Stainless Wire Rope by it’s very nature has a large number of crevices. This make it more susceptible to trap salt and dirt and kick start corrosion. Even 316 grade Stainless Steel which is by its very nature considered ‘Marine grade’ will corrode and tea-stain (rust) if not looked after; and Wire Rope particularly so due to the crevices between wire strands. 7/7 Cosntruction Type for example has 7 wire strands wound together, and 7 of these wire groups (each of 7 strands) are then wound together.
A natural Lanolin based product such as Lanotec or Prolan is best to apply to the wire surface as it does a great job of protecting Stainless from corrosion. This in combination with a regular Cleaning and Maintenance Program will ensure the Wire maintains its good looks and doesn’t Tea-Stain. If any discolouration or Tea-staining does occur then a Phosphoric Acid based cleaner such as Grunt Emergel should be used to remove the Iron-Oxide (rust) and bring back the good looks of the Stainless Wire.
There are several other precautions you can take to help prevent Tea-Staining occurring which include choosing the correct grade of Stainless Steel for your Stainless Steel Wire Rope ( Get a good guide in selecting the correct grade), ensuring the smoothest possible finish of your stainless surface and adequate cleaning or washing of the installed product. It is important that residues and salt deposits are regularly washed from your stainless and an occasional rain washing is sufficient in many applications. A minimum of 316 marine grade stainless steel should be used in high corrosion or coastal environments and as a general rule, the smoother the finish of your stainless surface, the better it is able to resist corrosion.