Safety is of the utmost importance for any application involving industrial hardware. This type of equipment is usually responsible for securing heavy leads or holding materials securely in place – so any interference could be disastrous.
Generally, the main safety factors considered for choosing industrial hardware include checking the weight load limit and size requirements. These are certainly critical elements that must be considered. However, one crucial safety factor that is often overlooked is the weather and environment.
Industrial hardware that is used on construction sites or other exposed locations needs to be able to withstand all of the elements. Additionally, the weather may influence which type of hardware should be used at specific moments, especially for overhead lifting applications.
As an industrial hardware supplier, our goal is to provide equipment that performs well and ensures safety no matter what it’s used for. So, we urge our customers to consider how the weather may impact the type of hardware they need for their projects.
Here’s how you should choose industrial hardware according to the weather conditions.
1. Rain and Precipitation
Rain, mist, and precipitation are probably the most common weather conditions that can damage industrial hardware. Exposed steel pieces will rust within just 4-5 days if it is not dried immediately. So, this is something to take into consideration when purchasing hardware made of steel, such as links, shackles, and hooks.
If you are working in an area that gets snow and rain regularly or if the hardware is near a body of water, stainless-steel hardware is a must. Stainless steel is naturally corrosion-resistant and will not rust in environments with excessive moisture.
This resistance is thanks to the metal alloy that creates stainless steel. Chromium is added to the molten carbon steel. This gives it a signature shiny appearance while also preventing the iron from reacting with water to form rust.
You can purchase many pieces of industrial hardware in stainless steel finish, including:
Larger pieces of equipment can also be made of stainless steel including cables, chains, and strands.
2. Windy Weather
High winds can be extremely dangerous on construction sites, which is why overhead lifting and rigging must cease if the wind speed exceeds 20 mph. Not only can the wind change the trajectory of the load during lifting, but it can also increase the strain on the rigging equipment itself.
High winds will increase the friction on the securement hardware, such as the hooks, slings, and shackles. Additionally, the closer that an object is to the ground, the more friction it will experience from wind gusts. So, wind speeds and friction should be accounted for when choosing industrial hardware.
If heavy wind is common in the area or is present during construction, it is best to use equipment with a higher working load limit to account for additional pressure. This is typically calculated into the safety factor for rigging equipment such as wire ropes.
3. Extreme Temperatures
You may be surprised to learn that hot weather can actually have an impact on industrial hardware as well. Extreme dry heat can pull out lubrication and moisture from hardware elements, causing excess friction which could wear things down much faster.
Dry heat can also lead to an accumulation of dust on industrial hardware, which can clog up pulley systems. It is important to keep industrial hardware out of direct sunlight when not in use and clean off dust accumulation regularly.
Some items will require regular cleaning and lubrication to extend their use. For instance, this is a crucial care component for wire rope, as mineral oil or petrolatum-based lubricant needs to be applied to protect the strands from cracking. Lubricant may also need to be applied on industrial hardware pieces to prevent dust from forming in cracks, causing pieces to get stuck.
On the other hand, cold weather can have a negative impact on industrial hardware as well. Freezing temperatures can cause issues with machinery, increasing the likelihood of accidents and other problems. Lubricants can also freeze, which could cause smaller pieces of steel like wire rope strands to snap.
Of course, snow and ice formation can lead to corrosion. If the temperature is consistently below freezing, it may be best to cover all industrial equipment to protect it from snow and ice.
4. Marine Weather
The fourth weather consideration would be the marine environment. Marine rigging and lifting sites pose peculiar challenges because the salt concertation in the seawater and even the air is high. Plus, you will need to take high humidity into account.
The good news is you can find industrial hardware specially designed for moist and harsh marine environments. As an industrial hardware supplier, we recommend using stainless steel hardware.
Stainless steel is durable and offers high resistance to corrosion. These qualities make it the most suitable material for the marine environment. Whether you want to buy ire ropes or hinges, make sure they are made of stainless steel.
You can use industrial hardware made from galvanized steel. However, constant exposure to saltwater will cause it to corrode over time. Stainless steel is considerably stronger than galvanized steel due to the presence of chromium. In other words, hardware like galvanized cables will rust and corrode faster in saltwater.
Talk to an Industrial Hardware Wholesaler
Industrial hardware is designed to be extremely durable and sturdy – but harsh weather can damage it over time. It is wise to consider any weather issues which could lead to rust, excess wear, or operational problems with your equipment.
Purchasing good equipment from a trusted industrial hardware supplier is also crucial. Hardware that is made from higher-quality steel will be able to withstand harsh weather far better than pieces made from cheaper materials. Experienced industrial hardware distributors will also be able to offer advice and guidance on which equipment is best for your application.
If you require industrial hardware advice and need a reliable supplier, give Elite Sales a call at 800-458-6659. We carry a wide variety of equipment parts for all types of applications. Reach out to us online to learn more.