Chain Slings: Types and Advantages

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Maintaining Industrial Equipment During the school holidays last year, I spent time working at my family's manufacturing plant. They have a lot of industrial equipment, and I spent most of my time shadowing the maintenance manager. It was fascinating to see the amount of care and cleaning which goes into making sure all the machines run smoothly. I began this blog as a way to document the different types of maintenance I learned for two reasons. Firstly, because I aim to take over the family business one day, and also to share my knowledge with others who are interested in running their own manufacturing plant.

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Chain slings used primarily for overhead lifting are manufactured using a variety of materials. These slings are operated using automatic or manual cranes to facilitate overhead lifting. Chain slings are preferred over other types of slings, such as synthetic or wire rope, as they perform heavy-duty lifting much better than other types. They can withstand all types of wear and tear and hence do not need to be replaced frequently. They can also be adjusted according to the load. 

Alloy Chain Slings

Alloy chain slings are used when the operating conditions are such that other types of slings would be damaged. These conditions include high temperatures and conditions where excessive moisture can damage the slings. Alloy slings have the advantage of being flexible, long wearing and able to be stored easily. These also conform to the curves of the load. This type of sling can elongate up to 20% before it fails — prior to this, there is no visible elongation. This is an important aspect of alloy slings that allows them to be removed before they fail to prevent any injury or damage that can occur from a broken sling. This elongation feature is not present in other types of slings, which makes them dangerous as there is no indication before they fail and require regular inspection. Alloy slings can also be repaired easily so that they can be reused. 

Advantages of alloy

Alloy used in the manufacture of alloy chains is specifically designed for overhead lifting. These chains have the mechanical qualities to meet all required standards, and they are subject to constant quality control to ensure that they perform optimally. Alloy also offers better resistance to higher temperatures in comparison to other types of alloy chains and also has better shock resistance. 

Configurations

Chain slings are available in a variety of configurations, depending upon the lifting application — they can be single-, double- and triple-leg chain swings. 

Despite being able to withstand rough conditions, it is important to always inspect chain slings before using them for any lifting application. Additionally, each chain sling has a rated load limit which must be adhered to. Another important factor is using the right configuration of chain slings — failure to do so can result in death or injury. As the load increases, more legs must be added to the sling chain configuration. Always refer to load limits before deciding on the correct configuration. 

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