Protect the load you’re hoisting on a job by understanding the various materials your equipment uses to choose a suitable sling for your rigging application.
Choosing the right sling for your rigging application is vital for protecting the load you’re hoisting and keeping workers safe on the job site. The most common slings used for lifting objects are chains, wired ropes, and synthetic materials. Each type of sling is best for different instances. Below we discuss what makes each sling unique and the different variables that go into deciding which one is best for your rig.
Variables That Affect Your Decision
While each sling works better in different environments and with various materials, other variables can affect your decision. Your load’s physicality, weight, and center of gravity will help you determine which sling material is the appropriate choice. Furthermore, the environment you’re working in and its various weather conditions could also impact your decision.
A chain is one of the most used and strongest slings to rig materials. Each ring on the chain allows the sling to be more flexible with the load it’s hoisting, without taking away from the material’s strength or flexibility. Oftentimes, when you are repetitively lifting an object, this is the component to use because it has a longer lifespan and will not deteriorate quickly. Applications you can find chain slings in are foundries, machine shops, steel mills, and other heavy-duty lifting instances.
Wired Rope Slings
Individual strands of wire wrapped around each other make up a wired rope sling. In some components, there may be a steel core within the rope to give additional support for carrying a load. Choose this sling for your rigging application if you need something that can handle extremely heavy weight. You can find wired rope slings in the mining or oil and gas industries, and it also finds use in elevator or crane rope.
Synthetic Material Slings
Synthetic slings are typically made from nylon or polyester materials and are lightweight for handling fragile loads. There are many advantages to nylon web slings, but the most significant is to use this material to hoist fragile loads, so you don’t damage them. You must be careful when using this sling because the material will be susceptible to UV rays, heat, and chemicals. Vehicles and yachts are hoisted with this component, but it can also be used in construction and other custom applications.
Using the wrong sling for your rigging application could result in damage to your equipment or the load itself. This could all be avoidable if you take the time before each application to decide on the appropriate material for lifting items. As a rule of thumb, do not use any damaged rigging equipment, or you could compromise the work site or put workers at risk for injuries.