Steel Plate Lifting Equipment

Steel Plate Lifting Equipment
Industries which work with sheets of steel, physician whether large or small, treatment will need to use specific types of lifting equipment in order to lift and move them around safely, and more easily than lifting sheets by hand. Yes, sheets of steel may be moved by numerous people carrying it, but it is not without its hazards, special gloves will be needed to protect hands from the sharp edges, safety boots are essential too. If the sheets are large, they will bow/sag if not supported correctly. Accidents and injuries can also occur if being moved by hand. Some sheets will simply be too big to be man-handled. This is where plate lifting equipment will help.
There are 3 main types of equipment used to lift and move sheets of steel, these are plate clamps, lifting magnets and plate lifting dogs/hooks.
Plate lifting clamps are available in 3 main types, which lift and hold the steel in either the vertical position, horizontally or any position. All types of plate clamps are used in multiples of two or more, often with the addition of a spreader beam to spread the load more evenly and to aid in spacing out the clamps. The universal type of plate lifting clamp can hold the steel sheet’s in either orientation, and so can be more cost effective and beneficial if you need to lift sheeting in both orientations. There are different variations available for each type of clamp, some are hinged, some heavy duty, high grip models and some are non-marking; the non-marking variety are a must if you do not want any grip marks left on the steel, which are often seen with the standard varieties, they can also be used on timber due to their leather lined, non- marking pads. Plate clamps can also help in turning the steel, some can turn through 90 degrees and some through 180 degrees, making lifting in a vertical position and setting down in the horizontal position much easier.
Lifting dogs and hooks do not clamp onto the sheet material, they slide under the plate and use the forces applied from the angle of the chains when lifted to hold in place. You will find various types on offer, from round section dogs, end dogs, grab hooks and flat plate dogs. They can be used to lift a single sheet or multiple sheets, and can be manufactured to suit the total thickness you need to lift in one go. Lifting dogs provide an ideal, non-marking way to transport sheet materials, especially in multiples. Spreader beams are often used with most types of lifting dogs to help in evenly spacing the dogs/grab hooks and so providing equally applied forces required to hold the sheet material securely.
Magnet lifters work in a completely different way to other plate lifting devices. As their name suggests, they use a powerful magnetic force to hold the steel in place. The sheet material obviously needs to possess magnetic properties, like mild steel for example. These lifters can not only hold flat steel but also cylindrical steel, like pipes and tubing, however because the contact area is greatly reduced, so will the safe working load limit. One main consideration to bear in mind is the condition of the surface of the sheet steel, this is because, bad machining, dents, debris, paint, oils and anything else on its surface will produce air gaps, where the magnet cannot make sufficient contact to hold those areas, this will reduce the safe working load of the magnet, and so should always be treated with caution, and test lifts should always be undertaken prior to fully lifting the load to ensure sufficient magnetic forces are applied to safely hold the load.

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