The increased strengths of the specialized ropes are derived from greater metallic areas. Whether the greater strands (6-Pac) or a combination of die drawn strands and swaging, these manufacturing processes create denser rope cross sections, thus increasing the ropes’ breaking strengths. Also contributing to the increase in strength for the die drawn strand ropes is the flat, smooth finish to the strands which eliminates inter-strand nicking and enables the load placed upon the wire rope to increase without causing internal damage.
Abrasion resistance and flexibility are determined by two factors—outer wire size and method of compaction. Generally, the larger the outer wire size, the greater the abrasion resistance. For example, a 6x25 wire rope is manufactured with an outer wire size greater than that of a 6x36. Therefore, the 6x25 wire rope is more resistant to abrasion. Abrasion resistance is also determined by compaction. The greater the compaction, the greater the abrasion resistance. Conversely, wire ropes manufactured with small wire sizes offer greater flexibility than those with large outer wires. Again using 6x25 and 6x36 as an example, the 6x36 with smaller outer wires is clearly more flexible. Further, compaction may either enhance or hinder flexibility. With die drawn strands the strands' flat surface areas reduce internal resistance, enabling the strands to better move in conjunction with each other. Swaging, on the other hand, hinders flexibility.