Often the hardest part about any job in the heavy lift industry is pinning down exactly what type of sling is right for the job. With slings varying drastically in material and configuration, you are likely to find yourself needing to choose from round chain slings, four-leg wire rope slings, synthetic cradle slings, and more. With so many options in an industry where safety is paramount, the best way to optimize your work is to learn as much as you can about each type of sling. Because we believe in exploring the differences between sling materials and sling configurations, we’ve created this article that compares Polyester Round Slings to round slings made with chain. By the end of this article, you should find yourself much more informed on these two types of slings.
1. Environmental Resistance
In this category, polyester round slings are particularly strong. While chains can be treated or coated in order to become more resistant to environmental factors, they are metal and are, therefore, subject to rust in certain conditions. Polyester slings are extremely resistant to moisture and, additionally, are one of the only types of industrial lifting slings that are resistant to salt water. Polyester retains very little moisture and making it unlikely to swell or distend when used in marine environments.
Polyester is extremely strong for its weight; however, chains are the strongest material widely available in terms of raw strength. While polyester round slings can be reinforced by having multiple layers of synthetic webbing, chains simply outperform in raw strength. This fact comes as a result of how each material interacts with weight; steel is incredibly strong, but rigid. Polyester, on the other hand, is much more elastic, being made of extremely tiny, interwoven polymer strands.
In regard to flexibility, almost nothing beats polyester. Polyester round slings gently bend around just about any type of object without causing undue stress on the object. Chains, while capable of wrapping around many simple objects, are limited in their flexibility due to the way individual links interlock. Polyester slings, on the other hand, are flexible enough to spread slightly over nearly every type of edge or surface.
Once again, polyester wins this category outright. Not only does polyester outperform chains in regard to its relative softness, but it outperforms almost all other commercially available materials used for slings. Polyester slings’ elastic webbings gently spread on a micro level to increase the surface area for lift, meaning that less pressure is put on single points. Chains, unfortunately, are very rough and can cause damage to sensitive surfaces that polyester will not scuff at all. For surfaces prone to scuffing, marring, or denting, polyester slings should be used over just about any other material.
5. Chemical Resistance
In this category, there is no clear victor. Chain slings are vulnerable to acids and oxidizers, but polyester is vulnerable to bases. While chain slings are slightly more resistant to bases, strong basic solutions can still damage them. However, polyester slings are quite resistant to acids, which gives them a slight advantage over many other types since they are the only significantly acid resistant type of sling.
If you are looking to equip your jobsite with new slings, let us help. Our professional staff can help you get access to all kinds of information about just about every type of sling you can think of. In addition, we can help guide you through our amazing, well-stocked catalog of American-made products. Come see us today at www.empirerigging.com to see what we can do for your jobsite!