cable railing supplies

How to Choose the Best Cable Railing Supplies

Cable railings are a popular option for both residential and business locations. Not only are they secure, but they can help keep you in line with OSHA regulations, as lack of proper fall protection is their most commonly cited violation. If you’re interested in using cable railing supplies to improve your home or workplace, here are some things you should know.

The Basic Benefits of Cable Railing

Using cable railing hardware to improve the safety and aesthetic of your space can have many considerable benefits, a couple of the most significant include:

  • Durability
    Cable railing supplies are highly durable and can last for decades with minimal maintenance. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and can withstand harsh weather without corroding. In addition to this, they can withstand hundreds of pounds of force without snapping, making them perfect for areas where safety precautions need to be taken. If they do get dirty, the most you’ll have to do is wipe them down.
  • Safety
    As stated above, these rails are perfect for areas where additional safety is needed. Because the number one OSHA violation is insufficient fall protection, this can help keep businesses safer and more compliant with regulations. When used in your home it can also help protect older family members and children from potentially dangerous falls.
  • Value
    Cable railing can also add value to your home or business if you ever consider selling the location. It can also make the space more attractive to potential buyers as the rails add a sleek, modern flair while still providing the safety measures needed.

Aluminium or Steel Wire?

When it comes to deciding on the type of railing to get, steel or aluminum are your two primary choices. While both have their benefits, there are some key differences to consider.

Stainless steel cable railing supplies are valued for their durability and ability to withstand even the harshest weather climates; however, steel can still rust if exposed to too much moisture. Aluminum, on the other hand, isn’t as tough; however, it does feature a rust-resistant coating that makes it superior when it comes to resisting rust.

Aluminium is also great when it comes to low maintenance needs. This type of railing is easy to clean and won’t require much attention otherwise. Steel will require more maintenance to repel rust, but when used inside buildings this issue can be greatly mitigated.

Metal or Wooden Posts?

While the wires are important, the posts you affix them too are just as critical. Wooden posts are excellent for a warm rustic feel, though their lifespan isn’t as long as metal. When compared to metal, this option can be cheaper, and the type of wood you invest in will determine its exact longevity. Softer woods, when compared to metal, will end up costing more overall, simply due to replacement needs. Metal posts can look elegant in their own right and can offer a sleek modern appeal to any space.

The types of wires and posts you choose will depend on the aesthetic you need, the location, and the upfront cost you’re willing to spend. There is no right or wrong way to choose cable railing supplies, however, it is important to consider all of the factors so that you can get the materials that are best for your situation.

Whether you complete the job on your own or utilize an outside contractor, metal railings can be beneficial to maintaining the safety of your home or business while not sacrificing style. If you’re interested in getting started, contact a rigging supplier near you for more details about the materials they can offer.

stainless steel cable railing fittings

How to Install Stainless Steel Cable Railings Easily

Over one million Americans fall and injure themselves on staircases every year. Cable railing can help mitigate some of these accidents while giving you a streamlined and modern appearance that can go with many different design schemes. While this might seem like a project you can’t tackle yourself, the good news is that installing stainless steel cable rail fittings and wire can be done on your own, and in less time than you think!

Select the Railings

Firstly, you need to decide the type of stainless steel cable railing you want to use. Railing sets can make this process easier and will come with stainless steel cable railing fittings, mounts, and everything else you’ll need to complete the project. These railings can be used to secure staircases, balconies, and anything else you need to be cordoned off for either safety or aesthetic reasons. Prior to beginning your project, it’s important to check with your local building codes to ensure there are no stipulations you need to keep in mind while installing your railing.

Designing and Building

Stainless steel cable railing fittings and wires need a frame in order to be installed. The frame you install will be dependant on your own style desires and the type of space you have. Frames can be constructed from wood, aluminum, and stainless steel, allowing you to decide the type of material that would be best for your project. It’s suggested that you place posts no more than 42” apart to ensure that everything stays tight and secure. If posts are set too far from each other wires can sag leading to lowered safety and poor aesthetics.

