The Web Sling and Tie Down Association (WSTDA) recently released guidance on disinfecting synthetic slings and tie-downs to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
In general, it is not recommended that web slings and tie-downs be washed or disinfected as it can lead to a loss of strength. Many chemicals and cleaners commonly used to disinfect other inanimate household objects could have adverse effects on synthetic slings and tie-downs.
We understand there are a lot of questions and unknowns when it comes to the Coronavirus pandemic and encourage our customers to read the full release from the WSTDA on their website.
At US Cargo Control, we care about our customers and getting them what they want, when they need it. If you have any questions about our products, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.
Whether you’re inspecting wire rope, chain slings, synthetic web slings, round slings, or any type of rigging hardware, here are the warning signs of potential rigging equipment failure.
Stay safe and compliant with these rigging gear inspection tips.
The best way to tell if it’s time to upgrade your rigging and lifting gear starts with regular inspections, ideally before and after each use. When you’re trying to get a job done, it’s easy to fall out of the habit of inspecting your gear. But, compared to the alternatives options of either failing an official inspection or having your gear fail while in use, regular rigging gear inspection is well worth it.
So, whether you’re using wire rope, chain slings, synthetic web slings, round slings, or any type of rigging hardware, here are the warning signs to look for when inspecting your rigging gear.
Wire Rope Inspection
Wire rope is often combined with wire rope clips and thimbles and also used in wire rope slings that are great for a variety of lifts. It’s also commonly used on specialty vehicles, like tow trucks, as a winch line. Between load stress, environmental conditions, and abrasion, there are many factors that can shorten the life of wire rope.
Regularly inspect your wire rope and discard it if any of the following is evident:
Yes, even the strongest chain slings, like a mighty grade 120 chain sling, can become overly stressed and eventually unsafe to continue using. Heat, chemicals, and heavy loads all take a toll on a chain slings longevity.
If you notice any of the following on your chain slings, cut them up into 3′ to 4′ lengths (to prevent salvaging) and then recycle them:
Stretched or overly-elongated links
Kinks or binding
Nicks or gouges in links
Synthetic Web Sling Inspection
The softness and flexibility of polyester and nylon lifting slings make them great for lifting fragile or expensive cargo. But just because they’re lifting delicately, doesn’t mean that can’t become worn out and dangerous to use.
Discontinue use and cut the sling into 3′ to 4′ lengths (and cut the eye) if you notice any of the following:
Snags, tears, or cuts
Melting or charring of any surface area
Acid or caustic burns
Broken or worn stitching
Elongation that exceeds manufacturer’s recommendation
Distortion of any fittings
Polyester Round Sling Inspection
Round slings are a versatile, strong, and cost-efficient tool for lifting a variety of cargo types. Polyester round slings contain a continuous loop of polyester yarn inside and a durable polyester fabric on the outside that is usually color-coded by lifting capacity.
While round slings are able to handle large loads, even the smallest rip, cut, or tear is enough to make it unsafe for use. If you notice these issues during inspection, cut the sling in half to retire it from service:
Exposure of the yarn core or broken or damaged yarn
Prior to using rigging hardware, visually inspect each piece and discontinue use if you notice the following:
Excessive nicks, gouges, or corrosion
Bent, twisted, elongated, or cracked load-bearing components
Reduction in original dimension by 10% or more
Indication of heat damage
Missing or illegible load rating information
Purchase Smart, Use With Confidence
If any of the above signs are evident during your routine inspection, it’s likely time to replace your rigging gear. Similar to knowing your rigging inspection checklist, it’s helpful to learn what to look for when buying rigging and lifting gear so you can always ensure that you’re using the best equipment for the job, and enjoy years of safe use.
Are polyester lifting slings better than nylon lifting slings? This is a question our lifting and rigging product experts commonly get and the answer, as it often is with rigging gear, is that it depends on the job at hand.
Before we dive into the key differences between nylon slings and polyester slings, there are many similar advantages to these two types of synthetic slings that are important to know.
