As a manufacturing and engineering company, Columbus McKinnon places high value in STEM education – education encouraging students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But, in recent years, STEM education has evolved into STEAM education, which aims to connect art to these areas of study to demonstrate how industrial products can contribute to creative artistic pursuits.

A perfect example of STEAM in a real-world application was initiated by our Channel Partner, American Crane. Artist, Janet Echelman, created an aerial art sculpture entitled “Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks” in Vancouver, Canada, that is suspended from the 24-story Fairmont Waterfront Building and the Vancouver Convention Center. Weighing more than 3,500 lbs., the sculpture is made of 145 miles of braided fiber and 860,000 hand/machine made knots.

To keep pedestrians safe as they walked below the sculpture, American Crane relied on CM Master Links and CM Master Rings. Known for their strength and durability, CM rigging products were perfect for this unique application with working loads limits ranging from 10,000 up to 86,000 lbs and a 4:1 design factor.

Without the use of heavy-duty equipment and engineering know how, such an impressive art installation would not have been safe or possible. This is just one unique example of how industrial technology contributes to making the world a more beautiful place.

A big thank you to our Channel Partner, American Crane, for sharing this unique application story with us!

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This article is Part 2 of a 6-part blog series that will cover what professional riggers should consider when performing an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection. Today, we’ll discuss nicks and gouges.

Pattern of tensile and compression stress

When chain is used to lift, pull or secure materials, the outside surface of the links can come in contact with foreign objects that can cause damage. Nicks and gouges frequently occur on the sides of a chain link, which are under compressive stress, reducing their potentially harmful effects.

The unique geometry of a chain link tends to protect tensile stress areas against damage from external causes. Figure 1 shows that these tensile stress areas are on the outside of the link body at the link ends where they are shielded against most damage by the presence of interconnected links.

Tensile stress areas are also located on the insides of the straight barrels, but these surfaces are similarly sheltered by their location. However, gouges can cause localized increases in the link stress and can be harmful if they are located in areas of tensile stress, especially if they are perpendicular to the direction of stress. Refer to Figure 1.

Location of nicks will dictate their severity

Figure 2 shows nicks of varying degrees of severity. Reading clockwise, at three o’clock there is a longitudinal mark in a compressive stress area. Since it is longitudinal and located in a compressive stress area, its effect is mitigated, but good workmanship calls for it to be filed out by hand.

At about five o’clock there is a deep transverse nick in an area of high shear stress. A similar nick is located at six o’clock in the zone of maximum tensile stress. Both of these nicks can create a potentially dangerous escalation of the local stress and must be filed out with careful attention to not damage other parts of the chain link or chain. A nick that was located at eight o’clock has been filed out properly. Although the final cross section is smaller, the link is stronger because the stress riser effect of the notch has been removed. The remaining cross section can now be evaluated for acceptablity by measuring it and applying the criterion for worn chain. See the “Wear Allowances Table” below. 

Wear Allowances of Herc-Alloy 800 and 1000 Chain

Additional Resources:

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Get Genuine Columbus McKinnon Hoist Parts with the New Parts Star Program

April 1, 2015

Ordering replacement parts for CM, Yale and Shaw-Box brand electric chain and wire rope hoists is easier, faster and more economical than ever with Parts Star™ by Columbus McKinnon. The Parts Star™ replacement parts program ensures customers that they’re getting authentic Columbus McKinnon parts — the parts designed to fit the hoist’s exact specifications, maintain warranty […]

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We Are Where You Are: Columbus McKinnon Opens New Modern Warehouse in Houston

March 27, 2015

As some competitors are closing and consolidating their distribution centers, Columbus McKinnon continues to invest in its network of warehouse facilities in North America. We’ve worked hard to strategically position our facilities across the country to align ourselves with the critical needs of our customers – one of which is fast delivery of our products. […]

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Do You Need to Load Test When You Replace the Wire Rope in an Underhung Hoist?

March 13, 2015

Richard, a recent safety webinar attendee, asks: “Do you need to load test when you replace the wire rope in an underhung hoist?” Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager and Safety Webinar presenter, answers: The replacement of wire rope or chain for underhung hoists is specifically excluded from load test requirements. The wire rope should have already […]

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Columbus McKinnon Products and Services on Display at Tradeshows

March 6, 2015

Trade shows are a great way for us to meet Channel Partners and end users, and to showcase our latest products and services. We’re always excited to connect with business associates and make new friends. Representatives from our Columbus McKinnon de Mexico and Duff-Norton facilities participated in Expo-Manufactura, a trade show held recently in Monterrey City, […]

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Customer Questions Acceleration Time on Variable Frequency Drives

February 26, 2015

Tom, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor and recent safety webinar attendee, asked the following question on variable frequency drives: 3-step infinitely variable control is 1st detent slow speed, 2nd detent HOLD, 3rd detent acceleration. If the application absolutely requires less than 2.0 second acceleration (Lodestar) can anything be done to accommodate? Chris Zgoda, Corporate […]

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OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations

February 19, 2015

February 19, 2015  Today, we are posting updates to this blog article originally posted in 2011. This article continues to be one of our most visited, and we feel it our duty to keep this very important safety information up to date.   The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the following regulations for […]

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In-Depth Alloy Chain Sling Inspection Part 1: Twisting and Bending

February 13, 2015

This article is Part 1 of a 6-part blog series that will cover what professional riggers should consider when performing an in-depth alloy chain sling inspection. Today, we’ll discuss the effect of twisting and bending. Consider that chain is evaluated by applying loads in a pure tensile link end-to-link-end fashion and rated accordingly. Rigging chain around […]

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Does Welding Spatter Warrant the Replacement of a Chain?

February 5, 2015

Joe, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor and recent safety webinar attendee, asks: “Does welding spatter warrant the replacement of a chain?” Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager and Safety Webinar presenter, answers: Yes, weld spatter does warrant chain replacement. Weld spatter should be considered as heat damage. Because hoist chain is heat treated, any heat 410 degrees […]

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