What are the Differences in Industrial Chain Grades?


Different grades of chains serve different purposes. Industrial chains are used for all types of applications across numerous industries. Not only are they extremely strong, but they are super durable and flexible. Industrial 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, industrial chain grades are an extremely important distinction to categorize what type of industrial chain is best used for a given application. For instance, according to the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Standards B30.9, Section 9-1.5 and 9-1.8, the minimum overhead lifting chain grades should be 80 and above.

In addition to understanding the chain grades and their ideal situations, you need to know how to identify chain grades as well as the difference between stainless-steel heavy-duty chains, galvanized chains, and bright finishing.

An experienced industrial hardware supplier can certainly help you find the right type of heavy-duty chain with the ideal chain grade and finish. But it’s important to understand the different grades of chains so you know exactly when and why you should use various grades during a project.

There are five main grades of industrial 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, the Grade 30 chain’s maximum stress is 300 newtons per millimeter squared.

So, how to identify chain grades and pick them for the right operations? Let’s break down each one.

Grade 30

Grade 30 Chain

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.

If you’ve ever wondered what is proof coil chain, you should know that Grade 30 is commonly known as a 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 chains.

Grade 30 chain can be used in numerous types of applications, such as:

  • Light construction
  • Lead securement
  • Guard rails
  • Logging
  • Agricultural use
  • Marine industry

It is important to note that Grade 30 industrial chains should not be used for overhead lifting as their working load limit is too low. They can be used as logging chains.

Elite Sales offers a Grade 30 Proof Coil chain available in numerous diameters. You may also purchase Grade 30 hot galvanized chains as well as self-colored or zinc plated finishes. Our team will answer all your queries related to what is proof coil chain.

Grade 43

Grade 43 Chains

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, Grade 43 chain 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:

  • Towing
  • Heavy duty trucking
  • Farming
  • Construction
  • Guard chains
  • Container securement

Elite Sales offers numerous types of Grade 43 industrial chains in various sizes, finishes, and designs. Some of the most popular models of Grade 43 chains include:

  • G43 Windlass Galvanized Chains and Stainless-Steel Chains
  • Grade 43 Chains with High Test Hot Galvanized and Self-Colored Finish
  • High Test Boomer/Binding Chains
  • Type 304 and 316 High-Test Stainless-Steel Chains

Grade 70

Grade 70 Transport 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 industrial chains typically come in a gold chromate finish for easy identification – as well as protection from abrasion and scratches. Grade 70 chain is also usually embossed with a number 7, 70, or 700 on each link.

Grade 70 has a chain working load limit available between 3,150 to 15,800 lbs. and is commonly used as a logging chain. It is also used for:

  • Trucking and trailer tie downs
  • Forestry
  • Heavy load securement
  • Towing
  • Construction
  • Oil rigging
  • Safety applications

Since this type of heavy-duty chain is often used on trucks, it is also known as a Transport chain, Truckers chain, or Binder chain. It is recommended to be mindful of transport chain grades when using them. Even though this chain is extremely strong, the Grade 70 chain is not rated for overhead lifting. So use hardware with transport chain grades with caution.

Elite Sales offers Grade 70 Transport Chain and Binding/Boomer Chains available in various sizes and diameters.

Grade 80

Grade 80 Alloy Chain

Grade 80 Alloy Chain 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 industrial chains are available in a black lacquer finish for further protection from wear and scratching.

Grade 80 chain working load limit ranges between 3,500 to 47,700 lbs at the maximum. 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
  • Rigging
  • Tie-downs
  • Mining

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.

Grade 100

Grade 100 Chain

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
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Rigging
  • Towing

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 grades and 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. We also carry a variety of galvanized chains, stainless steel chains, and other finishes.

Our knowledgeable staff is also available to answer any questions you may have and help you find the exact types of industrial chains you need for the job.

Reach out to our sales team today to place an order and make us your number one chain supplier.