Chains are used for all types of applications across numerous industries. Not only are they extremely strong, but they are super durable and flexible. Chains can be used on anything from attaching a swing to a swing set to tying down heavy cargo – all the way to overhead lifting equipment.
However, the grades of chains are an extremely important distinction to categorize what type of chain is best used for a given application.
In addition to understanding the chain grades and their ideal situations, you need to know about the different types of finishes – such as stainless steel, galvanized, and bright.
While an experienced industrial hardware supplier can certainly help you find the right type of chain grade and finish, it is important that you understand the differences so you know exactly when and why you should use various grades during a project.
There are five main grades of chain: 30, 43, 70, 80, and 100. Grade 120 is a newer product available for extremely heavy-duty applications, but it is less common. Each number is the maximum stress that the chain can take per millimeter squared. So, for instance, Grade 30 chain’s maximum stress is 300 newtons per millimeter squared.
Let’s break down each one.
Grade 30 is considered to be a general-purpose chain that can be used for a variety of applications. These applications do not require extremely high strength. Grade 30 is the least strong chain type. Depending on the chain diameter size, it can sustain a working load limit between 1,300 to 6,900 lbs.
Grade 30 is commonly known as Proof Coil chain or Common Coil chain and is comprised of low-strength carbon steel. This type of steel is quite malleable and rust-resistant, but they are not as strong as other types of alloys. It is also less expensive than high carbon or stainless steel.
Grade 30 chain can be used in numerous types of applications, such as:
- Light construction
- Lead securement
- Guard rails
- Agricultural use
- Marine industry
It is important to note that the Grade 30 chain should not be used for overhead lifting as its working load limit is too low.
Elite Sales offers a Grade 30 Proof Coil chain available in numerous diameters and in self-colored, zinc plated, and hot galvanized finishes.
Grade 43 chain is the next strongest grade of chain – of which can be used for slightly more heavy-duty applications than Grade 30. However, it is not approved for overhead lifting applications. Grade 43 has a working load limit ranging between 2,600 to 13,000 lbs.
Grade 43 is also commonly labeled as High-Test Chain or G-4 chain and is comprised of carbon steel, which is known for its high tensile strength and wear resistance. This makes Grade 43 the optimal choice for applications such as:
- Heavy duty trucking
- Guard chains
- Container securement
Elite Sales offers numerous types of Grade 43 chains in various sizes, finishes, and designs. Some of the most popular models include:
- Galvanized and Stainless Steel G43 Windlass chain
- Grade 43 High Test Chain in Hot Galvanized and Self-Colored Finish
- High Test Boomer/Binding Chains
- High Test Stainless Steel Type 304 and 316 Chain
Grade 70 chain is about 20 percent stronger than Grade 43. It is made from heat-treated carbon steel that is incredibly sturdy and durable. Grade 70 chain typically comes in a gold chromate finish for easy identification – as well as protection from abrasion and scratches. Grade 70 chain is also commonly embossed with a number 7, 70, or 700 on each link.
Grade 70 has a working load limit available between 3,150 to 15,800 lbs. and is most commonly used for:
- Trucking and trailer tie-downs
- Logging and forestry
- Heavy load securement
- Oil rigging
- Safety applications
Since this type of chain is often used on trucks, it is also known as Transport chain, Truckers chain, or Binder chain. Even though this chain is extremely strong, Grade 70 chain is not rated for overhead lifting.
Grade 80 is a far more heavy-duty chain that is certified for overhead lifting and other applications which require tremendous strength. It is made of an alloy steel mixture which makes it extremely strong, durable, and rugged. Many Grade 80 chains are available in a black lacquer finish for further protection from wear and scratching.
Grade 80 chain has a maximum working load limit range of 3,500 to 47,700 lbs. It also meets the ASTM’s (American Society of Testing and Materials) standards for overhead lifting as it can be elongated by at least 20 percent before fracturing. In addition, to use in overhead lifting applications as a sling component, Grade 80 can be used for:
- Heavy-duty towing
Grade 80 is also commonly called Alloy Chain and is available from Elite Sales in ranging sizes with a black lacquer finish manufactured to NACM (National Association of Chain Manufacturers) specifications for safety and overhead lifting usage.
Next to Grade 120, Grade 100 chain is the strongest type of chain offered by most industrial hardware suppliers. It is 25 percent stronger than Grade 80, making it the best choice for extremely heavy overhead lifting use and other extreme applications. Grade 100 chain is also comprised of alloy steel – which is heat-treated for higher strength and durability.
Grade 100 chain is available with working load limits between 4,300 to 35,300 lbs. It is designed to be used in a wide variety of applications, such as:
- Overhead lifting slings
Elite Sales offers a Grade 100 Chain available in numerous sizes for nearly any type of heavy-duty project or application.
There are plenty of chain types available on the market – but when you buy from Elite Sales, you can rest assured that you are getting only the best quality of chain guaranteed. We offer a wide range of sizes and finishes in Grades 30, 43, 70, 80, and 100.
Our knowledgeable staff is also available to answer any questions you may have and help you find the exact type of chain you need for the job.
Reach out to our sales team today to place an order and make us your number one chain supplier.