ChainChains are among the most intimidating tools that a person can lay eyes on. But, beyond the image that these implements inspire, there’s nothing really remarkable about them. They’re just metal rings that are linked together – or are they?

There’s actually an intricate science that goes into the manufacture of chains, and there are several studies that go into improving the process. Before anyone can begin learning about the complex procedures that go into the production of chain fittings, however, they need to learn the basics first.

Whenever anyone begins selecting their chains, they need to consider three things: the grade, diameter and coil. Experts argue over which of these three is the most important element in determining the strength and durability of a chain. But, the fact of the matter is that a chain needs all three of these factors regardless of expert opinion before it can do its job.

For now, we’ll be talking about chain grade, as it’s the most technical factor of the three. The chain grade refers to the tensile strength of the metal used to create the chain. The grade number indicates to the maximum load the chain can take, or its ultimate break strength – assuming all the links are the same metal.

The parameters that determine the tensile strength of a chain can vary depending on the metal. Galvanized steel, for example, relies on the amount of carbon present in the steel. This makes it possible for one metal type to have multiple grades. But, people shouldn’t make the mistake of confusing chain grade with metal grade.

The chain grade is expressed in newtons per square millimetre, and is measured by the grade of the metal multiplied by the two cross sections of a link. This is the part where everyone pulls out their calculators and input the correct values into the applicable formula. Discussing all that, however, would need an entirely new article.

Chain grades aren’t a simple matter that people can master overnight, which should make everyone realise the kind of work that goes into making something most people take for granted every day.