1. Malisky

    Malisky Sirocco Contributor

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    Wire rope and metallic threads?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Malisky, Nov 6, 2016.

    Can a wire rope be described as a mesh of metallic threads? I'm not sure about the "metallic" word. Is there a better one?

    Furthermore, I want to describe a wire rope that slowly and menacingly is cracking down under pressure. You know. A thread cracking and then getting released from the mesh with explosive power. (That can be dangerous). One thread at a time. How do I write this? Is this correct:

    "It was as if he could hear the menacing sound of metallic threads cracking under his every frightful step. Ruptured threads blasting off with such power, that if one ever happened to come his way, it would surely slice him like butter."

    ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
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  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I'm not sure "mesh" works, but I think "metallic" is fine.

    It sounds like you're using a lot of words to describe what I'd call a cable... have you rejected that word, or did it just not come to you?
     
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  3. Malisky

    Malisky Sirocco Contributor

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    I thought about it, read it on wiki too just to make sure, but it somehow gives me the image of an electrical cable for some reason, which is very thin and can't hold much weight. I don't describe the wire rope in my WIP. The complete description:

    "Losing first place was never an option he had considered, although he knew right from the start that when the new school year had began, he had been balancing on a wire rope that was getting thinner and thinner as he approached the middle. It was as if he could hear the menacing sound of metallic threads cracking under his every frightful step. Ruptured threads blasting off with such power, that if one ever happened to come his way, it would surely slice him like butter."

    Thank you.
     
  4. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    "Wire rope" sounds weird to me, I'd go with "cable" if I were you.
     
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  5. Malisky

    Malisky Sirocco Contributor

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    Ok. 3/3. Cable it is. Thank you! :D
     
  6. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    I'm also in the cable camp.:)

    … perhaps, “with every tentative step braided cables gave a faint shimmer. Then it came, just one at first— like a violinist had plucked an overstrung fiddle…"
     
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  7. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    I like 'wire rope' :meh:

    Also, I interpret the

    to be the random sound of metal strands pinging apart
     
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  8. Scot

    Scot Senior Member

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    Strangely the terms rope or cable depends on application and, sometimes, diameter.
    Cranes use wire rope; suspension bridges use wire cables.
    The failure mode depends on the method of construction and temperature. When a wire rope, or cable, fails due to fatigue, corrosion or overloading, one strand will break and begin to reract and unwind from the rest of the rope as its tension is released, followed by more and more until the whole thing snaps. Bits do not fly off, but the sudden release in tension can result in the rope whipping back, causing death and destruction in its wake. Tug boats are equipped with shears to sever the towing cable in the event of overloading. During towing operations nobody, absolutely nobody, is allowed on deck, either on the tug or the tow.
    In very low temperatures steel becomes very brittle. In this case wire rope going round a sheave can shatter like glass. Metal chains are equally brittle at low temperatures, which is why lifting operations are very tricky in arctic temperatures.
     
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  9. Malisky

    Malisky Sirocco Contributor

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    "Ping". Thank you so much about this word! I didn't know its existence 'til now. Spot on. I'll use it if you don't mind... :D
     
  10. Malisky

    Malisky Sirocco Contributor

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    You are right about this, but I wanted to somehow make the situation more extreme so I used a poetic license that somewhat doesn't completely corresponds to reality and true science. Is it too much?
     
  11. Scot

    Scot Senior Member

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    Maybe not. The Forth Road Bridge uses acoustic monitoring https://www.forthroadbridge.org/projects/capital-projects/main-cable-acoustic-monitoring/ to detect failure in any of the 11,618 wires that make up each cable.

    From an engineering perspective the scenario you're trying to paint just wouldn't work, but, you're using it as a metaphor, correct?
    . You could change the metaphor to that of your MC crossing a rickety bridge with rotten timbers/corroded steel threatening to drop him to his doom.
     
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  12. NoGoodNobu

    NoGoodNobu Contributor Contributor

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    Thank you for explaining this so fully.

    I was gonna explain it from personal experience, as access to my home property is by an Arizona crossing but if it floods too high for our vehicles we are forced to exit via an old footbridge—whose cables [they do look like entwined metal rope] have snapped on us before. The sudden & violent recoil is extremely dangerous & destructive.

    Your informative post was not only perfectly on point, but also so much more clear cut and thorough on the facts & various scenarios
     
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