Using Stainless Steel Chain

Cautions, warnings and the proper use of stainless steel chain and stainless steel hardware.

Cautions & Warnings
General Safety Rules
Lifting Chain Safety
The Effect of Angles on Working Load Limit of Slings

Cautions & Warnings

  • The use of chain is subject to certain hazards that cannot be met by mechanical or manufacturing means, but only by the exercise of intelligence, care and common sense.
  • Chemically active environments may adversely affect chain and components. Do not use in highly acidic or caustic environments. Suncor should be contacted for guidance if the chain will be exposed to chemically active environments during use.
  • Temperature will adversely affect the performance of chain and components. Refer to the "Effect of Temperature on the WLL of Chain" table in the About Stainless Chain section of this website for more details.
  • The Working Load Limits of Suncor chain and chain accessories may be affected by wear, misuse, overloading, corrosion, deformation and product alteration. Regular inspection is required.

General Safety Rules

  • Always inspect chain, chain slings and chain accessories regularly. For proper inspection procedure, please see the "Inspection" section below.

Lifting Chain Safety

  • Inspect lifting chain regularly; based on frequency of use, type of lifts being made and severity of use and conditions. For proper inspection procedure, please see the "Inspection" section below.
  • Always know the weight of the load you are lifting. Determine the weight and balance of all loads to make sure that the lifting equipment can operate within its capabilities. This will minimize any potential dangers to people nearby, the product and property.
  • Check the Sling Identification Tag for working load limit (WLL) to ensure that you will not be overloading the sling. NEVER EXCEED THE WORKING LOAD LIMIT OF THE SLING.
  • Make sure that the components used in chain sling assemblies (Hooks, Rings, Oblong Links, Pear-shaped Links, Welded or Mechanical Coupling Links) have a rated capacity at least equal to that of the chain being used. Reduce the rated capacity (WLL) of the chain sling to the capacity of the weakest component(s) when the component(s) have a lower rated capacity than the chain.
  • Use slings with the proper reach (length). Never shorten a sling by knotting it, twisting, or with fasteners such as nuts and bolts. Lifting a load with twisted or knotted chains can impose loads in excess of rated capacity or spin the load dangerously.
  • Avoid "impact loading". Gradually lift and lower the load. Snatching or jerking the load when lifting can impose loads on the chain in excess of the actual weight of the object being lifted. Dynamic forces, such as these will break and/or damage the sling.
  • Never "point-load" the hook component of the sling. Wedging or forcing the hook point into a load can result in failure of the hook or the sudden release of the hooks hold. Hook components should be regularly inspected to make sure that the Hook Eye is not bent or twisted, the Hook Tip is not bent or twisted and/or the Throat of the hook (opening) has not spread.
  • Do not drag slings along the floor.
  • When wrapping chain around sharp corners on a load, use pads in between sharp corners and chain to prevent damage to the links.
  • Never set a load down directly onto the chain. Loads should be lowered onto items such as timbers so that the sling will not be crushed or damaged and can be easily withdrawn.
  • Only trained individuals should be allowed to use chain slings.

The Effects of Angles on Working Load Limit of Slings

  • The load on each chain leg is increased as the lift angle decreases. When the distance from the master link is shortened and the angles of lift decrease to smaller angles, remember that the load on each leg of the chain sling will be greatly increased. The working load limits of chain slings at these smaller angles of lift will be reduced. Refer to the working load limit chart below to make sure that the rated working load limit of the chain sling in use at these angles equals or exceeds the weight of the load.
  • How Lifting Angles Reduce Working Load Limit of Chain Slings
    Degree of Angle                      Nominal WLL of a Standard Sling
    90 Degrees                              Maximum Working Load Limit of Chain Sling
    60 Degrees                              86-1/2%
    45 Degrees                              70%
    30 Degrees                              50%
    20 Degrees                              34%
    10 Degrees                              17-1/4%


  • Regular inspection of chain, chain slings and chain accessories should be conducted by qualified and competent individuals. All products must be removed from service and labeled "DEFECTIVE - DO NOT USE", if any damage is detected during inspection.
  • Clean chain, chain slings and chain accessories before each inspection by removing any dirt or oil build-up. Dirt and oil can coat the surface of these items; hiding cracks, nicks and other damage from plain sight.
  • Inspect chain and chain accessories for worn, corroded, stretched, twisted, bent, nicked or gouged components. It is very important to make a "Link-by-Link" inspection of any chain and/or chain slings.


  • To maximize life expectancy, clean and store slings properly and keep away from corrosive places during storage.