Metal Or Synthetic? Choosing The Right Industrial Overhead Crane Hoist Slings

Posted on: 26 May 2015

If your company needs to purchase new industrial overhead crane hoist slings for an upcoming large building project, then it is important for you to decide if metal or synthetic fiber slings will work the best for your project. Choosing the right sling will make your projects cheaper, easier, and safer for your crew.

Here is some information on each of the six overhead crane hoist sling options that you have to choose from:

Metal Sling Materials

Metal slings come in three different styles:

  1. chain slings
  2. wire rope slings
  3. metal mesh slings

Chain slings are made of strong rings of metal chain. Wire rope slings are made from ropes that are made of metal, typically a steel alloy. And, wire mesh slings are made of a metal alloy that is manufactured in a strong mesh pattern.

Synthetic Fiber Sling Materials

Synthetic fiber slings are made from either nylon or polyester fibers. There are three types of fiber slings, including:

  1. rope slings
  2. round slings
  3. web slings

Rope slings are simply a collection of ropes connected to a central point. Round slings have large loops of fiber material. And web slings are manufactured using a webbed fiber material.

Metal Sling Advantages

The biggest advantages of using metal slings over synthetic fiber are that metal slings are:

  • long lasting
  • repairable
  • resistant to damage
  • temperature tolerant

In addition, metal slings can be adjusted to meet custom load needs.

Synthetic Fiber Sling Advantages

Synthetic fiber slings are lighter and easier to handle than heavy chain slings. They are also much easier on the materials being moved. For instance, if you are moving a large commercial appliance, then you want to use a fiber sling because a metal one would damage the finish on the appliance.

Fiber slings also grip their loads much better and are more stable. This is safer for your building crew and for the protection of the goods being moved.

Metal Sling Disadvantages

The major disadvantage of metal hoist slings is that they are very heavy to move from place to place. Also, they can damage freight that is not well insulated from damage.

Synthetic Fiber Sling Disadvantages

Fiber hoist slings have two major disadvantages. They are:

  1. not able to be repaired onsite
  2. prone to damage by cutting 

In addition, fiber slings are not suitable for use in high-temperature situations.


By knowing about each of the six types of industrial overhead crane hoist slings that are available on the market today, you can choose the best slings to meet your building project's needs. If you have additional questions about crane accessories, then you should contact your local overhead crane accessory supplier. For more information about overhead crane hoist supplies, visit a website like