Chain Sling Inspection | 5 Steps for In-Depth Inspection from CM

length of chain

In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection | 5 Steps

How should you conduct an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection? Columbus McKinnon is here on the Hercules SLR blog to share what a professional rigger needs to know when they perform an alloy chain sling inspection. 

This blog will cover: 

  • Twists and bends in your chain sling,
  • Nick, cuts & gouges in the chain links 
  • Wear and corrosion 
  • Chain stretch and elongation
  • OSHA guidelines for chain sling inspection 

Read on to become a chain sling inspection pro. 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 1: TWISTING & BENDING

Consider that chain is evaluated by applying loads in a pure tensile link end-to-link-end fashion and rated accordingly.

Rigging chain around edges or corners alters the normal loading pattern significantly. A lack of proper padding or consideration of the D/d ratio (see above) for chain can result in twisted and bent links. Once a chain is twisted or bent it will alter inner link stresses which can result in failure. For this reason, all chain containing twisted or bent links must be removed from service immediately.

Since 1933, the National Association of Chain Manufacturers represents domestic manufacturers of welded and weldless chain and have conducted D/d testing on alloy chain. 

As a result of this testing, the NACM came out with the chart below which shows reductions in working load limits based on D/d ratio of alloy chain rigged around an edge or a corner. Consult the manufacturer for any D/d below 2.  ASME B30.9 2014 has adopted this chart into the new standard.

columbus mckinnon chain sling rated capacities

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 2: NICKS & GOUGESchain sling link tensile and compression stress pattern

When chain is used to lift, pull or secure materials, the outside surface of the links can come in contact with foreign objects that can cause damage. Nicks and gouges frequently occur on the sides of a chain link, which are under compressive stress, reducing their potentially harmful effects.

The unique geometry of a chain link tends to protect tensile stress areas against damage from external causes. Figure 1 shows that these tensile stress areas are on the outside of the link body at the link ends where they are shielded against most damage by the presence of interconnected links.

Tensile stress areas are also located on the insides of the straight barrels, but these surfaces are similarly sheltered by their location. However, gouges can cause localized increases in the link stress and can be harmful if they are located in areas of tensile stress, especially if they are perpendicular to the direction of stress. Refer to Figure 1.

Figure 2 shows nicks of varying degrees of severity. Reading clockwise, at three o’clock there is a longitudinal mark in a compressive stress area. Since it is longitudinal and located in a compressive stress area, its effect is mitigated, but good workmanship calls for it to be filed out by hand.

At about five o’clock there is a deep transverse nick in an area of high-stress. A similar nick is located at six o’clock in the zone of maximum tensile stress. Both of these nicks can create a potentially dangerous escalation of the local stress and must be filed out with careful attention to not damage other parts of the chain link or chain. A nick that was located at eight o’clock has been filed out properly.

Although the final cross section is smaller, the link is stronger because the stress riser effect of the notch has been removed. The remaining cross section can now be evaluated for acceptability by measuring it and applying the criterion for worn chain. See the “Wear Allowances Table” below. 

chain sling wear allowances table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 3: WEAR & CORROSION

When used in rigorous material handling applications, chain becomes worn or corroded easily. 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.

collapsed chain link example
Figure 2: Inspection for interlink wear can easily be detected be collapsing the chain.

Figure 2 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 Wear Allowances chart above 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 SLING INSPECTION PART 4: STRETCH & CHAIN ELONGATION

A visual link-by-link inspection is the best way to detect dangerously stretched alloy chain links.

Reach should be measured from the upper bearing point on the master link to the bearing point on the lower hook. The smallest sign of binding or loss of clearance at the juncture points of a link indicates a collapse in the links’ sides due to stretch. Any amount of stretch indicates overloading, and the chain should be removed from service.

Note: A significant degree of stretch in a few individual links may be hidden by the apparent acceptable length gauge of the overall chain. This highlights the importance of link-by-link inspection.

Alloy steel sling chain typically exhibits well over 20% elongation before rupture. The combination of elongation and high strength provides energy absorption capacity.

However, high elongation or stretch, by itself, is not an adequate indicator of shock resistance or general chain quality and should not be relied upon by riggers to provide advance warning of serious overloading and impending failure.

Prevent overloading the chain sling by selecting the right type and size of sling. Again, any amount of stretch means the sling’s been overloaded and it should be removed from service.