Installing the Cables

The basic tools you’ll need for installing the cables are cable cutters, a drill, pliers, and a wench. It will take good attention to detail when it comes to drilling the holes you’ll need for running the wires. To help ensure everything stays accurately lined up, tape measures and beam levels will be invaluable for keeping everything straight.

Before you set the wires you’ll need to decide how many rows you need. Keep in mind that cables should be placed no more than four inches apart. Within this in mind, measure out how many you can fit between your frame and work from there. Once you have this in mind, mark the points in the frame that will need to be drilled and double-check your work for accuracy, you don’t want to start installing stainless steel cable railing fittings only to discover one is a quarter of an inch higher than its second connecting point!

When you’re certain of your positioning, drill the holes and begin running the cables. If everything is properly lined up this part should be easy and quick.

Tighten the Cables and Trim as Needed

Once the cables have been run, the last step is tightening and trimming as needed. If you bought a kit, the included cable railing hardware should make this relatively easy. Using the stainless steel cable railing fittings, bolts, and mounts to carefully secure and tighten each wire until everything is even and tight. Once you’ve secured everything, trim off any excess using a pair of wire cutters.

Installing stainless steel cable railings is easier than you may think. If you need railing installed around your home, consider the benefits of tackling the project yourself. Wire railings are not only easy to install, but they are durable and can last for decades when fitted properly.

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of handling a project like this on your own. With the right tools and the proper railing kits, you can have your own sleek and modern railings installed in less time than you think.

railing supplies

Fall Protection Rules: Basic Things You Need to Know

Falls are the leading causes of injury or death among workers in the construction industry. But what does this mean?

Property owners should invest in successful fall protection measures. Such as including following the OSHA guidelines on railing supplies and installation.

Here’s what you need to know about fall protection.

1. Accidental Falls Happen

Accidental falls are frequent at homes or construction sites. The reasons for this include tripping, losing balance, dangerous weather, or irregular surfaces.

Acknowledging that falls happen sets the dice rolling for protection measures. It informs the need for cable rail fittings at home.

2. Plan for Fall Protection

Now you know that accidental falls are prevalent, what next?

Lay measures for fall protection ahead of time. Otherwise, you cannot source, buy, and install the railing supplies.

The exercise should follow a set hierarchy of control. Each protection measure has its place and time.

The risks of falls are high in a skyscraper or any tall building. When building such a house, use engineering techniques to reduce the chances of a fall. For example, lower the staircase’s gradient.

Then source for the best fall prevention equipment like railing supplies or chain slings. Hire an expert to do the installation.

3. Get Lifesaving Equipment

Setting a fall protection system isn’t easy. It requires crucial equipment for: anchorage, connectors, body support, rescue, and descent.

Before using these railing supplies, inspect them for wear and tear. If any, consider repairs or buy a new set of cable and rigging supplies.

4. Be Compliant

The risks of falls are higher in the construction industry. For this, OSHA issues guidelines on how to protect your workers from accidental falls.

You can do this by using:

Guardrails

Install guardrails along the edges to prevent falls. They’re practical and safe to install.

According to OSHA guidelines, its height should be 42 inches above the walking surface.

A guardrail system is ideal for use on ramps and runaways.

Safety Nets

What happens if a guardrail doesn’t prevent a worker from falling? A safety net is there for them.

Don’t get confused; a safety net doesn’t prevent workers from falling. However, it catches them before falling too far.

Guardrails and safety nets offer collective protection. It protects everyone working at a height in your project.

OSHA guidelines on safety nets include:

  • The installation distance shouldn’t exceed 30 feet beneath the working surface
  • The potential fall area shouldn’t be obstructed

5. Train Your Workers

Installing the best railing supplies without training your workers doesn’t work. You can instruct your workers about fall protection in different ways.

For example, share clear instructions on these railing supplies. Alternatively, hire a competent trainer to handle the exercise. If you hire a trainer, ensure you’re getting value for money.

