The humble metal chain has been in use for thousands of years. It's made of rigid, torus-shaped, interconnecting pieces called links. These links are flexible in two dimensions, making them particularly suitable for lifting and securing work. The links are usually welded together as part of the chain making process. Links by themselves are used in the form of maillons and connecting links. This guide is written to help select the right type of chain link for one's requirements.
Requirements of the user
Maillons, also called quick links, are individual chain links that can be opened and closed using a thread. They're sort of like a carabiner in that sense, except more difficult to open and close. They're suitable for outdoor activities and sports and applications such as leashes, DIY accessories, and linking existing chain lengths. Connecting links are also used to connect chains, but this is typically for industrial hoisting applications. They are massive, heavy-duty links made with a pin lock that ensures the pin doesn't come apart.
The maximum bearable load
It's commonly said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and this is true. Links necessarily have to be sturdy. A maillon's construction makes it prone to warping, making it essential to get a high-grade link with its load rating stamped along the side. This load can go up to over 1,000 lbs--but overreliance might prove dangerous. In contrast, when the pin lock is tight, a connecting link has no loose parts to compromise its strength. They are rated for loads of over 10,000 lbs.
Using the best material for the purpose
The best material for chain links is stainless steel. 316 stainless steel is marine grade, offering excellent protection against corrosion caused by saltwater and moisture. They are hard and durable, making them fit for use in both indoor and outdoor environments. 304 stainless steel is also tough and versatile (if less hardened) than 304 steel. Most connecting links are made out of drop forged steel alloys and painted or plated with zinc to mitigate corrosion's weakening effects.
Categories Simillar to Chain Links includes Swivels, Wire Rope Clips