In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 3: Wear and Corrosion

In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 3: Wear and Corrosion

This article is Part 3 of a 5-part blog series that will cover what professional riggers should consider when performing an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection. Today, we’ll discuss chain wear and corrosion.

chain wear
Figure 1: Inspection for interlink wear can be easily detected by collapsing the chain.

When used in rigorous material handling applications, chain can easily become worn or corroded. It is important to inspect chain for defects on a regular basis to avoid an unsafe lifting condition or even operator injury. When corrosion and wear occur, it results in a reduction of link cross-section which can lead to decreased strength of the chain.

Corrosion can occur anywhere chain comes in contact with harsh chemicals, water or when it is used in tough environments.

Wear can occur in any portion of a link that is subject to contact with another surface.

The natural shape of chain confines wear, for the most part, to only two areas. These are, in order of importance, (a) at the bearing points of interlink contact, and (b) on the outsides of the straight side barrels that may be scraped from dragging chains along hard surfaces or out from under loads.

Figure 1 illustrates the condition of interlink wear and shows how to inspect for it. Notice how easily such wear can be detected by collapsing the chain to separate each link from its neighbors. An operator or inspector can also check for corrosion using the same method.

When chain wear or corrosion is observed, the next step is to determine how severe the damage is and if the chain can still be safely used.

General surface corrosion can be removed by cleaning and oiling the chain. If pitting is observed after cleaning and oiling, remove from service. Next, the operator should take a caliper measurement across the worn section of chain and compare it to the minimum allowable dimension for that chain.

See the chart below for minimum section dimensions or chain wear allowances for Grade 80 and 100 Chain. If the chain does not meet these minimum dimensions, it should be removed from service and replaced.

chain wear

Stay tuned for our next part in this series where we’ll talk about Chain Inspection.

Additional Resources:

In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 1: Twisting & Bending
In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 2: Nicks and Gouges

To learn more, view our Chain Sling Inspection Safety Webinar.
Want to get trained? Check out our Qualified Rigger 3 day Workshop.

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

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3 Replies to “In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 3: Wear and Corrosion”

  1. Hi Peter,

    Thanks. It would, however, be a bit difficult to present a course in our region, as we are in South Africa as I mentioned in my message.
    I have a workshop manager who has been in the industry for nearly 19 years. I have been for coming up 30 years. But courses are always a good thing, as anyone can learn something, everytime.
    Selwyn Low
    Newcastle, KZN, South africa

  2. Hello Selwyn,
    Thanks for your comment. We are available to offer a complete 3 day qualified rigger course covering inspection, and basic and advanced rigging in your region. Please contact me via email at and we can discuss this further.
    Thank you!

  3. Hi Peter,
    This type of training and info is great to see. I wish we could get this in South Africa.
    There is a big need for ongoing training in industry out here. There are a couple of training companies, not directly involved in the lifting industry that go about offering “training” but their instructors do not have a clue as to the importance of being specialized in the lifting enviroment. I have seen some of their training manuals and it leaves a lot to be desired! You cannot teach people safety, and safe use, regarding lifting in one day! I have been in the lifting industry for 30 years, and am trying to find the time to write a decent manual regarding the correct and incorrect use of lifting equipment. We have also been agents for CMCo/Yale for many years as well. Great products!
    Selwyn Low
    Newcastle, KZN, South africa

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