Don’t forget, the use of fall protection systems like chain slings is a skill. The training method should include the physical observation of performance. Yes, it might seem tiresome, but it’ll be advantageous in case of litigation.

6. Liability and Enforcement

Yes, cable railings protect your workers from a fall. Remember, project owners and contractors, are liable for workers’ injuries. Enforcing worker safety in your projects shifts the liability of a fall away from you.

But first, how do you address the liability of a fall?

Well, use the hazard assessment, not minimum compliance for this task. Using the severity of a fall, protection feasibility, and risk management steps minimize liability.

With this, you can defend your position rather than say minimum compliance conditions were met.

Monitor the Fall Protection System

Monitoring your systems helps deal with fall protection and liability. Yes, you have a cable railing system in place, but are your workers utilizing it? Is it working to meet your expectations? If not, instruct them on how to use the fall protection system.

chain sling

Looking to Buy Chain Slings? Here’s What You Need to Know

Today, there are six different types of lifting slings used in industrial and construction undertaking. The various classifications of the lifting slings include wire rope slings, synthetic rope slings, chain slings, web slings, and metal mesh slings. Choosing lifting slings should be based on the size or type of the load, as well as the environmental conditions of the workplace.

Chain slings are among the most versatile and durable pieces of heavy lifting equipment. They are easy to repair and fit a wide range of purposes across every industry. When choosing a chain sling, consider one that is strong enough to manage the loads you have in mind.

Overloading a chain sling can damage the equipment and possibly cause injury in the workplace. Such injuries lead to staircase accidents, ranking as the second leading cause of accidental injury after motor vehicle accidents. The following guide is useful in selecting the appropriate chain sling.

Size of the Load

When selecting a chain sling, settle for one that will handle the size of the load you intend to lift. Generally, chain slings are robust, dense, and extremely durable. They are suited to lift most types of loads in various applications, regardless of the size or weight.

Since chain slings can handle heavy-duty lifting, they would be ideal for use in steel fabrication and shipbuilding. You can also customize a chain sling to allow on-site adjustments to fit your every requirement. Their versatility and durability make them a great choice.

The alloy steel chain slings are durable and can adapt to the shape of the load. Therefore, it is crucial to note that sudden shocks can damage the alloy chain slings. Misuse of the chain sling can result in sling failure and possible injury to workers or damage to the load.

Durability in Extreme Temperatures

The chain slings are best suited for very rugged environments and tough jobs. They can withstand up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. They are perfect for use in steel factories, heavy machinery and equipment workshops, and other environments with extreme conditions.

A chain sling can withstand heat and lift heated materials without melting, breaking, or weakening. If you are dealing with high service temperatures, choosing lifting slings that are resistant to abrasion will prove essential. You can use chain slings as they are less likely to cause heat-induced damage.

One of the outstanding features of a chain lifting sling is its ability to maintain integrity under extreme temperatures. Even so, it is vital to ensure safety and stay well within the working load limit. Users need to observe working load limits according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Sling Ratings

Most lifting slings in the market have industrial ratings, which show the specific conditions of use. The specific details may include a specified environment or temperature, how the sling is to be attached to the load, and operational requirements.

Any variation in any of these conditions will call for the necessary adjustments. If the sling ratings are inconsistent with your needs, it could pose a potential hazard.

Safety should always be a primary concern during the entire project. Ensure you get a chain sling that meets the sling ratings and is in line with your needs.

Lifting Points

When choosing a chain sling, it is essential to consider the lifting points on the load. Without correct lifting points, you will have to come up with other ways of attaching the chain sling to it.

