Lifting Beams and Spreader Bars are two different below-the-hook devices in common use to transfer. Both of these devices have a similar function; to transfer the loads from multiple locations to the (single) crane hook, to spread out the load and provide balance to the lift. And yet each of these tools has different properties and applications. The main difference between the two types of lifting devices is the type of forces that are applied to the beam.
Spreader beams (spreader bars or lifting spreaders) consist of a long bar that serves to keep two slings apart from the lifting distance. It is designed with two lifting eyes at the top of the beam. The legs of a chain belt convert the lifting loads into compressive forces in the bar, and tensile forces in the slings.
Because material is used in an efficient way, spreaders are often lighter in weight, easier to design and cheaper than lifting beams. Another advantage is that the spreader bar can be easily adjusted in length to accommodate a range of lift spreads.
But a disadvantage is the required space above the bar, which results sometimes in a loss of lifting height.
On the other hand, lifting beams consist of a long beam that serves the lifting load into a bending moment through the beam. It is a simple design with one lifting eye on the beam’s topside for connecting the crane. Under the beam are two (or more) slugs attached that support the load via hook or sling.
The main advantage of lifting beams is the less required space above the beam to implement the lift. That’s why lifting beams are suitable for a shorter span and lighter lifts in a more narrow environment.
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