Industrial lifting slings are at the heart of most overhead lifting operations. Used with lifting equipment such as forklifts or overhead cranes, they enable you to hoist, move, and position heavy loads safely and efficiently.
Lifting slings are broadly classified into three categories.
Depending on their structure, material, and load limit, different lifting slings are suited to different operations. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of industrial lifting slings, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you make an informed decision. It will help you and select the most suitable sling for your project.
Wire rope slings, or cable slings, have always been the standard choice for heavy-duty operations, owing to their strength, abrasion resistance, resilience, and flexibility. To top that, they can also lift hot objects with ease.
Generally, these lifting slings are made of multiple wire strands twisted around a steel or fiber core. The material of the wire, coupled with the core and strand structure, determines the end-application of the sling.
Available in single-leg and multi-leg assemblies, cable slings are often paired with choker, vertical, and basket hitches. They are commonly used in the:
Wire rope slings continue to be popular lifting solutions due to the following reasons.
That said, wire rope slings are not entirely without fault. Here are a few downsides to using these lifting devices.
Often noted for their strength and durability, alloy chain slings are one of the toughest lifting solutions in the market. Besides being flexible, they can withstand high temperatures, collisions, and chemical exposure.
However, not all alloy chain slings are suitable for overhead lifting. According to data from Michigan State University, lifting and rigging jobs should only use grade 80 or grade 100 alloy chains for maximum safety and efficiency.
Being strong, tolerant to heat, and capable of lifting bulky loads regularly, alloy chain slings are widely used in environments with relatively harsh lifting conditions. These include foundries, steel mills, and heavy machine shops.
If you’re planning to use alloy chains for your next rigging project, here’s how these industrial lifting slings can benefit you.
With regard to chain slings, the drawbacks are limited but significant. For starters, they are the most expensive of all lifting slings. Other disadvantages are as follows.
When it comes to lifting fragile and delicate loads, nothing measures up to the strength and flexibility of synthetic slings. These lightweight lifting solutions, usually crafted out of nylon or polyester, are available in an array of standardized sizes.
Synthetic slings are a go-to choice for hoisting polished, finished expensive and oddly-shaped items. While they are strong enough to lift heavy loads, their soft texture minimizes the risk of scratches and bruising. Furthermore, these industrial lifting devices are equally compatible with vertical, choker, and basket hitches.
As you would expect, synthetic slings play a big role in the construction industry due to their ease of operation and affordability. But they’re also used in sectors where finished products are moved from one point to another.
Given the many benefits of synthetic slings, it’s easy to see why they’re such a well-loved rigging and lifting choice.
That said, synthetic slings have several limitations, which often make them unsuitable for long-term applications.
It’s convenient to choose lifting slings once you have a detailed idea about how they work, what load types they are made for, and their optimal environment, among other things. You’ll need the right slings to drive your industrial lifting project at full steam. As a result, you must consider these factors.
Other factors you should take into account are:
Given that rigging slings are an important aspect of your overhead lifting project, you’ll need to know them like the back of your hand. Hopefully, this guide will give you a fair notion about the different types of slings out there, along with their major pros and cons.
In case you have any additional queries regarding industrial lifting slings, or want to check out our inventory, feel free to reach out to Holloway Houston Inc. Our team of seasoned specialists will help you find exactly what you need for your next lifting job!