In case your chain sling has threaded holes, check that the holes are big enough to bear the entire weight of the load. Where the lifting points are absent, it is only logical to select a chain sling that can pass through the aperture in the load. You can also go for a chain sling suitable for wrapping around the load.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing lifting slings, chain slings are the most versatile option. Selecting a dependable chain sling is a crucial step towards ensuring the safety of all who use it.

stainless steel cable railing fittings

Why You Need Stainless Steel Cable Railings

Preventing falls in residential and commercial properties is an important undertaking that builders should know. OSHA published fall protection measures for general industry back in 1971, and the same regulations continue to govern the industry. Although many people have been using wood for fall protection, stainless steel cable railing fittings have been gaining popularity in the last few years.

 

About Stainless Steel Cable Railing Fittings

 

Cable rail fittings have become the most sought after railing material for public spaces, commercial buildings, and homes. Most of the stainless steel cable railing fittings are easy to install and have been designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Steel railing materials require low-maintenance and have other benefits that they offer to homeowners.

 

If you are looking for places where you can install stainless steel cable railing fittings, here are some popular areas that you cannot ignore.

 

1. Decks

 

One of the most common places where you need to install stainless steel cable is on a backyard deck. Homeowners know the value of the deck, especially in summer, when all the people want to spend their time in outdoor areas.

 

Although decks provide the best area where you can enjoy summer months with friends and family members, it is a dangerous area that is vulnerable to falls. Railings stainless steel cable will protect against falls while at the same time not blocking the scenic views.

 

2. Balconies and Terraces

 

Balconies are similar to decks but they are supported by the structure of the house, unlike decks which are stand-alone structures. Both balconies and terraces need to have strong and stylish railing that will protect against falls. Spacious cable railings that allow for the optimal view should be incorporated to make the whole viewing and balcony experience worthwhile.

 

3. Stairs

 

When you go into various buildings that have stairs, you will find that most of them have railings. Even in interior stairs, it is important to have cable railings so that you can provide security to the people moving up and down the stairs. You can use stainless steel cable railings for stairs because they are attractive, especially when used in interior stairs. Strong cable railing is necessary so that it can support people as they move up the stairs.

 

4. Outdoor Pathways

 

Stainless steel cable railing fittings can be used in outdoor areas for landscaping purposes. People with pathways in gardens use them to mark pathways and prevent people from stepping on flower lawns. Cable railings are better than wood because they don’t block the view. The fact that cable railings are resistant to extreme weather conditions have made a large number of people to use them in outdoor pathways.

 

5. Poolside Railings

 

If you have a spa or a pool, you already know the municipal rule that requires you to have a protective rail or fence around the property. You can easily use wood to adhere to municipal codes. However, wood requires a great deal of maintenance. Cable railings will keep your pool looking attractive, and they don’t require any form of maintenance.

 

Stainless Steel Cable Railing Fittings are Eco-Friendly

 

Cable railings are eco-friendly materials that you can use for your railing and fencing needs. They have very minimal or no impact on the immediate environment as compared to other railing materials such as wood or plastic poles. The fact that they require very little or no maintenance makes them suitable for the environment.

 

Another environmental benefit of cable railing is that most of the materials used, aluminum and steel can be recycled. Steel remains to be one of the world’s recycled materials and one of the easiest to reprocess. Aluminum is also a widely recycled material, which means that it leaves very little or no residue to harm the environment.

 

Are you looking for stainless steel cable rail fittings? American Cable and Rigging (ACandR) is the leading provider of cable railing supplies. Through friendly services, we strive to provide quality products at competitive prices. For any cable railing needs, feel free to contact us for more information.

choosing lifting slings

A Guide to Choosing Lifting Sling Materials

Lifting slings are crucial components of all hoisting, rigging, or substance handling activities. When choosing lifting slings, there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, you might want to view the sling’s quality, price, size and color (for the cable railing), among other factors. But is that all? How can you increase your safety?

 

Occasionally, you may consider digging further to ascertain the lifting sling’s material type. This can provide you with greater insight into product safety. Choosing a good lifting sling material holds the key to the safe loading and unloading of materials.

