothing could be further from the truth.
Talurit AB of Sweden is the worldwide pioneer in aluminum turnback systems.
Many in the industry and many manufacturers have an unjustified bias against aluminum ferrules. The reluctance of many American riggers and sling manufacturers might possibly refer to a time when the aluminum ferrule manufacturing process was not standardized, thus achieving some unsatisfactory results.
However, for many decades Europe has a harmonized standard (EN-13411-3) that requires aluminum ferrules to be made seamlessly by extruding over a mandrel to prevent cracking. Also, a specific type of aluminum alloy is required to give guaranteed results. The standard also requires hardness of this material and the adherence of very close tolerances governing the wire rope to the fitting size specifications. The end result of this specification ensures a quality product for which the ferrule system designer assumes responsibility.
“As a system designer, the manufacturer offers ferrules together with the corresponding die sets as well as the instructions on how to match the wire rope size/construction/grade with the ferrule and die set and how to perform the swaging. Not to be confused with a random ferrule supplier offering only the ferrule and not the whole system.”
The European standard EN-13411-3 requires the ferrule system designer to perform rigorous testing on the ferrules/system before it can be approved for use. This testing requirement means that the designed termination needs to be fatigued at 75,000 cycles followed by a tensile test where the termination must sustain a force of at least 90% of the minimum breaking load of the rope. This testing is done for a predetermined sample size of fittings on each basic type of rope that the system designer approves the system for. This is another check to ensure a high-quality wire rope termination by the ferrule manufacturer, before the product is ever released to the rigging shops.
The turnback system is very easy for the rigging shops to use. Riggers follow the system designer’s instructions to select the appropriate ferrule size for the diameter and construction of the rope. It is a well proven system for not only single layer strand ropes, but also for multi-layer round strand ropes, parallel closed ropes and spiral strand ropes.
Also, in the last few decades as the development of wire rope has moved forward quickly with new construction types (think rotation resistant rope) where Flemish Eye sleeves are not possible, aluminum can and is being used. Interestingly, we see that today the aluminum ferrule is very commonly used on the high-performance wire ropes in the USA while the bias remains in the
general-purpose wire rope segment.
Another benefit is speed of manufacturing; the fitting is swaged one time and the cutting dies simultaneously cut off the flash at the end stage of the pressing operation. When the swaging operation is done, the pressed ferrule is dimensionally checked to verify that it is within the pressed diameter and length limits specified by the ferrule secured system manufacturer. This means that the termination is made properly and is suitable for use.
For you as a rigging shop owner, following these instructions and fulfilling the requirements of the system designer means you, as a Talurit customer, are insured through our company’s carrier for any third-party damages. Referring to safety of the system again; no insurance company would back a product considered unsafe.
It is true that there are some limitations, such as when the fitting is subjected to a temperature of more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit. And the existence of electrolytic corrosion cannot be denied — although it has often been exaggerated. Aluminum ferrules have been used on offshore facilities for many years in the North Sea and have held up longer than the wire rope. These results are from the watertight action indicative of the homogeneous pressed aluminum ferrules (see Fig.1).
It is our sincere hope that the above points of view will begin to alter some attitudes regarding aluminum turnback ferrules.
For you as a rigging shop owner, the three most important are;
- Time-saving – with a single swage and no braiding
- Cost-saving – with less manpower and lower material cost
- New opportunities – with the turnback system, the same fittings and dies can be used with several different wire rope types
We know the Rigging industry in United States will save a lot of manufacturing costs and increase their efficiency by using more aluminum turnback ferrules. As such Talurit, in partnership with their authorized North American distributor, Chant Engineering Co. is offering free on-site or digital training courses for all rigging shops. We will come to your location and train you and your operators on the quick and easy method of aluminum turnback manufacturing.
The rigging shops that we have already trained have been very successful integrating turnbacks into their sling manufacturing.
For more information or to set-up a free training session, please contact Talurit, www.talurit.com or Chant Engineering Co. www.chantengineering.com.