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Advantages of Chain Slings over Other Types of Slings

By Tim Muprhy 1 years ago No comments

Chain slings are known for their durability, versatility and extremely long service life. Used in many different industries -- generally in rough, heavy duty applications, Chain Slings offer many benefits. We will explain the benefits of Chain (link type) vs. other slings.

Slings can be made from many approved materials and are regularly used for Overhead Lifting, generally in conjunction with a crane, powered or manual hoist or some type of lifting device. Overhead Lifting Slings are fabricated from numerous types of materials – each with specific characteristics providing advantages and disadvantages. Materials approved for making slings are:

  • Chain - Link & Roller
  • Metal Mesh
  • Synthetic - Ropes, Webbing & Fibers
  • Wire Rope

Know What You Are Lifting

Before you specify a sling to be used for your required lift, you must fully understand the application and how it will be used. Required information will include:

  • Weight of object to be lifted
  • Center of Gravity
  • Number of attachment points for balanced lift
  • Geometry of lift includes sling angles
  • Reach
  • Clearance – any height restrictions
  • Upper & Lower Fitting requirements
  • Ambient Conditions

Utilize the above information to select the Sling material and configuration that best completes the lift.

Alloy Steel Chain: Recommended by ASME, NACM & OSHA

When using chain slings, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommend only the use of alloy steel chain for overhead lifting. Grades 80, 100 & 120 are the alloy Grades of steel chains most commonly used throughout industry. They contain elements that give them their unique strength, abrasion resistance, durability and toughness. Per ASTM Standards, alloy chain slings must have the ability to elongate at least 20% when overloaded in order to have a visual indicator to the rigger that the sling is overloaded. Once any stretch is discovered, the chain sling must be removed from service. Synthetics and Wire Rope do not have any such indicators as standard.

Advantages of Chain Slings vs. Slings fabricated from Other Approved Materials



  • Resist crushing, kinking, impact, cuts & abrasions
  • Resist chemicals & UV radiation (Synthetic & Wire Rope damaged by certain Chemicals, Synthetic damaged by UV)
  • Not adversely effected by oily or dirty environments
  • Can withstand -40ºF thru 400ºF with no WLL (Working Load Limit) reduction. Can be used above 400ºF, consult manufacturer for WLL reduction. Synthetic max 194ºF, Wire Rope max 400ºF.
  • Minimum Elongation under load.
  • Long Service Life compared to other Slings.



  • Easily Adjust (Synthetic and Wire Rope Slings cannot be adjusted; therefore are often used incorrectly)
  • Can be constructed in the field
  • Easily inspected
  • Completely repairable (cannot repair load bearing fibers of synthetic slings nor wires in wire rope)

There are strict safety requirements when working with slings. Consult your MURPHY INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS, INC. load charts for rated loads for single- and double-basket, as well as single-, double-, triple-, and quadruple-leg slings when used in basket, vertical, and bridle baskets. These capacities are based on Industry Standards taking into consideration the Chain Grade, hitch type, design factor, strength of the material, and the angle of loading.

Reasons for Choosing Chain Slings

If your job requires a sling that will handle rough, heavy duty lifting as is common in steel fabrication or ship building, Chain Slings may be your best solution. The general characteristics of Chain Slings allow them to stand up to everyday use. Many Sling variations are available to allow on site adjustments to fit your every requirement.

Versatility and Durability are reasons that chain slings are considered a great option. Because these slings have incredible features, they can be used in a variety of ways. You should have no trouble finding a configuration to meet your lifting requirement.

OSHA recommends periodic inspections no more than 12 months apart. Visit www.murphyindustrialproducts.comfor more information regarding proper Use, Care & Inspection of your Chain Slings.

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