 

Are you unsure about the best types of lifting slings? Below is our summary of ways to determine an ideal lifting sling material. Take these tips with when looking for cable and rigging supplies

 

Flat Nylon Slings

 

Also known as synthetic slings, nylon slings are very likely to pop up first every time you are on a mission of choosing lifting slings. These types of lifting slings are both affordable and available to many people. A typical synthetic sling is made of woven polyester and nylon. Thanks to their nylon composition, they are light-weighted when compared to other sling materials. They can be folded and stored easily. These slings are water-resistant and rust-proof.

 

On the flip side, nylon slings do not withstand too much weight. They are, therefore, not ideal for heavy railings. They are also unsuitable for use in high-pressure or high temperature working environments. A typical nylon sling cannot withstand temperatures above 195 degrees Fahrenheit. When working on areas with sharp edges, avoid frequent rubbing of the slings with the sharp edges, as this act could weaken them. Synthetic lifting slings are hardly affected by ordinary chemical environments. However, you should be careful not to expose to concentrated acids.

 

Wire Rope Slings

 

When handling heavy loads (like at a construction site), you cannot go wrong if you use wire rope slings while choosing lifting slings. They are sturdy and rugged. These slings are made of strings of steel woven together to form a hardened stainless steel cable. Wire rope slings have a low cost-per-ton of lifting capacity. Since they are made of stainless steel, they are rust-proof. These ropes are also ultra-violet light resistant and thus have superb longevity. Unlike the nylon slings, the wire rope slings can sustain temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Even though this material commands the elements of ruggedness and durability, it still falls short of a few aspects. The wire rope sling is very heavy to car6ry. This aspect could be problematic when working alone or whenever you might need to make adjustments. It’s also rigid, which makes it difficult to fold or reshape. This aspect makes it hard to use when you need to lift loads with sharp edges. It also makes the storage of the sling relatively tricky as it cannot fold easily. Because of this characteristic, you may be forced to opt for a short diameter of a sling when using the wire ropes. Wire rope slings demand frequent inspections. Damaged areas should be repaired or replaced. Ignorance of damage may lead to accidents.

 

Chain Slings

 

Chain slings are the most recommended type of lifting slings. They are useful for both light and the most rugged applications. For professional usage, chain slings ought to top the list when choosing lifting slings. They are usually made of steel — meaning they top the list of ruggedness and durability. These slings can be used in extremely harsh industrial environments because they are often inert and robust. They can withstand high temperatures and function optimally even for temperatures above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. They are foldable and stored easily. Then again, they are costly than the other types of sling materials. But if you got some few bucks to spare, the chain slings are worth every cent. Be sure to consider your application when making your choice.

 

Whatever kind of lifting slings you may need, we’ve got you covered. For more information on our products or to obtain a recommendation for your use, please contact us today.

types of lifting slings

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing Chain Lifting Slings

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a body in the United States that plays a critical role in enhancing workplace safety around the country. If you operate a manufacturing company, you must be OSHA compliant so that you can avoid being on the wrong side of the law and so that your employees will be protected from harm. One of the main safety issues that you need to prevent in your manufacturing entity is injuries associated with falls.

Several fall protection measures, which have been in place since 1971, govern workplace safety practices. To prevent falls and associated injuries, you must use the right types of lifting slings in your lifting operations. Given that there are several types of lifting slings, some people find it hard to select the best chain sling. This article highlights some of the factors that you need to consider when it comes time to buy chain slings for your company.

1. Weight and Strength of the Load

Every time you evaluate different types of lifting slings for your operations, consider the weight and strength of the load. It’s common to see a load falling and breaking, especially it isn’t well-supported from the sides. Use strong rigging when dealing with a heavy load and provide support from all directions. Providing support from the sides will prevent falling, thereby preventing injuries to the workers on site.

2. Sling Flexibility

It’s common knowledge that alloy chain slings are flexible enough and can easily be stretched by a heavy load. There are other types of lifting slings that can be stretched as well. Although this is not a very attractive property of lifting slings, it’s useful in adjusting the load’s center of gravity. This flexibility prevents the load from leaning on one side, which is extremely dangerous in the workplace.