Advantages of Synthetic Webbing
1. Ideal for delicate loads
One of the most common reasons for a rigger to use synthetic slings instead of wire rope slings or chain slings is th fact that they won’t scratch or crush your load. That’s why synthetic slings are extremely popular in the construction industry and with ship haulers.
Synthetic slings are also an attractive choice due to their lower cost. If you’re wondering whether nylon slings are cheaper than polyester slings, don’t. The prices are more or less the same, and your focus should be on choosing the right sling for the job.
Compared to wire rope and chain, synthetic slings are much lighter, making them easier to transport and handle. Again, nylon is typically a little heavier than polyester, but it’s not much of a difference when you consider the weight of chain and wire rope.
It’s true that nylon is stronger on an individual fiber level, but a polyester sling can be made just as strong as a nylon one by adding more threading. And both types can easily lift several thousand pounds. So while it’s important to use a lifting sling that’s rated for the load your lifting, this won’t affect your choice between nylon and polyester.
Now that you know how they’re similar, let’s look at the differences between the physical characteristics of nylon and polyester to determine which material type is best for your job.
Nylon has more stretch
This is one the most important differences between nylon slings and polyester slings. While nylon slings have more give to them (about 7 to 10 percent stretch when at WLL) that does not mean they are weaker than polyester (typically 2 to 3 percent stretch at WLL). The main reasons you would want more or less stretch when lifting a load include overheight lifting room and the potential for “snapback”.
If you have height limitations, polyester is probably the better choice. If your load could bounce around a lot, the extra stretch of nylon will reduce the danger of the strap snapping back at you or others. This difference in the stretch is why you typically see recovery straps made of nylon and tow straps made of polyester.
Polyester is softer and more flexible
Both nylon and polyester slings are good for delicate loads, but if you’re wondering which one is best for the most delicate loads, it’s polyester. The chemical coating on nylon webbing gives it a slightly more coarse texture.
Polyester is also a bit more flexible than nylon. By flexible, I’m not talking about stretch but rather the ability to wrap tightly around a load and grip the most surface area.
This is an important difference, especially when choosing between nylon endless slings and polyester endless slings. It’s also important to note that there is a difference between flat web polyester slings and round polyester slings.
Another key question to ask when choosing between nylon slings and polyester slings is, what are the environmental conditions? There’s a reason why ship haulers and those in marine environments prefer polyester slings, they absorb less water and are just a bit more resistant to UV rays. But, you also need to consider the differences when it comes to chemical resistance.
Nylon slings can’t resist acids or bleaches
Avoid using nylon slings if you’re operating anywhere near sulfuric, nitric, hydrochloric, or phosphoric acids. Nylon is also unresistant to oxidizing bleach agents such as sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, and calcium hypochlorite.
Polyester slings can’t resist ethers or alkalis
On the other hand, polyesters Achilles heel is ethers and alkalis. Among other chemicals, this includes diethyl ether, dimethyl ether, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, calcium carbonate, and magnesium hydroxide.
In short, synthetic lifting slings are a great choice due to their ability to handle delicate loads, lower cost, lightness, and impressive strength. In the polyester sling vs nylon sling matchup, the winner is whichever one meets the demands of your specific job best.
Nylon slings have more stretch but can’t be used near acids or bleaches. Polyester slings are softer and hug to load surfaces better but can’t be used near ethers or alkalis.
If you have any additional questions about nylon slings or polyester slings, give our rigging product experts a call at 800-404-7068.
If you work in the rigging and lifting industry you know that, when lives are on the line, close is never close enough. Safety measures, procedures, and equipment specs have to be spot-on.
Maintaining a safe job site starts with having the proper equipment for the job. But, with thousands of different rigging products, each with their own distinct characteristics, capabilities, and reputation, many riggers face the struggle of trying to choose the correct rigging and lifting equipment for the job.
Here are the 4 main things to pay attention to when deciding which rigging and lifting products are best for your particular job.
