Wire Rope Expert Roland Verreet Speaks at Goddard Seminar
On Feb. 25, the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) and Goddard Space Flight Center hosted a wire rope seminar led by expert Roland Verreet of Wire Rope Technology Aachen (Germany). Verreet is a frequent lecturer, author and consultant on wire ropes.
Wire rope, or cable, is a crucial component in lifting devices and equipment (LDE), and regular inspections are a requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), industry standards, and NASA.
“Wire rope has a number of failure modes that those of us who haven’t studied it for a lifetime don’t give a lot of thought,” explained OSMA Pressure and Energetic Systems Safety Manager Owen Greulich.
Verreet showed participants what to look for and where to look in order to avoid wire rope failures. For example, he described a difficult-to-detect failure mode that can occur on the underside of the rope’s strands where the strands contact with the steel core. He explained that these breaks can be revealed by bending the rope, which will cause the breaks to detach from the main bodies of the strands. Verreet also discussed potential failures due to reduction of diameter, corrosion and deformation.
By understanding how wire rope works and how it can wear and fail, safety practitioners can better focus their inspections and better identify compromises in the integrity of the wire rope.
The seminar was attended by approximately 70 NASA personnel as well as 25 representatives of other government agencies, including the Department of the Interior, U.S. Navy and the Smithsonian.
“The audience went away with a better appreciation of the complexity of wire rope,” stated Greulich. “In general, they had a better understanding of [wire rope] usage, failures and inspection, and had a place to go to for more information [Verreet’s online wire rope resource].”
The seminar was very well received, with many of the attendees complimenting Verreet’s informative and engaging presentations. One OSHA representative told Greulich that he wished he had attended this seminar 15 years ago when he was working in the field.
“[Verreet] was phenomenal,” stated Stennis LDE Manager Brennan Sanders. “He conveyed a tremendous amount of information very clearly. He was very organized and was an excellent presenter. It was one of the best professional presentations I have ever attended.”