Many wire-rope manufacturers and machine designers are under the impression that the significant stress in a wire rope is the tensile stress, or possibly the stress due to tension and bending. This paper proves by mathematical analysis that by far the greatest stress in a wire rope results from Hertz contact stresses at points of contact of wire-on-wire, and asserts that the usual mode of failure of a wire rope is fretting-fatigue initiated at such points of contact. Design relationships based on these concepts should be of great value to designers who use wire rope.

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