Wire Rope Technical Services

for Flare Stacks, Transmission Masts & Other Structural Ropes

Are you responsible for a Flare-Stack, Transmission Mast or Other Guyed Structure? Have you suffered from the following problems & frustrations?

You were being pushed to get the structure back on-line and receiving complaints about the rising costs as a result of delays; the production department was complaining about the loss of production or the service controller about the disruption to telecommunications services but:

  • There were too many people wanting to work on the installation at the same time.
  • You could not progress one job because of the danger created by an adjacent job.
  • Bad weather stopped men from going aloft and stopped cranes working.
  • The wind was in the wrong direction bringing toxic fumes from an adjacent plant.
  • The safety team was not happy about one or more of the above issues and stopped the job.
  • You found an unknown problem with a guy rope and this created more delay.
In hindsight...

Wouldn't it have been useful if the guy ropes had been examined and 'greased' before the shut down started; and if you had known about the problem with that guy rope in advance?

The solution? The Ropetech Robot

Deploy the Ropetech Robot together with Ropetech's know-how and you can carry out guy rope / stay rope condition assessment, and provide corrosion protection, without a shut-down.

If the answer to any of the above is yes; the solution is to talk to Ropetech

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Ropetech Robot Services - No Shutdown Necessary

The Ropetech Robot, is a technically advanced and remotely controlled 'vehicle' that climbs guy ropes to carry out maintenance tasks that have traditionally been undertaken by personnel riding down guy ropes in a boson's chair or from a crane man-basket, and which could only be completed during a shut-down.

Without shutting the installation down:

  • Remove old and degraded grease from the rope surface and from the strand valleys.
  • Complete a Magnetic Defectograph Examination* of the guy ropes or stay ropes, permitting detection of corrosion and broken wires both internal and external, and in most cases loss of steel cross sectional area.
  • Apply a corrosion inhibiting dressing to the main body of the guy or stay ropes. (Elaskon SK-A)** This product is resistant to flow at high temperatures thereby eliminating the problem of ‘grease migration’ which often leaves the top surface of guy ropes unprotected.
  • Using camera technology complete a remote inspection of:
    • The full accessible length of a guy or stay rope, or at specific positions where localised deterioration is suspected.
    • In some cases the guy or stay rope upper anchor connections.
  • Have assurance that the guy rope or stay rope system is in an acceptable condition before starting a shutdown.

By deploying the Ropetech Robot you can:

  • Contribute significantly to the efficiency and profitability of the plant.
  • Eliminate the problems and frustrations you previously experienced.
  • Cut down the number of people wanting to work on the installation during a shutdown.
  • Give yourself more time during a shutdown to organise and do what can only be done in shutdown.
  • Forget about bad weather and toxic fumes stopping cranes working and men going aloft.
  • Eliminate 100% the risk to people riding down guy ropes in a boson’s chair or in a crane basket.
  • Ensure the integrity of the guy rope system by employing advanced condition assessment and corrosion protection methods for wire rope.
  • Have in your ‘hand’ definitive and traceable evidence that the guy rope system has been assessed properly.
  • Receive data that allows you to directly compare the results from one assessment with the next and thereby monitor the advance of any deterioration.
  • Demonstrate to ‘Safety Authorities’ that all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the integrity of the guy rope system and structure.

*We are using the latest technology for data recording & detecting heads from Zawada NDT, one of the longest established designers & manufacturers of Wire Rope NDT equipment and with whom we collaborate. We can provide test data in both traditional paper format and digital format which you can store and view on your own system.

To find out more about how Ropetech can help you, contact us today

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Associated Services

  • Installation of New Guy Rope Systems or Supervision only.
  • Assistance with Determining which Type of Wire Rope and Associated Fittings to Install.
  • Re-tensioning – Maintaining Guy Rope Tensions and Stack Verticality.

The design pre-tension in guy and stay ropes requires to be maintained at the correct level in order to provide adequate support for the structure. The graphs opposite illustrate, for one particular flare stack, how the tension in each of the three guy ropes at each of the four levels varied with time.

(B) Before re-tensioning (A) After re-tensioning (S) Tension at survey.

The tensions should be maintained between the ‘two dotted lines’ i.e. within + / - 10% of the Design Pre-tension value. Failure to maintain the correct tensions can result in:

  • The stack structure being overstressed as a result of wind loading.
  • Steam lines and other associated pipe lines being overstressed and damaged.
  • The stack being outside of the required verticality limit as specified in the ‘Code of Practice’.

Note: The required verticality values cannot in some cases be achieved and excessive force should never be used to obtain the required theoretical values.

For impartial advice and comprehensive wire rope technical services, choose Ropetech

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The importance of maintaining your guy rope / stay rope systems

Have you ever asked yourself what stops your flare stack or transmission mast falling down?

If only one guy rope were to become detached the whole structure could collapse.

To what standard is your guy rope maintenance being carried out?

If, like many companies today, you are using a ‘multi-skilled’ contractor to carry out your maintenance, this provides you with a number of advantages. However, whilst undoubtedly the standard of work in many cases is satisfactory and probably the prices are competitive, are you sure that every job is being carried out by someone who has an in-depth knowledge of what they are doing or are you just accepting a convenient compromise?

