Industrial chains are an incredibly versatile piece of hardware and their purpose can vary widely depending on the scope of the application. For instance, heavy-duty chains are used in construction, on planes and boats, and for overhead lifting, while smaller chains can be used for everyday projects.
Since this hardware is so versatile, the demand for industrial chains has steadily increased over the past few years. Although production plummeted in 2020 due to COVID-related market shortages, the industry is expected to grow exponentially through 2030.
There are many types of industrial chain links available that are specially designed for specific purposes. Most industrial hardware suppliers carry many types of industrial chain options. But this goes beyond just the size of the chain links or the lengths available – there are also different grades, designs, and applications.
Let’s break down the 7 types of industrial chains and their purposes:
1. G-4 Windlass Chain
The G-4 windlass chain is made from high tensile carbon steel and is available in both a galvanized finish and a stainless-steel option. The windlass chain is made from small, rounded links ranging from ¼” to ½” in size, which provides added flexibility.
G-4 windlass chains are primarily used for marine applications. This is the primary choice for anchoring systems on boats, fishing trawls, or docking purposes. Both the galvanized and stainless steel finish protect the corrosive seawater, so the chain will not rust.
However, the smaller chain link size is not ideal for heavy-duty purposes. The maximum working load limit for the windlass chain is 9,200 lbs. and it is not rated for rigging or overhead lifting.
2. Proof Coil Chain
Proof coil chain is made of grade 30 steel, heat-treated carbon steel with a lower strength-to-weight ratio. This type of industrial chain has a longer link style which allows for a bit of stretch. This elongated link that ranges in size from 1/8” to 1” also helps to reduce shock loading.
Proof coil chains are best used for general industrial purposes that require durability. They are often used for agricultural purposes, tie-downs, and security barriers. This type of industrial chain is not approved for overhead lifting and is best for securement purposes.
3. High Test Boomer/Binding Chain
As the name implies, binding chains (also called high test boomer chains) are used to hold items together or in place. These are made from Grade 43 steel that is uncoated. This does leave the steel vulnerable to corrosion, so it should not come in contact with excessive moisture.
You’ll find boomer/binding chains are most commonly used for high-strength applications like logging, binding, and towing. They are often used on construction sites but again are not approved for overhead lifting or rigging.
4. Transport Chains
This type of industrial chain is often used on transportation vehicles like large trucks to tie-down loads or secure items in place. Transport chains may also be called truckers or binder chains. These industrial chains are made from Grade 70 steel with a yellow zinc chromate finish.
Transport chains have a working load limit of over 15,000 lbs. so they are often used for extremely heavy-duty purposes, like forestry, trailer transport, and oil rigging. However, these are not rated for overhead lifting.
5. Stainless Steel Chains
Industrial chains may be categorized by the type of steel it is made from rather than the link style or intended purpose. Stainless steel chains have chromium added, which increases the metal’s strength, protects it from corrosion, and creates a shiny finish.
Most stainless steel chains are made from Grade 43 steel and have a high working load limit. One key benefit to using stainless steel is its durability and resistance, making it a popular choice for construction and trucking purposes.
6. Alloy Steel Chains
Alloy steel chains are incredibly durable and more rugged than other types, as it is comprised of Grade 80 steel. This type of industrial chain is coated in a black lacquer finish, which protects the metal underneath from scratches or damage.
Since alloy steel chain is more rugged than most types of industrial chains, it is approved for overhead lifting applications. Larger-diameter chain links have a maximum working load limit of up to 47,700 lbs.
7. Grade 100 Chains
Grade 100 chains are the strongest type of industrial chain on the market and are reserved for incredibly heavy loads and applications. As this metal is so durable and strong, it is also quite expensive and less commonly used.
Grade 100 chain is often used for overhead lifting, particularly for sling construction. It is also used for manufacturing, towing, and construction.
Back to You
The terms used to describe different types of chains can be confusing if you’re not an expert. But if you intend to use industrial chains for heavy-duty projects, it’s essential to purchase the correct type for the task at hand. Certain types of industrial chains are designed for specific applications, so using the wrong type could create a safety issue.
If you have any further questions regarding the types of industrial chains we offer, please reach out to Elite Sales. We’ve got industrial experts on our team who can help you find the exact type of chain you’re looking for.