Contributed by Bob Kozickie, Technical Sales Support Manager
Peerless Grade 80 alloy chain has dominated the lifting and rigging market for many years. This is due to the fact that alloy chain is strong, durable, ductile, and can perform well in extreme environmental conditions. It also has the versatility to be used in a variety of different applications. Advancements in metallurgy and process technology is now helping to transition the market into making Grade 100 alloy chain the preferred riggers choice. These advancements have been attained without compromising any of the characteristics required to be compliant with ASME, ASTM, ANSI, and NACM Standards. There are a couple of differences and many similarities between the two grades but the Grade 100 working load limit makes it the best choice for lifting.
Looking at the two grades, capacity is the predominant feature which gives Grade 100 the greatest advantage. Grade 100 chain has roughly a 25% higher capacity rating when compared to a comparable size Grade 80. This increase has given a significant ergonomic advantage to the Grade 100. For example, a 3/8” Grade 80 single leg chain sling has a capacity of 7,100 lbs., where as a 3/8 Grade 100 Single leg chain sling has a capacity of 8,800 lbs. The 1,700 lbs. of additional capacity can play a major factor if the rigger needs to lift a 4 Ton load. Lifting this load would require the rigger to use a 1/2” Grade 80 chain sling. 3/8” Grade 100 has an approximate weight of 1.5 lbs/ft and the 1/2” Grade 80 weighs about 2.5 lbs/ft. The weight differential would be compounded if the chain sling had a long reach with multiple lifting legs. This same differential is carried out through all sizes of Grade 100 alloy chain.
Alloy lifting chain will continue to evolve with higher lifting capacities which will give the rigger additional advantages when using chain slings to make their lifts.