There is no short-cut method that will disclose all types of chain damage. Safety can only be achieved through proper inspection procedures. There is no adequate substitute for careful link-by-link scrutiny.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION PART 5: OSHA CHAIN SLING INSPECTION

OSHA Chain Sling Inspection standards have gone through minimal changes since they were published on July 27, 1975. These regulations serve as a guide for rigger’s and other competent personnel that will inspect chain slings. 

Applicable sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR 1910.184) include:

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION | 1910.184(d) Inspections

Each day before being used, the sling and all fastenings and attachments shall be inspected for damage or defects by a competent person designated by the employer. Additional inspections shall be performed during sling use, where service conditions warrant. Damaged or defective slings shall be immediately removed from service.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION | 1910.184(e) Alloy Chain Slings

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION: 1910.184(e)(1) Sling Identification

Alloy steel chain slings shall have permanently affixed durable identification stating size, grade, rated capacity and reach.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION: 1910.184(e)(2) Attachments

  • 1910.184(e)(2)(I)

Hooks, rings, oblong links, pear shaped links, welded or mechanical coupling links or other attachments shall have a rated capacity at least equal to that of the alloy steel chain with which they are used or the sling shall not be used in excess of the rated capacity of the weakest component.

  • 1910.184(e)(2)(ii)

Makeshift links or fasteners formed from bolts or rods, or other such attachments, shall not be used.

CHAIN SLING INSPECTION: 1910.184(e)(3) Inspections

  • 1910.184(3)(I)

In addition to the inspection required by paragraph (d) of this section, a thorough periodic inspection of alloy steel chain slings in use shall be made on a regular basis, to be determined on the basis of (A) frequency of sling use; (B) severity of service conditions; (C) nature of lifts being made; and (D) experience gained on the service life of slings used in similar circumstances. Such inspections shall in no event be at intervals greater than once every 12 months.

  • 1910.184(e)(3)(iii)

The employer shall make and maintain a record of the most recent month in which each alloy steel chain sling was thoroughly inspected, and shall make such record available for examination.

  • 1910.184(e)(3)(iii)

The thorough inspection of alloy steel chain slings shall be performed by a competent person designated by the employer, and shall include a thorough inspection for wear, defective welds, deformation and increase in length. Where such defects or deterioration are present, the sling shall be immediately removed from service.

Please note that while the requirements under (d) for daily inspections are not explicit as to scope or maintenance of records, it is possible that individual OSHA inspectors may have different views on conformity—The minimum 12-month interval inspections required under (e) call for thorough inspection and written records.

To ensure you remain compliant with chain sling inspection in your area, be sure to check both manufacturer and provincial standards. 


FIND MORE CHAIN SLING INSPECTION READING ON OUR BLOG:

WELCOME TO HAMILTON, ONTARIO: MEET RIGGER JIM CASE

RIGGING TIPS: AVOID COMMON WIRE ROPE DAMAGE

WIRE ROPE: A MANUFACTURING & TRANSPORTATION PIONEER


NEED A LIFT? HERCULES SLR PROVIDES CHAIN SLING INSPECTION, REPAIRS & MORE

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (877) 461-4876


 FACEBOOK LINKEDIN  TWITTER INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE


Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT | CM Hurricane 360 °

cm hurricane 360 hand chain hoist by columbus mckinnon

THE CM HURRICANE 360 TACKLES THE MOST CHALLENGING APPLICATIONS

One of the most versatile hand chain hoists yet is the CM Hurricane 360.

Unlike traditional hand chain hoists; the CM Hurricane 360° may be used in any direction due to its patented, one-of-a-kind hand chain cover that rotates 360°, which gives a convenient way to move loads without standing under or near the load.

The CM Hurricane 360 Hook-Mounted Hand Chain Hoist has a Weston-style brake system that gives superior load control and reliable performance, which makes it an excellent choice for challenging applications that require versatility. CM captured the flexibility of the CM Hurricane 360 to show you what a little hoist with big muscles can do for productivity and value. 

