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Rigging & Lifting Eye Bolts
Eye bolts come in a variety of sizes and materials - each type has many practical applications in a wide range of industries. The most common usage is to add an additional eye or anchor to your rigging setup.
You can then secure wire rope, cable, hooks, and other hardware to this new attachment point.
If you have any questions about which bolt will work best for your specific needs, contact our sales team and we will be happy to assist you.
Safety & Usage Guidelines
There are several guidelines to remember when using an eye bolt for rigging, anchoring, pulling, pushing, or hoisting:
- Regular rigging eye bolts should be used for straight line pulls only. For angular lifts, shoulder eye bolts are required. Without the shoulder to reinforce the bolt, it can bend or break from the angled pull.
- Always inspect a threaded eye bolt prior to use and make sure the threads and receiving holes are clean.
- Never use an eye bolt anchor if the shank or eye has been bent, elongated, or deformed.
- The threaded part must protrude through the load so the nut is allowed full engagement of threading. If it protrudes too far through the load, you may need to shim the bolt with washers between the nut and the load prior to putting the nut on.
Stainless Steel Eye Bolts vs. Galvanized Eye Bolts
Stainless steel and galvanized metal both offer protection from corrosion, making either a good choice for general applications. The primary difference is the level of rust-resistance: stainless steel offers more thorough protection, so in demanding outdoor or marine environments, it should be your default choice.
SS Heavy-Duty Eye Bolts
Why does stainless steel offer better protection? It's made from an alloy of chromium and low carbon steel. This combination offers inherent anti-corrosion properties, meaning stainless steel eye bolts will retain their resistance to corrosion even if the stainless steel becomes scratched.
There are different grades of stainless steel, with type 304 being one of the more common. It resists most oxidizing acids and can withstand ordinary rusting, making it a good choice for outdoor uses in agricultural, automotive and construction environments. It's also useful for components such as cogs and springs where corrosion resistance is important.
Another common grade is type 316, which is considered "marine grade." Type 316 marine grade stainless steel contains molybdenum, which makes it resistant to ocean water mist or spray, so it's especially useful in extreme moisture conditions or in a high chloride environment.
Economical Galvanized Construction
Galvanized metal has a thin coating of zinc oxide to protect the steel from elements that lead to corrosion and oxidation. Galvanized is also a great value as it tends to be less expensive but still maintains its strength and durability.
There are several eye styles, including turned, welded and forged.
Galvanized forged eye bolts are one of the most popular, since they are significantly stronger. Forging means the metal is hammered or pressed into form. When the steel takes shape, its grain structure stretches and aligns, which creates a stronger piece of finished metal. Forged steel is harder, stronger, and more durable than machine parts or cast forms. This construction makes them ideal for critical applications.
Turned eyes are created by bending the metal to create the eye, leaving a gap in the circle. Turned eye bolts are only suited for lightweight, low cost applications - not for lifting or rigging.
Stainless steel welded eye bolts are similar to a turned eye, except the eye has been welded together to create an unbroken circle. This increases the working load limit, making it suitable for more intense applications.
Standard Eye Bolts vs. Shoulder Bolts
Standard bolt hardware is extremely versatile, but when used for rigging, it's designed for vertical techniques only. For angular lifting and loading, a shouldered eye bolt should be used. The shoulder helps maintain the strength of the eye and prevents the shank from bending or deforming.
It's important to remember that loading at an angle will significantly reduce a bolt's rated capacity. A 75 degree angle reduces the working load limit by 45%; a 60 degree angle reduces it by 65%; a 45 degree angle reduces it by 75%. Never load at an angle less than 45 degrees from the bolt center line.
Note: Always verify angular working load limits with the manufacturer before use.
Other Types of Eye Bolts
US Cargo Control offers several other types of anchor eye bolts, designed with stainless steel eyes (nuts and washers included where indicated).
Marine grade stainless steel makes it supremely solid, so it can be used for either straight line or angular pulls.
Used as a connection point in rigging applications, machine eye bolts are ideal for angled lifts due to the shoulder design which offers increased strength.
As the name suggests, they are usually used to connect to machinery, as they can be screwed into threaded holes.
Shaped with a curved base, two threaded arms offer fastening points for a secure fit. This stainless steel U-bolt is ideal for attaching pipes, rods, cords or wiring to a machine, pole, beam, etc. Depending on the situation, a cross piece insert can make it more secure.
Eye Bolt with Ring
This stainless steel hardware is designed to receive rigging products such as a wire rope or shackle. Includes a nut and washer.
Lag Screw Eye Bolts
Stainless lag eye bolts are threaded to work with wood - they have a tapered, sharp end. An excellent anchor point with a longer length for a variety of exterior and interior uses.
These wood eye bolts do not have a working load limit, since their abilities are dependent on the quality of your wood and the overall installation.
Lag Screw with Ring
Tie down eye bolts such as one with a lag screw design are commonly used in the rigging industry to anchor wire rope. Like the standard lag screw, the lag screw with ring is used as a point of attachment in wood.
Used as an attachment point in wood, it has ridges in the shaft to hold it in place. Stainless eye bolts are made from type 304 steel for excellent protection against weather conditions and corrosion.
Designed with a smooth shaft to fit into a pre-drilled hole, the rivet end is impacted once installed. This makes it wider, creating a permanent fastener. Great for applications where lightweight and high strength anchors are important.
Choosing the right eye bolt for the job is important. If you need help in selecting the best option or in finding other rigging supplies, contact our of our product experts.