1. Assess what your lifting
To start, you need to assess the object or objects you are needing to lift or rig up. Does the object have sharp corners? Where is the center of gravity in your load? How much lifting space do you have? Asking these questions first will help to narrow down the potential rigging gear you can safely and effectively use for the job.
2. Know your Load Limit
Working load limit is the maximum weight that can safely be applied to a given piece of rigging equipment. It’s different for each individual piece of equipment, so be sure to pay close attention to this when selecting your rigging and lifting gear. Just one weak area puts the entire operation at risk. Check the weight of your load first, then ensure that you only buy equipment that is rated for that weight or more.
3. Consider Temperature & Environment
In applications that experience extremely high or low temperatures, certain equipment may not operate properly. For example, if you’re working in a high-heat environment, you will want to use wire rope with an independent wire rope core (IWRC) instead of a fiber core (FC). Also, consider the worksite environment. If saltwater is a factor, buy stainless steel rigging gear to prevent corrosion.
4. Opt for Quality
Strength and durability is the name of the game when it comes to rigging and lifting gear. For the best chance of avoiding accidents and equipment that wears out quickly, you’ll want to ensure that you’re purchasing high-quality rigging equipment from trustworthy sources. It may not always be the most affordable choice, but it will be the smartest choice in the long run.
The importance of buying the right equipment is clear when you consider the stakes of lifting and handling heavy loads. Don’t guess. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate the job at hand before buying. When you do buy rigging and lifting supplies, be sure to check all the manufacturer specifications and ask questions if you’re unsure.
USCC has a team of dedicated product consultants that are just a phone call away. If you have product questions or would like to place an order over the phone instead of on our website, give them a call at 800-404-7068.
Choosing the right sling for lighting can be confusing, but it’s important to take the environment and conditions where the lifting sling will be used into consideration.
Nylon lifting sling
Nylon lifting slings are a popular choice because of their multi-purpose uses. A nylon web sling is unaffected by petroleum products like grease and oil. Nylon slings are also resilient to specific chemicals including ethers, strong alkalies and aldehydes. Nylon webbing is not a good choice for uses involving bleaching agents or acids, or for use in temperatures over 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius). Nylon also stretches at approximately 8-10%, so it should not be used when elongation is not intended.
Polyester lifting sling
Like a nylon lifting straps, polyester round slings also have temperature guidelines, and are not advised for use in temperatures over 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius). Unlike nylon, they will stretch only approximately 3% of its rated capacity. A polyester round sling can handle acidic environments because the fabric is not affected by bleaching agents or common acids. Polyester webbing, however, should not be used if it will come in contact with sulfuric acids or alkaline.
Chain lifting sling
Chain lifting slings are ideal for rugged environments and jobs. They resist abrasions, cutting and can maintain their strength and integrity even in extremely high temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degree Celsius). Chain slings are generally constructed in Grade 80 steel, but a Grade 100 chain is usually available on request. Grade 100 chain offers more strength (about 25% more) for lifting chains, yet weighs less than traditional Grade 80 lift chains. Another benefit of a chain sling is its ability to be customized for almost any type of lift. However, a chain hoist can be expensive and the prices can vary due to the market fluctuations.
Wire rope lifting sling
Wire rope slings are similar to a chain sling in that it offers excellent durability, strength and resistance to high temperatures. Wire rope, however, is more cost-efficient than chain so it’s a great choice is price is a concern. Because abrasion-resistance and flexibility of the wire rope can change depending on its configuration, a chain sling can be manufactured using a specific type of wire rope. Typically, wire rope is made from either 6×19 or 6×37 classes of rope. A 6×19 is the most widely used because of its ideal combination of flexibility and abrasion resistance. A 6×37 class rope is more flexible, but offers less resistance to abrasion.
Other factors will go into determining which lifting sling type is best for your specific job, such as the item(s) being lifted, capacities needed, etc. For help choosing a lift sling, call our product specialists at 800-660-3585. They’ll be happy to any answer questions you may have.