Have you ever dealt with these tough conditions when operating a hoist? Check out these videos and see for yourself how well the Hurricane handles the job.

https://youtu.be/79LrgcKAJ5k https://youtu.be/G8dMU5O0kp4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAi-CHbvzY


FIND MORE COLUMBUS MCKINNON

VIEW CM PRODUCTS, SPECIFICATIONS & MORE FROM HERCULES SLR BELOW

#WheresYourCM?

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM 1-877-461-4876


FOR READING RELATED TO THE CM HURRICANE 360,

VISIT OUR BLOG:

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING SAFETY | 12 TIPS FROM CM

3 TIPS TO INSTALL YOUR CM TROLLEY

CM’S TIPS: CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS


STAY IN THE LOOP—FOLLOW US

FACEBOOK LINKEDIN  TWITTER INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies. We have a unique portfolio of businesses nationally, with locations coast-to-coast. Hercules Group of Companies provides extensive coverage of products and services that support a variety of sectors across Canada which includes the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries. 

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Entertainment Industry Rigging Safety | 12 Tips from CM

entertainment industry rigging at hercules slr

CM GUEST BLOG | SAFE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING 

Columbus McKinnon joins us on the Hercules SLR blog to share their best tips for safe entertainment industry rigging.

Read on & learn how to set-up and stay safe in the theatre, arena or wherever the lights, camera & action take you—What are you waiting for, check out CM’s entertainment industry rigging tips.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #1 | always check for damaged cablesentertainment industry rigging, check cables, hercules securing, lifting & rigging

Before you plug it in or switch it on, always check for damaged cables. It only takes a few seconds to make sure things are safe, but it takes a lot longer to heal from electrical burns. Always assume there could be a hazard. 

 

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #2 | help fight the good entertainment industry rigging safety, check cables, hercules securing, lifting & riggingfight against rust & corrosion 

Keep up with frequent and periodic inspections of your rigging and hoists. You can find details on what is required for frequent and periodic inspections in your Lodestar Manual, as well as in the ANSI E1.6-2-2013 standard.

 

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #3 | inspect your rigging before and after every useentertainment industry rigging safety, check cables, hercules securing, lifting & rigging

Like many riggers, synthetic slings are super strong, but also very sensitive to being rubbed the wrong way. Always take a moment to inspect your rigging before and after use. The scuff mark on this sling was an indication to examine for other damage.

If you can see the core material, then it is time to retire the sling. Sling inspections are 50% visual and 50% tactile.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #4 | before getting into entertainment industry rigging safety, check cables, hercules securing, lifting & rigginga high-reach, or any other aerial work platform, take a few minutes to do a pre-operational inspection of equipment

Working safely at height requires constant attention to detail.

Before getting into a high reach, or any type of aerial work platform, take a few minutes to do a pre-operational inspection of the equipment. Whether the damage in these pictures occurred from corrosion or a single incident, it is an indicator that there may be other unseen problems with this machine. 

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #5 | look out for those who can’t do so for themselves entertainment industry rigging safety, check cables, hercules securing, lifting & rigging

Some days you never know what nature is going to put in your path. While our own safety is paramount, it is also important to look out for those who cannot do so for themselves. Be nice to our little furry and feathered friends. Find a gentle way to help these birds relocate to a more suitable home.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #6 | check compatibility between rigging attachments and their respective capacities  

Rigging to the low steel and need maximum trim height? Using a beam clamp is a more practical alternative than rigging with wire rope slings when you have to get tight up to that beam. Remember to check for compatibility between rigging attachments and their respective capacities.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #7 | hardware compatibility is critical to safe rigging applications entertainment industry rigging safety, check cables, hercules securing, lifting & rigging

Hooks are designed to take load in the “saddle” or “bowl”. The safe working load of a hook can be severely reduced when loads are applied to the tip. While this example may or may not lead to a failure, it still begs the question of what other shortcuts or missteps may have been taken during this installation? Will that loose piece of sash cord get sucked into the hoist? Safe rigging is all about attention to detail.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #8 | know your voltage setting 

Do you know which voltage setting your CM Lodestar is set for? It only takes a minute to pull the cap off and check. Most entertainment applications will use the low voltage option. Luckily, Lodestars are equipped for dual voltage options. 

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #9 | consider using clove hitches  entertainment industry rigging safety, check cables, hercules securing, lifting & rigging

Using a clove hitch on the chain, 6-12 inches below the hook, can make it much easier to clip into your rigging point. With one hand (or foot) on the rope, the other is free to complete the attachment. Also, there is no chance for the rope to get pinched between the hook and shackle. Always remember to back up that clove hitch with a half hitch on top to prevent roll-out.

