The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Rigging Slings

If you operate a construction site or an industrial facility, there’s a good chance that you have at least one crane or hoist to lift loads. But it’s important to understand that not all rigging slings are created equal, and choosing the wrong sling can lead to a safety hazard or project inefficiency.

The sling you use depends on a few factors, including the weight of the object, center of gravity, number of attachment points, height restrictions, fitting requirements and outdoor conditions.

This post will cover the different types of slings and help you choose which one is right for your business or current project.

Wire rope slings

Wire rope consists of multiple steel wires laid in a spiral pattern around a steel core. The design provides strength and flexibility, and can handle extreme bending stresses. What’s more, they’re lighter and have a lower initial cost than some other slings we’ll mention below. These slings are popular in construction, automotive, oil and general manufacturing industries.

A few downsides of wire rope slings are that they have a low strength-to-weight ratio and are difficult to inspect for flaws due to the design.

Alloy chain slings

When it comes to lifting heavy-duty loads, alloy chain slings are the go-to slings. The chains are typically made of steel alloy, but other metals may be used in corrosive or high-temperature environments. Their strength and durability make them ideal for foundries, steel mills, heavy machine shops or anywhere else where repetitive lifts would damage wire rope or synthetic slings.

The biggest downside is that these chains are very heavy, so you’ll need to ensure your lifting equipment is large enough to accommodate the weight. Additionally, the large chains can damage some sensitive loads.

Synthetic slings

When lifting delicate equipment or finished parts, consider using synthetic lifting slings made of nylon or polyester. They’re lightweight, easy to rig and flexible. Their flexibility allows them to mold around irregularly-shaped loads often found on construction sites. But just because they’re flexible doesn’t mean they’re not strong—they have a very high strength-to-weight ratio.

However, synthetic slings have a lower heat resistance than the slings mentioned above and are less durable than metal. You’ll likely need to replace these slings more frequently than metal ones, but they are less expensive than other slings.

Metal mesh slings

Made of high-tensile carbon, alloy or stainless steel wire mesh, these slings are often used in metalworking or environments where the loads are hot or abrasive. They’re flexible enough to lift loads with irregular shapes, but they’re strong enough to lift most equipment found in industrial settings.

Be sure to inspect these slings frequently for signs of damage. If even a single string is broken, the entire sling needs to be replaced.

We have just what you need

Whether you need wire rope slings or an entire crane, Zo-Air Co. Inc. sells all of the lifting equipment you need to get through the day. Plus, our team can come to your site for quick and easy professional installation. Call us today to see what we can do for you.

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