When chains are used and stored correctly, they are a durable and cost-effective addition to your lifting and rigging arsenal. However, if stored incorrectly, the chain may be damaged and become hazardous. As deterioration of any chain link increases its risk of unreliability, this article will delve into our Lifting KnowHow to ensure your chain remains long-lasting and safe.

 

Cartoon navy magnifying glass depicting CERTEX's close inspection during inspection of lifting equipmentRegular Inspection

Ensuring regular inspections are conducted is the first step in maintaining lifting chains. Be sure to keep an eye out for signs of damage, including:

  • Distorted links: This could be a sign of overloading or mishandling.

  • Surface damage: Look for gouges, cuts, or wear that could weaken the chain.

  • Corrosion: Rust or other forms of corrosion can significantly reduce the strength of the chain.

A cartoon image of two gears in CERTEX Lifting's signature red and navy colour scheme.Environmental Factors

Environmental factors play a big part in the life span of your chains and can often lead to damage unseen by the naked eye. Practical knowledge and experience are required to understand thoroughly how your chains perform. Issues like hydrogen embrittlement (the deterioration of structural properties of solid metals due to the presence of hydrogen) lead to a severe risk of catastrophic chain failure but are very easy to overlook in an inspection if you are unaware of where your chains have been in use, how often they are in use, and unaware of small changes in the chains physical properties.

An array of lifting hooks and chains propped up against a wall. CERTEX Lifting experts inspected the chains and marked them with inspection tags.

A navy cartoon fully stocked warehouse symbolises CERTEX Lifting's extensive product range.Proper Storage

When not in use, lifting chains should be stored in a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures on A-frames or wall racks. Lightly oil your chain before prolonged storage, and coil the chains loosely without kinks or twists to prevent unnecessary stress and deformation.

Cartoon image of a CERTEX Lifting chainProper Cleaning

It is essential to keep your lifting chain clean as dirt and grime can hide potential issues and accelerate wear. It is recommended to use a non-abrasive cleaner and a stiff brush to keep your chains clean. It is imperative to avoid corrosive substances as they can contribute to chain damage.

A cartoon of a jerry can of oil.Lubrication

Lubrication reduces friction between the chain’s links, preventing wear and tear. Here at CERTEX Lifting, we offer lubrication services that increase the longevity of your chain’s life. Contact us for more information or to book your service.

Two gloved hands are undertaking a test and repair on the Grade 80 lifting chain.

A lined cartoon piece of paper alongside a navy pen. Ticks are next to the lines, symbolising CERTEX Lifting's thoroughness in completing tasks.Professional Inspection

In addition to regular self-inspections, it’s important to have your lifting chains inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year. CERTEX Lifting service professionals can identify issues and concerns and determine if a chain is safe for use, or if it requires replacing. If you need to decide how frequently you should be conducting professional inspections or how to record your inspections, speak to one of our professionals who can give expert advice on your inspection regimes based on the use-cycle and working environments your equipment is subject to.

Remember, maintaining your lifting chains is not just about prolonging their life, but also about ensuring the safety of your operations. A well-maintained lifting chain is a safe lifting chain!

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