 

 

 

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #10 | important truss tower safety considerationsentertainment industry rigging safety, check cables, hercules securing, lifting & rigging

Portable truss towers have become very popular in recent years. They are easy to erect and can be installed quickly with a small crew. Three important safety considerations for these systems are:

  1. Evaluation by an engineer for site-specific considerations and high wind action plans.
  2. Maintaining weather monitoring systems, so prompt action can be taken should inclement weather occur.
  3. Securing the load from swinging with proper rigging hardware. The lever hoists, in this example, are also being used to focus the speakers. 

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #11 | inspect your PPE before each use

The personal protective equipment we use is only effective if we inspect and care for it properly. Before putting on that harness or lanyard, take a moment to inspect all of the stitching, buckles, and attachments.

Make it a habit to do “buddy checks” with your co-workers too. A second set of eyes may see something yours did not. If it doesn’t look right, don’t use it.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY RIGGING TIP #12 | make an effort to seek knowledge and personal growth

No matter how much you already know, there is always room for more training. The culture of our industry is more focused on training than ever these days. Whether you find that training online, on the job, or in a classroom, never be afraid to ask questions. The more knowledge we have, the safer we, and those around us, will be. entertainment industry rigging safety, check cables, hercules securing, lifting & rigging


FIND MORE COLUMBUS MCKINNON

VIEW CM PRODUCTS, SPECIFICATIONS & MORE FROM HERCULES SLR BELOW

#WheresYourCM?

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM 1-877-461-4876


FOR RELATED READING

VISIT OUR BLOG:

MEET YOUR HERCULES SLR INSPECTOR, QUINCY WARNER

MEET QUALITY ASSURANCE & SAFETY SPECIALIST, JAMES GOLEMIC

WELCOME TO HAMILTON, ONTARIO: MEET RIGGER JIM CASE


STAY IN THE LOOP—FOLLOW US

FACEBOOK  LINKEDIN  TWITTER  INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies. We have a unique portfolio of businesses nationally, with locations coast-to-coast. Hercules Group of Companies provides extensive coverage of products and services that support a variety of sectors across Canada which includes the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries. 

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Columbus McKinnon Guest Blog: CM Experts Talk Load Securement

load securement columbus mckinnon at hercules slr

Columbus McKinnon (CM) creates popular, durable hoisting equipment for rigging like the Bandit, and Loadstar—Today, we have a two part piece by two rigging experts from CM on the Hercules SLR talking load securement, and the benefit of ratchet binders versus lever binders. 

Read on and learn load securement tips from Henry Brozyna, Corporate Trainer for CM to tie-down loads safely and securely.

In many cases, the importance of tying down a load on or in a truck is underestimated. It’s interesting to talk to trucking people and find out that they are very in tune with what is expected of them with regards to the vehicle they drive and the maintenance of that vehicle. But when it comes to tie downs and load securement, they usually fall short.load securement columbus mckinnon hercules slr

Securing loads in and on trucks is very important – not just to the driver, but to their customer and most importantly the general public. 

LOAD SECURMENT | Good tie downs go a long way to ensure cargo being hauled on a truck stays on the truck.

A pre-use inspection of the tie downs must be done to ensure the working load limit (WLL) of that tie down is intact. All tie downs have markings to indicate what grade they are or they will be marked with a working load limit. The higher the grade, the stronger the product – as you typically see with chain. Grade 30 is the lowest grade and is not as strong as say, grade 70 or grade 80.

During a roadside inspection by law enforcement, they will look for these markings. If they cannot find any, they will automatically rate the tie down as grade 30, the lowest option. This de-rating may cause him/her to take you and your vehicle out of service due to lack of adequate tie downs. Therefore, it may be helpful to conduct a pre-use inspection, per the manufacturer’s specifications, to ensure the proper type and number of chain tie downs is used.

LOAD SECURMENT | Straps need attention too.

The condition of synthetic straps is one of the most overlooked load securement items. When straps are purchased, the manufacturer assigns a working load limit. That WLL is for straps that are intact and undamaged. This is where a pre-use inspection is needed. Straps that have damage in excess of the manufacturer’s specifications must be removed from service.

