4 Types of Lifting Slings and What They’re Used For

There are several different types of lifting machines on the market but there are certain machines such as cranes that can’t operate without ropes or slings. To lift heavy loads off the ground you need durable lifting slings that can withstand harsh conditions.

Industrial lifting slings are reliable and ideal for a wide range of lifting applications in industries such as mining and construction. There are four different types of lifting slings that you can use but which one is the right one for your project? Read on to find out what these slings are made of and what they’re used for.

1.    Webbing Lifting Slings

Webbing slings are made from durable polyester, polypropylene or polyamide and they’re flexible and lightweight. They have two layers of webbing for increased durability. Furthermore, webbing slings have a wide flat load-bearing surface. With a webbing sling, you can lift loads of up to 20,000kg.

Since webbing slings are flexible, they can mould easily to the shape of irregular loads. A webbing sling is suitable for delicate loads because the soft material won’t scratch or dent items. This type of sling is also resistant to water, acid, and alkaline damage.

Webbing slings are used for:

  • Lifting boats: The flexibility and strength of a webbing sling make it suitable to lift boats. The soft material won’t scratch or dent the finish of the vessel.
  • Climbing: This type of sling is used to climb trees, mountains, and high-rise buildings. It’s fitted into rock features, lifting equipment or trees to protect climbers from falling.
  • Firefighting: Firefighters use webbing slings to rescue injured people. The sling forms a secure grip around someone so fire fighters can drag the person to safety. This is called the webbing sling drag.
  • Towing: The durability of webbing slings makes it suitable for towing cars of all weights. Additionally, the sling is easy to store so you can keep it in the boot of your car.

2.    Chain Lifting Slings

Chain lifting slings come in a wide range of lengths. They’re made from grades 80 or 100 chain and they’re even more durable than webbing slings. With a chain sling, you can lift weights of up to 67,000kg. These slings are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and exposure to chemicals.

Chain slings are used for:

  • Lifting car parts: Car engines are too heavy to remove from a vehicle manually. Use a single leg or three leg sling to lift engines out of vehicles with ease. You can also use chain slings to lift heavy cars off the road after an accident.
  • Shipping containers: A chain sling and a hook can lift heavy shipping containers off the ground and place them onto ships or loading bays.
  • Piping: Since chain slings are flexible, they can be fitted around cylindrical loads such as pipes. These pipes are lifted and lowered into the ground carefully using a chain sling.
  • Lumber: After chopping down large trees, chain slings are used to lift and load them onto the back of trucks.

3.    Wire Rope Lifting Slings

Wire rope lifting slings are made from galvanised steel and can either have a fibre or steel core. This type of sling can withstand extreme temperatures of up to 204°C. Depending on the diameter you choose you can lift loads of up to 3400kg.

These slings can be made with soft eyes and thimbles in standard or customised lengths. You can also buy this sling in diameters between 8mm and 32mm.

Wire rope slings are used for:

  • Marine industry: Wire rope is durable enough to tow heavy boats. It’s also used to secure lifeboats to a ship. On sailboats, wire rope is used to lower and lift sails.
  • Amusement parks: This sling is used to bring rollercoaster cars to the top of the ride. The rope sling is also used to hold up swings and pull carts through amusement park attractions.
  • Stuntmen: In the entertainment industry stuntmen use wire rope to protect themselves from falling when doing action scenes.

4.    Round Lifting Slings

Round slings are a multi-purpose sling made from soft polyester. Similar to webbing slings, round slings are soft and lightweight which makes them ideal to lift fragile loads. What’s more, they are flexible so they can lift irregular shaped loads.

What round lifting slings are used for:

  • Windows: Round slings can be used to lift large windows of any shape and size without scratching them.
  • Factory machinery: This type of sling is used to lift and place large machines inside factories.
  • Metal sheeting: a round sling can lift large rolls of metal sheeting off the ground to be placed on loading trucks or platforms.

Final Thoughts

Lifting slings come in all shapes, materials, and sizes. Make sure the sling you choose has the correct work lifting load and it’s made with the correct materials. Use this article as a guide to help you select the correct sling for your lifting tasks.