3. Temperature Limits

When choosing lifting slings, make sure that you pay attention to their temperature limits. Lifting slings have been made to accommodate temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything beyond these temperatures could be catastrophic. If you’re buying chain slings to lift heavy machinery and equipment in harsh conditions, make sure that you check the temperature standards. The chain sling you choose should be able to withstand excessive temperatures without stretching or melting.

4. Sling Ratings

Most of the slings available have industrial ratings, which indicate specific conditions of use. Some of the specific details that will be indicated include temperature, load, operational conditions, and how they are attached to the load. Make sure that the chain sling that you will be getting meets the sling ratings consistent with your needs. If sling ratings and your needs don’t align, this could spell disaster for your workers.

5. Wear and Tear Resistance

Chain slings are exposed to heavy stretching and lifting of very heavy loads. Therefore, signs of fatigue, wear, and tear is a very common problem encountered when using lifting string. When buying a lifting sling, try and find a sling that can withstand fatigue. You should get a chain sling that does not crack when bent by a small radius. Get a lifting sling that can withstand wear and tear to serve you for several years.

6. Lifting Points

Before making a purchase, make sure that your lifting sling has proper lifting points on the load. There should be a mechanism which allows your slings to be attached to the load. Otherwise, you will have to come up with methods of attaching the chain slings to your loads. Check that the holes are big enough to accommodate the entire weight of the load and prevent falls.

There are many different types of lifting slings available to you. Therefore, you have to conduct an exhaustive analysis before deciding on which lifting sling you need to use. After a careful analysis of your needs, you will easily come up with a lifting sling that meets your needs.

looking for cable and rigging supplies

What You Need to Know Before Choosing Cable Railing Products

Does your home have multiple levels? Or maybe you’ve just built a new deck. Well, if this is the case, you need to invest in railings for your home. But why?

Railings play a vital role in enhancing safety and style in your home. Statistics show that one in three elderly adults sustain serious injuries from stairway falls in a year. As such, you need to exercise caution when looking for cable and rigging supplies. Here are the basic considerations to make.

1. Be Mindful of the Temperature

Are you looking for a cable and rigging supplies for your home? Start by checking the prevailing temperature where you intend to use the cable hardware.

For instance, will you be using the cable railing supplies indoors or outdoors? Using cable rail fittings outdoors exposes it to harsh conditions like snow, rain, and sunshine. As such, ensure that your ideal railing materials can withstand these harsh elements.

But what happens if you’re looking for cable and rigging supplies for use indoors? The temperature is still a concern. Some railing supplies work best in hot and others cold temperatures. Consider the prevailing temperature when selecting your ideal chain slings.

2. Check the Load Limit

Do you want to lift a certain weight? If so, ensure your ideal lifting slings can handle the size and weight of the load. Remember, the load limit may not be the same for every equipment you use.

For instance, chain slings are ideal for lifting heavier loads. If you choose the wrong sling, you risk dropping the item that you’re moving, which is extremely dangerous.

3. Compare Different Sling Materials

Thanks to OSHA protection measures enacted in 1971, various cable and rigging supplies have been manufactured. This means you’ll have different options to consider in your selection. Such include nylon, polyester, and chain slings.

When looking for cable and rigging supplies, consider their ability of a material to withstand certain weight limits.

4. Consider the Aesthetics

Are you looking for a cable and rigging supplies for your home? Then choose an option that appeals to your home style.

Fortunately, cable railings are versatile and come in different styles, colors, and materials. The style is especially important where the railing will be at the center of your home or any other place that it’s clearly visible.

5. Emphasize Safety

Yes, you’re investing in your dream house and you want the railings to suit your taste. But before you consider how they enhance the appearance of your home, ask yourself: are they safe?

The ends of these cable railings are known as “fittings” or “tensioners.” In most cases, they are used as the anchors thus as the foundation of your railing. Since they are wires, there is a need to make adjustments and tune them, in case the ends become frail or loose. As such, it’s important to make smart choices when investing in railings.

