Pros and Cons of Different Kinds of Synthetic Slings
Falls are the most common cause of accidental death in the construction industry. Having the right safety equipment is crucial to the well-being of your workers. A good cable and rigging supplies company can help you make the right choices when you’re deciding on types of lifting slings.
Are You Having Trouble with Slings?
You may be having difficulty with weighty lifting slings that are hard for your workers to handle when they’re trying to rig a load. Alternatively, you may be worried that your slings might damage the materials being lifted. In choosing lifting slings, you will need to consider the work environment and the potential for the load to cut or abrade the sling. You’ll also need to think about cable and rigging supplies — including rigging hardware, below-the-hook features, and other equipment related to lifting.
Benefits of Synthetic Slings
Synthetic slings are composed of soft fibers, yet they are built to withstand heavy loads and keep pricey or breakable materials from getting scratched or crushed. They offer the support, strength, and flexibility you require when lifting heavy loads within your building or through a work site. Synthetic slings are manufactured from polyester, nylon, and similar lightweight materials and are easy to work with. They are affordable, available in a wide range of sizes, and simple to replace.
Due to their flexibility, synthetic slings can fit different shapes in loads, including breakable materials and those with irregular shapes. They can be paired with a choker hitch to safely lift round bar stock or tubes. Synthetic slings also work in basket and vertical hitches. Since they are made from non-sparking and non-conductive materials, they are safe to use on jobs involving explosives.
The Downside of Synthetic Slings
You’ll have to think carefully about whether a synthetic sling is appropriate for a given application. Synthetic materials are more vulnerable to damage from the environment, such as very high or very low temperatures, UV exposure over long periods, and environments that are chemically active. Nylon and polyester, for example, respond differently to alkaline and acidic environments. Synthetic slings are not as resistant to damage by cuts and abrasions as are slings made of steel wire rope or alloy chain slings. They are generally not as resistant to damage by heat, although some manufacturers make slings that are specially designed to stand up to high heat. Finally, synthetic slings need corner protectors or edge guards to help prevent tears and cuts.
Clearly, the use of synthetic slings in construction is something to be carefully considered. Synthetic materials are strong, flexible, and affordable, but they may not be the best choice for work sites with extremes in temperature or chemical environments. You can discuss these issues with the knowledgeable staff at our cable and rigging supplies store. Call us today for more.