LOAD SECURMENT | Take time to check your load securement equipment.

All too often we are in a hurry to get from one place to another. This is usually when we take chances and cut corners. This is also the time that an accident is most likely to happen. It is important to take extra time to make sure the equipment you want to use is in good condition and meets the requirements for use as a load securement device. 

Read on for part two from Columbus McKinnon expert Troy Raines, Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager and learn more about using ratchet binders and lever binders for securing loads, and the benefits of each.

LOAD SECUREMENT | People frequently ask, « What type of chain binder should I use? » 

Being an engineer gives my outlook on life an odd slant. I frequently think of things in terms of simple machines and how they can make my life better. Where am I going with this and how do simple machines relate to chain binder selection? Let me explain. 

LOAD SECURMENT | What is a chain binder?

Also known as a load binder, chain binders are tools used to tighten chain when securing a load for transport. There are two basic styles of chain binders – lever binders and ratchet binders. The method of tightening the binder is what differentiates the two.

Lever Binders

load securement lever binder, columbus mckinnon at hercules slr
Lever Binder

A lever binder is made up of a simple machine, a lever, with a tension hook on each end. The lever is used to increase the force applied to a tie down. The lever is hinged and takes up the slack by pulling on one end of the tension hook and will lock itself after a 180-degree rotation of the lever around the hinge. Some of the advantages of choosing a lever-type binder include:

  • Easy installation
  • Fewer moving parts
  • Quick means to secure and release

Ratchet Binders

load securement, ratchet binder by columbus mckinnon at hercules slr
Ratchet Binder

A ratchet binder uses two types of simple machines and has two tension hooks on each end and handle. The handle again serves as a lever plus there is the screw thread. Having both simple machines can multiply the force manually applied to the tie down assembly.

When using a ratchet binder, the lever and screw work together and increase the force manually applied to the tie-down assembly. The result is that it takes much less pulling force on the handle to apply tension than you would need with a lever binder.

Ratchets also allow for slower, steadier loading and unloading of forces. This reduces any undue stress or strain on your body. Since ratchet binders are designed with a gear, handle, pawl and end fittings, they will not store up as much energy in the handle as a lever binder will.

Another advantage of ratchet binders is that take-up is safer. The take-up distance of a ratchet binder is typically eight to ten inches – twice that of a lever binder. While take up with a ratchet binder may take a few extra minutes, it is more controlled and ultimately a safer process.

LOAD SECURMENT | In Conclusion

Both lever binders and ratchet binders work in a similar fashion and should be chosen based on the preference of the operator. As with any type of load securement gear, safe practices need to be followed, including:

  • Always wear gloves to maintain a good grip on the binder handle.
  • Never use cheater bars on the handle in an attempt to increase the tie down tension. Cheater bars can put excessive force on the tie down. This force can be enough to damage or even break the tie down. This energy may be further increased by shifting loads. The stored energy resulting from this force could injure you or someone nearby.
  • Ensure that the lever binder is fully locked and make sure the load doesn’t shift after it is applied.
  • When releasing lever binders, stay clear of the handle to avoid any potential kickback.
  • Specifically on ratchet binders, don’t rush the ratcheting process. Slow and steady is the best way to tension.

ARTICLE REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION VIA COLUMBUS MCKINNON—FIND HERE & HERE


FOR MORE COLUMBUS MCKINNON, CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CROSBY QUIZ: CAN YOU PASS THIS HOOK INSPECTION QUIZ?

CM’S TIPS: CRANE & HOISTING IN HAZARDOUS AREAS

HERCULES SLR AT THE SABLE STRATEGIC WORKSHOP


Need more information on Columbus McKinnon equipment and load securement? We’ll lift you there.

Click here to learn more about our Columbus McKinnon at Hercules SLR. 


FACEBOOK  LINKEDIN TWITTER INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

CM’s Tips: Crane & Hoisting Equipment in Hazardous Areas

cm hoisting equipment at hercules slr

COLUMBUS MCKINNON GUEST BLOG: How to Use Hoists & Cranes in Hazardous Areas

This guest blog is reprinted with permission from the experts at Columbus McKinnon. Their specialists give you an overview of safe practices to follow to operate crane and hoisting equipment in hazardous environments. 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR SPARK RESISTANCE 

Among many industries that range from upstream oil and gas, refineries to agriculture and wood working, many potentially flammable atmospheres exist. These areas can present unique challenges for material handling equipment and can pose a serious threat to materials, equipment and most importantly, personnel.