Are you receiving specialist knowledge and advice?

Unwisely, there is the view that, wire ropes (guy ropes & stay ropes) are something everyone knows about and that no specialist knowledge is required. The examples below show some of the situations we have encountered over the years and which demonstrate a total lack of knowledge on the part of the organisations that were involved. Whilst valves, pipes and flare tips and structural steel-work require one form of expertise, wire rope is something quite different and it is the guy ropes that provide the first line of defence in keeping a flare stack or many other guyed structures in an upright and safe condition.

What would happen if a guy rope fell off your flare stack? Or if you had to organise an emergency shut-down to address something that had been overlooked?

For certain, there would be some searching questions asked about who had passed the guy rope system fit for service and on what basis.

However improbable it might seem, if a guy rope became detached from a flare stack or transmission mast, there would be a very high risk of a total collapse, and if unrecognized deterioration suddenly became apparent, requiring an immediate shut down or extension of a shut down, the costs would be ‘significant’.

What is the situation with your guy ropes or stay ropes? Do you know they are alright or only think they are alright?

One of our petro-chemical plant clients told us, that during an inspection by a UK Government Inspector, they commented to him in reply to a question: “They thought that the installation was alright.” The reply was: “It’s no good thinking it’s alright, you need to know it’s alright."

Can you say with certainty, your guy ropes are alright?
Transmission Mast Stay Rope (Western Europe)

We attended site to complete a Magnetic Defectograph Examination (Wire Rope NDT) of the stay ropes together with applying a corrosion inhibiting dressing. Although not part of our brief, we removed the Denso Tape that had been applied to two of the ground anchor terminating sockets. The photograph shows what we observed at the socket neck on both ropes. Both ropes had pulled significantly out of their terminating socket. Other evidence suggested that, in both cases, it was not the filler cone that had pulled, but the rope itself. All of the ropes on this mast had been periodically inspected by the client’s own inspectors yet subsequent inspection showed that all of the terminations on the mast revealed varies degrees of socket draw! This was both at the anchors on the mast and to the ground anchor blocks. For how long was this situation developing?

Incorrect Forming of a Termination using Wire Rope Grips (UK Petrochemical Plant)

Level 4 guy rope on a flare stack; height to the guy rope anchorage 111 (m). Rope diameter 36 (mm).

  • The grips are incorrectly spaced.
  • The grips are incorrectly aligned.
  • The thimble is not fitted correctly.

This termination does not conform to any of the standards that apply. All of these factors affect the efficiency of the termination which for a correctly made termination of this type is somewhere between 60% & 80% of the rope minimum breaking load. The obvious lack of care that has been taken to make this termination raises a serious question as to what care was taken in completing the rest of the works?

Transmission Mast Stay Rope (Western Europe)

As part of a MDE (Magnetic Defectograph Examination) we asked that the upper terminations be cleaned in order to determine if there was any deterioration at the socket neck position. The image shows what we observed. These ropes had been periodically ‘cleaned’ of old grease and inspected by others. This situation had never been reported.

Refinery / Petro-chemical Plant (UK)

Upper Termination Socket in a ‘discard condition’. The strands in the guy rope are almost parallel. In addition to the parallel strands there is also the possibility of a number of loose wires as indicated by the arrows. The socket is heavily corroded and exhibiting corrosion pitting and the rope also shows signs of significant corrosion.

Refinery (UK)

Guy rope secured to the stack at 91 (m). This rope had been in service for only three years.

Petro-chemical Plant (India)

Level 2 (top) guy rope anchorage as we found it, on our first visit to site; height to anchorage 70.70(m). The guy rope was, under tension, bent over and in firm contact with the ladder support bracket.

Petro-chemical Plant (Belgium)

Loose wires - Possible broken wires in-side the socket 'neck'.

Find more examples of our work on our Case Studies page

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To find out more about how Ropetech can help you, contact us today

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Why Work With Ropetech?

  • You need fast answers and some help

    No need to get lost in the bureaucracy of a large organisation.

  • Talk directly to the person that takes the decisions

    No need to wait for a 'management' meeting.

  • Availability

    If you have a problem we try to resolve it what ever the time of day or night or day of the year. (As far as is practically possible.) You will not find an answering machine advising you that we are closed for the holidays!

  • Personal service

    We aim to provide a personal, professional and friendly service that meets your specific requirements.

  • No conflict of interest

    We are free from wire rope supply hence completely independent and impartial.

  • Many years of experience

    We have 38 years experience of working with wire ropes.

More reasons to employ Ropetech

Read more about our background and how we can meet your needs better than most of the larger organisations in the industry.

Why Choose Us

For impartial advice and comprehensive wire rope technical services, choose Ropetech

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Technical Papers

For access to our technical papers, please visit our LinkedIn page where you’ll find all relevant technical papers available for download.

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Further details including our Accreditations Document and details of the Official Recognition we hold or have held can be found on our Linked-in page.

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