6. Plan the Installation

There are different elements to a cable railing. However, once you cover the basics, the implementation will be quite easy. You can either do the installation yourself or seek help from an expert.

Whichever option you decide on, placing an order should be your next step. Always choose a competent supplier that will meet your diverse needs.

All you need to do is check the prevailing rules and regulations that touch on cable railings installation. Don’t flout any of these laws as they can be expensive.

Looking for Cable and Rigging Supplies?

Installing cable railings is a stylish way to complement the exterior and interior of your property. The unique look and unobtrusive design work with a wide range of décor including the traditional, modern, and contemporary themes. Even better, you can easily incorporate cable railings into your existing staircase with ease. Installing the cable railings will not only help to improve the aesthetics of your home. It will also prevent against accidental falls in the property.

railing materials

6 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Railing Materials

Adhering to building codes plays a critical role not only in enhancing the beauty of the house but also in preventing injuries. When you have unprotected decks and stairs, you are exposing your family to the risk of falls and unwanted injuries. It has been reported that at least 1 million individuals injure themselves on stairs annually, which is a considerable number of people.

It gets worse when you know that these injuries can be prevented by installing rails on the stairs and decks in our homes. If you have exposed stairs in your home, you need to get the right railing materials and fix the problem. Wood rails, chain slings, and stainless steel cables are some of the railing supplies you can use to protect your stairs. So, how do you choose the right railing materials for your stairs and decks?

1. Cost-Effectiveness

The amount of money you have to spend will always determine the type of railing materials you will consider for your stairs and decks. Wood seems to be the simplest and most affordable material, while also being one of the most desirable. But be sure to go the extra mile and get quality wood railings that will protect your family for many years. Cheap wood may not hold up the way you need to prioritize safety. In general, balance cost with quality.

2. Aesthetic Appeal

Railings are not only protective materials, but they’re also essential parts of the house. Therefore, besides offering to protect, they should provide aesthetic appeal to your house. Professionally-curved and installed wood railings will offer the aesthetic appeal that you’ve been looking for. However, stainless steel cable may prove to be the most aesthetically appealing railing material that you can use in your house. The shiny appearance will add something extra to the home, especially if you’re drawn to a more modern design.

3. General Upkeep

Not everyone is fond of regular maintenance. If you’d rather not devote a lot of time to upkeep, make sure that you select railing materials that require minimum maintenance possible. Although you’ll have to take on some tasks to maintain your handrail for longevity, you don’t want to choose an option that will require constant attention. Make sure that you understand the basic maintenance techniques such as painting, sealing, or regular cleaning. The aesthetic appeal this area of the home will depend on how much general upkeep you do of your rails.

4. Durability and Longevity

Aluminum, cable rail fittings, and stainless steel cable railing fittings are some of the durable railing materials you’ll find in the industry. Every homeowner wants to install materials that will last for many years before they can be replaced. Durability and longevity are important factors that you should consider, particularly if your handrails are located outdoors. Due to extreme weather conditions, railings located outside could wear and tear with ease. Even if your railings are indoors, they could become damaged with rough handling. Regular repair and maintenance will play a vital role in their longevity, but be sure to choose a railing that will stand the test of time.

5. ADA Compliance

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) is a government regulation that requires that all railing materials used be consistent with the needs of people with disabilities. ADA compliance is an important consideration in commercial properties. However, the government has also reinforced the standards in residential stairs. Always check whether the materials you’re using (and the overall design) are ADA compliant. When you buy railing materials, consider recently manufactured materials because they are more likely to be compliant, as compared to materials manufactured some years ago.

6. Building Codes

Besides being ADA compliant, other building codes are usually enforced by the local authorities when building deck or stair rails. You may not know all the necessary building codes in your area, which means that you have to liaise with railing suppliers to understand what works in your area. Height is an important building code that you should check when you are buying railing materials. Working with reputable contractors will allow you to easily access the information you need and ensure your design will be executed properly the first time.

