When it comes to selecting the right lifting sling for your lifting applications, there are many factors to consider. We carry many types of lifting slings like Plasma slings®, nylon slings and wire rope slings. The most important factor is choosing the right sling for your lifting requirements.
With our newest endless sling addition, the High Performance Round Slings (HMPE), this sling has many benefits that can improve the safety and efficiency of your lifting setup. They’re smaller, lighter, and stronger than comparable strength wire rope and polyester options, have 75% less elongation than polyester roundlings, and are impervious to most environmental conditions.
Yet, you may wonder how it’s any different from Polyester Endless Round Slings, or why consider getting Endless High Performance Round Slings.
What is an Endless Round Sling?
A round sling in an endless design is simply one large “endless” loop. Endless Roundslings are a popular choice for lifting and rigging applications as its design lets you change the load bearing points with each use. This helps extend its service lift by decreasing wear and tear.
What’s the Difference between HMPE Round Slings and Polyester Round Slings?
HMPE Round Slings are a high-strength synthetic rope made from Ultra High Modulus Polyethylene (UHMPE), encapsulated in a durable, double layer cover. UHMPE fiber is significantly lighter than polyester roundslings or wire rope (1/7th the weight), allowing for fewer riggers to perform the job in less time. Because of their lighter weight - they are more ergonomic, making them easier to handle than other sling types.
On the other hand, Polyester Round Slings are made from a continuous loop of polyester yarn, covered in a durable polyester cover. HMPE roundslings have 75% less elongation when compared to the polyester roundslings, which makes for easier maneuvering in spaces with low headroom. When lifts are being conducted, less stretch is always advantageous.
With the HMPE fibers’s superior strength, the size of the sling is much smaller than the polyester slings. The HMPE fibers made a difference in the lifting and rigging industries that Mike Gelskey, Jr., president and general manager of Lift-It® Manufacturing Co., Inc. states
“HMPE is not a new corner to the lifting and rigging industry, instead this fiber has revolutionized the lifting, rigging, and towing cultures and has made many world record lifts. HMPE roundlings have much greater residual strength long into the lift of the slings, and when used properly, can outlast other type of slings.”
Advantages and Disadvantages of HMPE Roundslings
As we mentioned in our previous blog, there are many benefits to HMPE Round Slings. Advantages of this sling include:
- Lighter and easier to handle (1/7th the weight of steel).
- Easy to transport and store - just roll the sling up!
- Low elasticity allows for superior load control and low headroom applications.
- Impervious to environmental conditions, so it won’t rot, mildew, or corrode.
- Excellent UV Resistance and isn’t damaged by many common chemicals.
- Gray polyester cover protects HMPE core fiber from abrasion, dirt, and grime.
- Made in the USA.
There are a lot of benefits to using HMPE roundlings, but there are also a few things to consider if you decide to move forward with the synthetic slings. Such factors include:
- Cost - The sling is more expensive than the traditional polyester sling, but depending on your job, the benefits could outweigh the costs.
- Abrasion and cutting - it’s still a soft material. If sharp edges rub on it over and over, it will be abrasive and could cut.
- Heat-resistance - HMPE round slings’ fibers do have a melting point of 300F/149C, which makes them more susceptible to heat.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Polyester Roundslings
Polyester roundslings share similar benefits to HMPE roundslings, such as having low stretch value, being resistant to mildew and rot, and having high strength for lifting applications. But, the main difference is HMPE slings have 75% less elongation than polyester. This creates lower elasticity, making HMPE slings more superior for low headroom applications.
The other difference is HMPE slings have vertical capacities up to 250,000+ lbs, while polyester slings have vertical capacities up to 90,000+ lbs. Although HMPE roundslings are stronger and has lower elasticity, polyester roundslings are more cost-efficient than HMPE roundslings.
Disadvantages of Polyester Roundslings include:
- Heat-resistance - having relatively low heat-resistance that should not be used in high-heat applications.
- Abrasion and cutting - like HMPE, it’s still a soft material so if sharp edges rub on it over and over, it will be abrasive and could cut.
HMPE slings and Polyester slings do have their strengths and weaknesses, but there are many factors to consider when selecting a lifting sling that will provide consistent performance over many safe and reliable lifts. If you're unsure of which lifting sling to invest in or which is right for your job, reach out to our customer service experts at 866-444-9990.
How do HMPE Roundslings Make a Difference in the Lifting and Rigging Industries?
There are many benefits to HMPE endless roundslings. This type of sling does cost more than polyester slings, but depending on your job, the benefits could outweigh the costs.
HMPE roundslings are a great choice when considering how to improve safety and efficiency in the workforce. They improve the work environment by:
- Reducing risk of worksite injury
- Improving rigging speed
- Lowering the number of riggers needed for job completion
- Being easier to transport and store
They’re easy to inspect and are one of the best ergonomic tools on the market to replace polyester slings and heavy slings like wire rope. They’re more cost-effective to repair due to their inherent design and can be repaired if the sling does not exhibit core yarn damage.