Chains for cargo securing and lifting

Chains are available in different grades and standards where the choice most often is based on the area of use. The most common standards are DIN and SMS as well as G80 and G100. It is important to handle the chains correctly and to regularly inspect deformation, wear and other risks for breakage.

To consider when handling chains

• Only use a classified chain for lifting and cargo securing. Never lift with a twisted chain
• Use shortening hook when adjusting the length of the chain
• Knots may not occur on the chain
• Protect against sharp corners by using suitable shims
• Chains must not be exposed to excessive heat
• Avoid jerks when applying load to a chain
• Never apply the load at the tip of a hook. The load should always be at the bottom of the hook
• The different components should always be able to move freely in the direction of the load

Check this regularly

• The chain must be replaced when signs of permanent elongation, deformation or cracks occurs
• The wear on the chain measured in two perpendicular directions may amount to a maximum of 10% of the original size
• For additional information, see applicable standards and norms


Test force (MPF)
The force with which an equipment or component, which is going to be tested, is tested with before delivery. The force varies depending on the product and the controlling standard and is usually 1.25-2.5 times higher than the maximum working load (WLL).

Breaking force (MBF) 
The force at which the chain breaks during destructive testing.

The total elongation
Measurement of total increased length of the material when breaking, expressed in % .

Maximum load (WLL)
Maximal work load of the product.

Safety factor (SF)
The relation between breaking force and maximum work load for a material

Chain Grade 20

Chain Grade 20 is a standard and usually galvanized chain that is often found in hardware stores. Chain Grade 20 must not be used for cargo securing or lifting. It usually follows DIN standards or have SMS measurements. The stainless steel chains you find in hardware stores are normally also in Grade 20 quality.

Chain Grade 80 and Grade 100

Chain Grade 80 chain is approved for both cargo securing according to EN 12195-3 and for lifting equipment according to EN 818-4. A long link chain is exposed to excessive force over for example an edge. Therefore, only short-chain chains are approved in these standards but with one exception – long linked chain may be used for cargo securing of round timber transports in dimensions 6, 9 and 11 mm.

Grade 100 is a stronger quality and is also used for cargo securing and lifting. The measurements are according to Grade 80 but the strength is 25% higher for Grade 100 compared to Grade 80.


Chains in Grade 80 and Grade 100 must not be us ed in contact with acids or other aggressive chemicals. The device must not be exposed to galvanizing.


Chain Grade Finish Type Usage area
20 * Zink plated
Farming,securing, other
80 Black KL
Lifting Equipment, lashing

* Hot dip galvanized G20 is sometimes also called Commercial chain