How to Choose and Use an Eye Bolt

How to Choose and Use an Eye Bolt

An eye bolt is one of the most commonly used tools in the material handling toolbox.

They are simple pieces of hardware. They consist of a ring with a threaded shank. The lifting eyebolt is designed for lifting wooden or steel components. They are screwed into the load. Frequently a nut is attached to the bottom for additional safety. A rope or cable is then fitted through the eye so that the structure can be lifted.

Types of Eye Bolts

There are two types of lifting eye bolt. A bent version where the wire is bent into a loop and eye bolts with drop forged rings which are completely closed. Forged rings are safer than bent rings. Only drop forged rings should be used for heavy moving or lifts at an angle.

When angled lifts are made, the rated capacity of the eye bolt is significantly lower than in a vertical lift. In these circumstances, the lifting eye bolt should include a shoulder to prevent the shank from bending. Where angled lifts cannot be avoided you should discuss the correct load capacity for the eye bolt with the supplier. The steeper the angle the lower the load capacity. At 45⁰ the actual capacity of the eye bolt is 30% of its weighted working load.

Rated and Unrated Lifting Eye Bolts

A rated eye bolt has been independently tested and certified as compliant with industry standards for performance and mechanical strength. When you buy a rated eye bolt you are assured that the rated lifting capacities are as stated.

An unrated lifting eye bolt is less expensive, with some users choosing them for lighter load conditions.

Eye bolts are manufactured from a number of metals including stainless steel, carbon steel, and alloy steel.

Advice on the Safe Use of an Eye Bolt

  • Carefully inspect your eye bolt before you use it. If it has any sign of damage you should destroy it
  • Never paint an eye bolt as the paint could hide flaws in the bolt
  • A lifting eye bolt should be fitted into a clean countersunk hole. The hole must be at least one and a half times the diameter of the eye bolt
  • The hole and the eyehole threads should be checked and cleaned before use
  • Ensure that the eye bolt bottoms out and that at least 90% of the threads are engaged
  • Attach only one sling to an eye bolt
  • If you’re using a shoulder eye bolt you must ensure that the shoulder makes total contact with the surface of the load
  • Never force a sling or hook into an eye bolt. It should fit comfortably
  • When you lift the load using the eye bolt make sure that you do so slowly, no jolting
  • Use a shackle not a hook with your lifting eye bolt
  • Only lift loads that weigh as much or less than the rated capacity of the eye bolt
  • Ensure that the load does not rotate when lifted
  • Never work on an eye bolt. Cutting or otherwise working on it will reduce the rated capacity and its mechanical strength.

For more information

How to Choose and Use an Eye Bolt

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