In Canada, hazardous areas are defined and managed by a few different regulatory bodies, including the Canada Labour Code, the Canadian Standards Association and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, to name a few. 

FACTORS

It’s generally understood that friction between certain materials can cause sparks sufficient enough to ignite flammable gas or dust. A cigarette lighter or an antique flintlock musket are common examples of this. Obviously the type and concentration/dilution of gases in an area is one element that affects potential ignition from a mechanically generated source, but other key factors could include:

  • The type materials making contact
  • The speed/pressure with which the materials come into contact
  • Corrosion on one or more of the contacting surfaces
  • Lubrication

To address this potential risk, Columbus McKinnon uses materials such as copper, bronze, and austenitic stainless steel, which are generally considered non-sparking. These are used for coatings, or as material substitutions for enhanced spark resistance. Not only are these materials spark resistant, but they can also protect against corrosion. Since surface corrosion can increase friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is also important when using material handling products in hazardous environments.

CM crane and hoisting in hazardous areas, Hercules SLR

Columbus McKinnon engineers a variety of specialty products with spark-resistant components and finishes, including:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Bronze plated components
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR CORROSION RESISTANCE

hoisting equipment in hazardous areas by hercules slr
Offshore refinery, example of a hazardous environment. Photo courtesy of CM.

As we mentioned earlier, lifting equipment used in classified hazardous locations must be compliant with applicable standards. 

It’s important to make sure critical mechanical components are resistant to sparks – it’s equally important to make sure these parts are protected from corrosion. These parts include: 

  • Load blocks
  • Trolley wheels
  • Load brake
  • Lifting mediums
  • Chain
  • Wire rope

Many classified hazardous areas exist outdoors that expose lifting equipment to direct, and often harsh weather. These include offshore oil platforms, natural gas processing plants and refineries – to name a few. Specifically in offshore facilities, equipment may be exposed to splash zones, salt spray and the condensation of salt-laden air. In addition to harsh and corrosive weather conditions, sulfur, mineral acids and other corrosive agents are often present in the crude oil and natural gas that is being produced, processed and transported in these facilities, working to further corrode lifting equipment used in these environments.

CORROSION = $$$ cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr

The cost of corrosion can be tremendous, and can add up to billions of dollars each year in the oil and gas industries alone. In these industries, the cost to repair and replace corroded lifting equipment combined with unscheduled maintenance, downtime and lost production have a major impact on profitability. Corroded load blocks, hooks, chains and cables can result in catastrophic equipment failure. Not only can this cause costly damage to the equipment and the facility, but most importantly, can cause injury or be fatal to operators and other personnel in the facility. 

So – how do you protect lifting equipment from corrosion? It’s critical to use corrosion-resistant materials for load blocks, hooks, chains, cables and other components. Since surface corrosion can increase the friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is important to maintain mechanical spark resistance when using these products in a classified, hazardous environment. 

 

cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr
A corroded pipe in an offshore environment.

Columbus McKinnon offers a variety of solutions for these challenges, in the form of a wide range lifting products with spark and corrosion resistant materials and coatings. They also offer application engineering assistance to help determine the right solution for your application. Choose from specially engineered products with:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Lightweight aluminum housings
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish 
damaged hoisting equipment hercules slr
Corroded chain. Photo via CM.

In addition to corrosion-resistant materials and finishes, we also suggest proper hoist lubrication to prevent sparking. These measures, combined with a robust inspection and preventative maintenance program that includes pre-lift inspections, play a critical role to make sure equipment is dependable and safe in these harsh environments. 

Regardless of where you do business, CM has hoisting equipment and cranes to keep your people, materials and equipment safe in hazardous areas. 

 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS

Earlier in this article, CM discussed the need for mechanical spark resistance and corrosion-resistant measures, especially in hazardous environments. This section outlines challenges faced working with space constraints, how they can be increased in hazardous environments and solutions to potential problems.

SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES  

hoisting equipment in space constraints at hercules slr
Examples of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

 

 

 

 

 

Another example of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

Classified hazardous areas frequently exist within confined spaces, especially in the mining and oil & gas industries. In mining, tunnels often have low overhead clearance in areas where coal or other flammable dust may be present. In the oil and gas industry, designers of offshore facilities typically look to minimize the overall size of the structure, which can lead to low headroom between deck levels and tight clearances for monorails and crane runways.

In all of these situations, there is a need for overhead lifting equipment that is compact in design, including low headroom and short side clearances, as well as a short “end approach” to maximize the deck coverage area served by the monorail hoist or crane.

This need for compact hoists, trolleys and cranes is often complicated by the possibility that flammable gases or dust may be present in the areas where the equipment is used. Therefore, explosion-proof and spark-resistant features may be needed, each posing their own challenges given the space constraints. For example, explosion-proof electric motors and control enclosures are typically larger and heavier than those for non-hazardous areas. Spark-resistant bronze load blocks and hooks tend to be larger than carbon or alloy steel hooks and blocks with the same safe working load. Also, the use of spark-resistant stainless steel load chain or wire rope often requires the equipment capacity to be de-rated due to lower tensile strength of stainless versus alloy steel. This de-rating can sometimes result in larger, heavier and more costly hoists and cranes.

SOLUTIONS 

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when specifying or purchasing lifting equipment for hazardous locations with space limitations. When dimensional constraints within facilities and working environments compete with the need to comply with hazardous area requirements, the safety of personnel, equipment and facilities themselves must always take precedence in our decision making.

Fortunately, there are a variety of hoisting equipment options available, featuring spark- and corrosion-resistant materials and explosion-proof components, that can be used in confined areas. Low-headroom hoists are offered in both wire rope and chain varieties, including manual, electric and pneumatic models.

Wire rope hoists can typically provide higher capacities and faster lifting speeds, while chain hoists can offer smaller overall dimensional envelopes to optimize end approach and clearance. Solid bronze and stainless steel components can provide lasting protection against sparking and corrosion, but, in some applications, copper or nickel plating can be substituted to provide lower headroom dimensions and reduce the need for de-rating of safe working loads.

CM has solutions to many of these problems. Products that work in many different restricted areas for this purpose are: 

  • Ultra-low headroom hoist models 
  • Low-profile hoists 
  • Wire rope hoists/crane rope 

Hercules SLR carries Columbus McKinnon products, hoisting equipment and solutions to use cranes and hoists in hazardous areas—e-mail info@herculesslr.com to find out how we can support your next crane or hoisting operation with safety training, inspections or repairs.  


VISIT CM WORKS FOR MORE: 

PART 1: The Need for Spark Resistance
PART 2: The Need for Corrosion Resistance
PART 3: Space Constraint Challenges & Solutions 

FOR MORE COLUMBUS MCKINNON,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CRANE & HOISTING SYSTEMS: THE DANGERS OF SIDE PULLING

CM GUEST BLOG: 3 SAFETY TIPS TO INSTALL YOUR CM TROLLEY

 CHAIN SLING WEAR AND STRETCH: ARE THEY THE SAME THING?


STAY IN THE LOOP—FOLLOW US

: FACEBOOK  : LINKEDIN : TWITTER         : INSTAGRAM


Where’s your CM hoisting equipment? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about CM crane and hoist equipment at Hercules SLR. 

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.  

CM Guest Blog: 3 Safety Tips to Install your CM Trolley

cm-trolley-hercules-slr

Read on to discover tips from rigging and load securing experts at Columbus McKinnon – today, they’re sharing their top three safety tips to remember when you install your CM trolley.

Whether it’s a hoist, trolley or rigging equipment, proper use, inspection and maintenance is important to ensure operator safety at all times. Operators of material handling equipment should adhere to the manufacturer’s installation, inspection and maintenance requirements outlined in the product’s operation and maintenance manual (O&M manual).

Beam clamps and trolleys are critical components of a complete lifting system and demand the same attention to safety as hoists and below-the-hook rigging. The following three safety tips are important to consider when installing and inspecting a CM Series 633 Trolley.

