Tag: CVSA

Understanding the Difference between Chain Grades and How They’re Used

Understanding the Difference between Chain Grades and How They’re Used

chain grades
Chain has been around for over a thousand years. It is one of the most versatile and reliable ways to lift, tension and tie down materials in a variety of applications. In the past, people would use any type of chain to lift something, tie down a load or tow a vehicle. Proper inspection, safety procedures and general standards of practice for chain were lacking.

In recent years, due to safety concerns and regulations, the industry has begun to differentiate between various materials and grades of chain and the specific applications they should be used for. ASTM (American Society of Testing & Materials), ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) began to publish safety standards and regulations for the manufacturing, testing, use, inspection and repair of chain.

Chain Grades

One of the safety measures implemented was to place chain in Grades based on the ultimate breaking strength of that chain. This number is what we see today G30, G43, G70, G80 & G100 and the common chain grades. The number after each letter is N/mm2. For example, G80 means that the maximum stress on the chain at ultimate strength is 800 newtons per millimeter squared.

Working Load Limit (WLL) of Chain

The other safety measure was identifying which types of chain are appropriate and strong enough for overhead lifting. Anytime we move or lift a load it is dangerous. Moving a load along the ground has the advantage that the ground is supporting the load. We have to overcome the coefficient of friction to move the load. The chain’s working load limit does not have to match the weight of the load. It needs to be able to handle the tension applied, which is based on the surface that it is being moved over plus some fraction of the weight of the load. This can be calculated using formulas.

If we lift that same load off the ground, we now have to overcome gravity. The chain’s working load limit will have to be of sufficient strength to support the weight of the load plus any additional forces imposed by angles and hitch type(s) used.

Which Chain Grade Should Be Used for Which Type of Application?

Alloy Chain Grade 80 or Grade 100 should be used for overhead lifting. ASTM states that alloy chain shall be able to elongate a minimum of 20% before fracture (7.3.5). To ensure that alloy chain consistently meets this requirement, ASTM requires the use of certain alloying elements in the manufacturing of the steel for alloy steel chain. These alloys can vary from company to company, but some key requirements are specified by ASTM. The alloy properties also improve the wear and tear that the chain will experience.  Note that when chain is in use, no amount of stretch is allowed.

Carbon Grade 70 chain is a “heat treated” carbon steel chain that has no alloying elements added to the steel. This chain will elongate before breaking but does not have the properties needed for overhead lifting; therefore, Grade 70 chain is not intended for overhead lifting. This chain is designed for use as a tie down chain or lashing for transportation. Grade 70 chain has a gold chromate finish to help resist corrosion from continuous exposure to the elements and the rigors of highway use, such as road salts in the winter.

When any type of overhead lifting is required, use only alloy chain slings unless specified by the manufacturer.

The preferred chain for load securement is Grade 70, but any grade of chain can be used for tie downs or tensioning. You have to know your tensions in order to select the proper chain. Refer to load securement safety standards FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance), WSTDA (Web Sling Tie down Association) or the state regulations for more information.

Training is key in knowing how to properly size and use any type of chain for any application. Learn more about Columbus McKinnon training programs.

Watch our Safety Webinar on Load Securement.

Henry Brozyna

Henry Brozyna is a Corporate Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Look for us at the CVSA Annual Conference in Buffalo, NY, September 14-17

Look for us at the CVSA Annual Conference in Buffalo, NY, September 14-17

CVSA-logo_JPG-versionThe Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will be hosting a conference and exhibition in Buffalo, New York from September 14-17 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.   The CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Their mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers.

Stop by Booth #12 to see some of our featured products:

Everyone who stops by our Booth #12 and drops off their business card will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a 3/4 ton Bandit hoist. Henry Brozyna, CMCO Corporate Trainer, will also be at the booth to answer any questions you may have.

Interested in attending? You can register here. We hope to see you there!

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Wrap-up from the Recent WSTDA Meeting

Wrap-up from the Recent WSTDA Meeting

wstda-logo1 I recently attended the spring meeting of the WSTDA, (Web Sling Tie Down Association) in Fort Myers, FL. The meeting was comprised of web sling & tie down manufacturers, distributors & end users, a typical cross-section of its membership. Here are some of the highlights:

WSTDA Performs its Own Testing

One of the interesting things about the WSTDA is they will conduct their own testing. Samples are anonymously supplied to the testing committee, marked X, Y, Z & set up for testing. The results are shared by the committee with the membership at these meetings. The important thing about the results is that they guide the committees in formulating an industry recommendation. These recommendations are very important because the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) can use them to potentially sideline a truck for improper tie downs or OSHA can use them to cite a company for improper use of a sling. There are currently a number of these types of tests taking place; we anticipate that the results will be distributed at a future meeting.

Role of the WSTDA Committee

Over the years materials and the way things are done have changed. Therefore, some of the previous recommendations that WSTDA has made need to be updated. This is another issue that the various committees take on –  the updating of WSTDA’s recommendations.

Synthetic slings are being used more & more and are being asked to lift ever-increasing capacities. This is why this organization is so very important. The WSTDA, based on their testing results, will print recommendations that other organizations, such as ASME, CVSA & FMCSA will reference.

Newly-Developed Load Binders Used With Chain Tie Downs Standard Released

The WSTDA is pleased to announce the recent publication of its newly-developed Recommended Standard Specification for Load Binders Used With Chain Tie Downs. The standard applies to load binders designed to accommodate chain tie downs for the purpose of securing cargo. This standard recommends construction as well as identification and marking of these load binders. In addition, it gives important practical advice on use, maintenance and inspection of these binders.

The WSTDA is a non-profit, technical association dedicated to the development and promotion of voluntary recommended standards and associated reference materials. Members of the WSTDA include manufacturers and suppliers of synthetic web slings and tie downs, polyester roundslings, synthetic webbing, fibers, thread and related components.

For more information, contact WSTDA at (443) 640-1070 or www.wstda.com

Henry Brozyna

Henry Brozyna is a Corporate Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.