Choosing a lifting beam
Cost, Ease of Use, Stability & Headroom
Factors to be taken into account when considering design and specification of spreader/lifting beams are cost, ease of use, stability and headroom. Generally a higher cost beam will result in very good ease of use and long life while the availability of headroom greatly affects the stability of the lift. The less headroom available generally means the less stable the lift will be. Slinging arrangements must also be taken into account when considering beam design. Nobles engineers have the expertise and experience to provide the best solution for any given lifting/spreader beam application.
1. Basic Lifting Beam
Has a centre lifting lug at the top to accommodate a crane hook and has a bottom lug at each end for connecting slings or in some instances for hooking directly to the load. Lugs can be positioned in either plane and headroom for the lift is reduced as no top slings are required. This beam section is loaded purely in bending.
2. Basic Spreader Beam
Literally "spreads" a two legged top sling. The top lug holes are either located on the beam centreline or carefully oriented to align with a given sling angle so as to put the beam section into pure compression. A spreader beam has better stability than a lifting beam and a higher potential capacity for a given size of steel section used. Spreader beams require more headroom than lifting beams due to the two legged sling arrangement at the top.
3. Combination Beam
This beam is a combination of (1.) & (2.) and offers the versatility of a dual purpose beam. The capacity of the beam using a two legged top sling may be significantly greater than the capacity using only the top centre lug. Other Types Hybrid beams are also available. The Hybrid beam uses a two legged top sling but the lower lugs are offset from the lines of force from the top sling. The beam loading is a combination of compression and bending. This beam achieves lower headroom than a spreader beam but has better stability and smaller section size than a lifting beam.
There are, of course other types of beam, most of which are adjustable versions of the basic four. Other common types worth considering are X-beams, spreader frames and H-beams.