If you currently use chains on your hoists and you need to replace some or all of them, then it's worth thinking about using wire ropes instead. Ropes can do the same job as chains but have some useful extra advantages. What are they?
1. More Built-in Strength
Metal chains are meant to be strong. Their links are made from solid metals that can carry recommended weights and move and hold them without breaking.
However, a chain is only as strong as each of its links. The chain's strength relies on its materials and link construction.
The way that wire ropes are made gives them added strength in different areas. The ropes build up around a strong core material which stabilises the rope to start with. Then, the wires around this core add strength to the mix too.
Each rope consists of several strands of wire that wrap around the core. In turn, each strand contains multiple wires that have been woven together.
This multi-faceted construction increases the strength of the rope and its weight-bearing abilities. It also helps the wire carry a load even if part of it breaks.
2. Lighter Weight
Metal chains are often heavy. The more weight you need the chain to bear, the heavier it is likely to be.
This may not be a problem if you have a static hoist with an automated chain mechanism. However, if you need to move a hoist or its chain, then this can be difficult if the chain is particularly heavy. It also puts an extra load on hoists that are mounted from above.
Wire rope is usually a lot lighter than a chain. It is also easier to move and to carry.
3. Longer Replacement Times
While you expect metal chains to last a long time, you can't mitigate against accidental damage or wear and tear. If a chain rusts, then it may break; cracks or breaks in links ultimately make the chain fall apart.
If a chain link breaks, then the chain won't work. It effectively breaks into two pieces. If you can't repair the damage, you have to buy a new chain.
However, if one strand of a wire rope breaks or frays, then the core and the other strands may supply enough support for the rope to keep working. So, a wire rope may last for longer and need replacing less frequently.
To find out more about making the switch to wire rope, contact your equipment supplier.