Wire rope slings are frequently used in hoisting operations across diverse sectors including oil and gas, automotive, construction, and manufacturing industries where people need to lift heavy loads frequently and that too in rugged environments. Wire rope slings are also commonly used in steel mills and forging operations and in the marine industry as well.
Steel Wire rope slings are used to connect the load, which is being lifted, to the lifting device and they come in a number of configurations that are supported by different types of attachments. Some of the commonly-used wire rope slings are single leg slings, grommets, single-part slings, multi-part slings, multiple leg bridles, and multiple leg slings. In the manufacturing sector, which is quite similar to industrial design and engineering, the objects that are being lifted appear in various shapes and sizes depending on the stage of production.
Steel rope slings are categorized on the basis of the number of wires that constitute a strand and the number of strands that are wound around the core of a wire rope sling. For example, a wire rope of 6x 19 dimension consists of 6 strands of 19 wires. Slings of a wide variety are used in the manufacturing industry and some of the most commonly-used wire rope slings are:
- Nine-part Slings: Nine-part slings are meant to lift heavy and large objects. This is mainly due to the fact that the load can be distributed consistently over nine parts of the sling’s body. The nine-part design also facilitates inspection, which is very important if the sling is used multiple times to lift multiple loads.
- Bridle Slings: Bridle slings, which are commonly available as 2, 3, or 4-legged bridle slings, are appropriate for lifting objects with fixed lifting points. These slings are directly connected to the weight by hooking it into the lifting eyes.
- Eye & Eye Slings: These slings feature an oval “eye” at each end, which is what gives these slings their names. These slings are noted for their ruggedness, reliability, and versatility and are mostly used in basket, choker, and vertical hitches.
- Multi-part wire rope sling: Multi-part wire rope slings can be used efficiently to carry single objects of moderate weight. They are recognized for their strength, durability, and flexibility and are made of braided wire rope that promotes equal distribution of weight throughout the entire body of the sling.
Use of wire rope slings is typically associated with a number of advantages including:
- Fatigue, corrosion, and abrasion resistance
- Strength, flexibility, and durability
- Braided or multi-part slings are highly resistant to kinking and can get back to their original shape after a lifting operation is completed
- Wire rope slings cost lesser than alloy chain slings
- The hardware, including the hooks and the master links, can be reused even if the wire rope on sling bridles suffers damage.
Wire rope slings are crucial rigging hardware, which should be chosen wisely. The deployment of unsuitable slings may jeopardize loading operations, eventually leading to the collapse of the rigging structure.