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Technical references

Discard Criteria

The following table shows the discard criteria according to the elevator rope standards EN 12385-5 and ISO 4344

Reduction in rope diameter

The rope should be replaced if the rope diameter is reduced by more than 6 per cent based on a rope nominal diameter.

For comparison the discard criteria of the current standards

The following table indicates whether a rope is to be re-placed, based on the number of broken wires in the rope section with the highest number of such fractions. The reference length is 6 x or 30 x the rope diameter. The table complies with the specification of TRA 102 and DIN 15020, BI.2.


The values apply only under the following conditions:

  • The ropes are single layer regular lay ropes
    (the steel core is not considered a strand layer)
  • The friction sheave is of cast iron or steel
    (for traction drive elevators)
  • The broken wires are distributed evenly across the majority of the strands

Please note

  • If wire fractures don’t occur in a regular pattern across the majority of the strands but are concen-trated in one or two strands, the above table is not applicable. 
  • Such ropes must be replaced, if there are 5 or more broken wires adjacent to each other within one strand. 
  • Ropes with excessive crown wear tend to show rapidly increasing numbers of broken wires.


Under certain circumstances and depending on the operating conditions, the machine design and the loads, etc., ropes might have to be replaced, even if there are no visible broken wires at the outer strands: ropes with a diameter reduction of more than 6% (from nominal diameter) even in only a short section must be immediately removed.


If the elevator system contains plastic sheaves, refer to German safety instructions for elevators “SR Kunststoffrollen“, as ropes in such systems tend to show internal rather then external wire fractures. The above table is to be seen only as a guideline for rope inspection and the decision for rope discard. Please note that the above figures are never to be considered the only criteria for rope discard. Any detected changes in the rope must be taken into account when assessing a rope. The final decision to remove a rope must be made on the basis of the experience of the assessing person.


For DRAKO ropes installed in systems outside Germany, the relevant statutory regulations for rope replacement apply.