1. CM Trolley Safety Tip: Consider the flange and shape of the I-beam to ensure proper fit and clearance. Measure the I-beam flange and check the distance between track wheel flanges. This distance should be 1/8 to 3/16 inch greater than the beam flange width for a straight runway. Additional clearance may be required for the trolley to negotiate track sections with curves. This clearance should be kept to a minimum to ensure the trolley operates properly on both the straight track sections and the curved track sections. See Figure 1.

cm-trolley-hercules-slr-rigging
Figure 1

2. CM Trolley Safety Tip: Ensure the equalizer pin nuts have been installed properly, in accordance with the O&M manual recommendations. The pins should be tight and locked position. Nuts should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re tight and secure during periodic inspections, which can be monthly or yearly – depending on service. Refer to your O&M manual, and/or ASME Standard B30.17.

3. CM Trolley Safety Tip: It is recommended that the trolley is mounted to the hoist prior to final installation onto the beam. Follow the washer and spacer instructions in your O&M manual to properly set the trolley based on the application’s beam flange width.

Please note: washer and spacer arrangement recommendations shown in the O&M manual are affected by structural variations. The accuracy of the final adjustment should be verified by the installer to ensure proper clearance is achieved between the trolley wheel flanges and the toe of the runway beam. See Figure 2.

cm-trolley-hercules-slr-rigging-services
Figure 2

Remember, any trolley installation should always be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or the recommendations of a qualified person. Improper installation can cause unequal loading on the trolley and side beam, and as a result can cause the trolley to fall from the beam. It’s also recommended that a load test is performed to 100-125% of the rated capacity of the crane after installation.

Want more CM? Visit our Columbus McKinnon brand page for more information on Hercules SLR’s CM offerings.

Reprinted with permission via Columbus McKinnon – original article here


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Chain Sling Wear and Stretch: Are They the Same?

Chain Sling Wear and Stretch: Are They the Same?-Hercules-slr

Read on to learn the difference between chain sling wear and stretch, from our guest bloggers CM.

Chain Sling Wear & Stretch: what’s the difference?

Frédéric, a mechanical engineer who works for a Canadian public utility company, in the auxiliary equipment department asks CM:

“You said a sling should be removed from service if it stretches. But, you also said that 10% of wear is permissible. Does this mean that a stretch of 5 to 10% should be ok, because wear will make the sling stretch (the reach will increase)?”

Henry Brozyna, CMCO trainer & safety webinar presenter answers:

Chain sling wear and stretch are two different things and both will make the sling length increase. So, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two.

Chain Sling Wear and Stretch: Are They the Same?
Unacceptable Chain Wear

Wear will show itself at the bearing points of the links and can exhibit itself in the bearing points of the chain as a groove. A certain amount of wear is permissible and that will happen over time. Check with the manufacturer to see how much wear they allow.

Stretch or elongation are clear signs of overloading. As such, ASME B30.9 Slings lists stretched chain links or components as one of the reasons a chain sling shall be removed from service. The word “shall” in a standard resolves any doubt.  No stretch or elongation is allowable.

Chain Sling Wear and Stretch: Are They the Same?-hercules-slr
Stretched, elongated chain
CM Chain Sling Inspection Webinar

Read the original article here via CM Works Blog


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

 

CM Tornado 360° Lever Hoist 9T Capacity Available Now

CM-Tornado

The revolutionary CM Tornado 360° is now available in 9-ton capacities – growing the Tornado 360° family that includes 3/4, 1-1/2, 3 and 6 ton units.

Featuring the one-of-a-kind Sidewinder lever handle, the CM Tornado 360° allows for efficient operation in both lifting and pulling applications. Ergonomically designed for increased safety, the CM Tornado lets you work up to 12 times faster and with as much as 30% less pull force than with conventional ratchet lever tools.

Units also feature an optional internal load limiter that helps prevent the lifting of an overload that could CM-Tornado-2sufficiently damage the hoist.

Download the CM Tornado Product Brochure here.

CM is the Global Leader in Providing Products and Application Knowledge to Help Customers Lift, Position, or Secure Materials Easily and Safely

Columbus McKinnon (NASDAQ: CMCO) is a leading worldwide designer, manufacturer and marketer of motion control products, technologies, systems and services that efficiently and ergonomically move, lift, position and secure materials.

Headquartered in Buffalo, New York, our key products include hoists, cranes, actuators, rigging tools, light rail work stations, and digital power and motion control systems. We are focused on commercial and industrial applications that require the safety and quality provided by our superior design and engineering know-how.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.