Protect your family against injuries by buying railing materials from reliable American cable and rigging companies. At American Cable and Rigging, we’ve been in the industry since 1987, making us among the most experienced and reliable companies when it comes to cable and rigging supplies and railing materials. For more information, please contact us today.

toggle turnbuckle

5 Terms Used in Rope and Cable Descriptions

You may encounter many terms when reviewing rope and cable specifications. Sometimes these terms may be used in confusing ways. For example, “strength” may be used to describe “tensile strength” or the completely different concept of “yield strength.” Here is an overview of some terms you may see in rope and cable descriptions:

Strength

Generally, strength refers to the amount of stress a material can bear before its properties change. “Yield strength” is the stress that causes a material to transition from elastic deformation (deformation from which the material can recover) to plastic deformation (deformation that permanently deforms the material). Thus, ropes and cables will “bounce back” after a load below the yield strength, but will be permanently stretched after a load above the yield strength.

“Tensile strength” or “ultimate strength” means the maximum load a material can withstand. The tensile strength is generally greater than the yield strength because materials can usually withstand additional loads even after reaching a plastic state. However, once the tensile strength is reached, deformation of the material concentrates stresses and ultimately results in fracture.

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” so remember to account for the strength of knots, fittings, and rigging. Knots can reduce the tensile strength of cable and rope by as much as 50% because the knot compresses and deforms the cable or rope. Similarly, turnbuckles, such as toggle turnbuckles, can shear or fracture below the tensile strength of the rope or cable. Moreover, even though the pin of a toggle turnbuckle may relieve torsion shear, bearing shear remains a potential failure mode.

Abrasion Resistance

Abrasion occurs when two parts wear against one another. In the case of lifting slings, abrasion can occur when rope or cable wears against itself, a load, or rigging. General statements can be made about rope and cable materials – metal wire resists abrasion better than polymer fibers and natural fibers. However, specific values are difficult to find because abrasion depends on a number of variables, including:

  • Load
  • Material properties of both materials
  • Wire or fiber diameter
  • Surface shape and roughness

For example, a smooth round metal pin of a toggle turnbuckle would cause less wear to rope than a rough or sharp edge.

Fatigue

Fatigue is a failure mode that results from cyclical loading and unloading. Fatigue is less of a concern in applications where cables or wires are replaced after being subjected to impact or stress. For example, cable railings used for vehicle barriers may be replaced at the OSHA mandated height of 42 inches, plus or minus three inches, after being impacted. In this case, the cables would never experience cyclical loading.

However, most other applications experience some amount of fatigue. A common source of cyclical loading comes from the vibration of motors or engines in contact with ropes or cables. In maritime applications, waves or wind can subject lines to cyclical stress. Similarly, various types of lifting slings can be subjected to cyclical stress by swinging loads.

Fatigue creates micro-cracks that weaken the material and create sites for stress to concentrate. Under repeated loading, the micro-cracks grow and eventually lead to fracture. And again, do not forget that rigging, such as toggle turnbuckles, can fatigue as well.

Heat Resistance

Heat resistance is relevant for two reasons:

  1. Heat can alter material properties; metal tends to soften, and plastic tends to melt, under heat
  2. Heat combined with load can cause creep; creep is a phenomenon where failure can occur due to heat plus a load even when the amount of heat or load by itself would not cause failure

Corrosion

Corrosion occurs when metals in contact with one another in the presence of an electrolyte undergo chemical change to reach a more stable form. For example, metals containing iron will oxidize in the presence of oxygen ions in water. Applications requiring metal rope are prone to corrosion because water can work its way between the wires and core of metal rope or between the metal rope and its rigging. Polymer rope does not suffer corrosion, although other environmental conditions, such as exposure to chemicals, ultraviolet light, and heat, can cause material degradation.

In sum, understanding the failure modes and the descriptions used for cable and rope can help you select the right cable or rope for your particular application.