The strands provide all the tensile strength of a fiber core rope and over 90% of the strength of a typical 6-strand wire rope with an independent wire rope core. They are the most simple element of ropes.
Characteristics like fatigue resistance and resistance to abrasion are directly affected by the design of strands.
In most strands with two or more layers of wires, inner layers support outer layers in such a manner that all wires may slide and adjust freely when the rope bends.
The basic strand constructions are here illustrated.