What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier?

How can a synthetic chain like the Green Pin Tycan Chain make lifting and rigging more productive and less physically demanding?

Matt Florjancic

The synthetic Green Pin Tycan® Chain is gaining traction in construction industries as an alternative to alloy steel chain.

Alloy steel chains are durable pieces of rigging equipment, but with great strength comes high tension, and potential for catastrophic incidents. If a chain link breaks, the tension is strong enough to send the broken link toward unprotected workers at a high rate of speed. The same is true for wire rope, as the broken strand could recoil and severely injure workers in its path.

Mazzella’s Lifting Specialists have found synthetic rigging equipment usage in coal mines has become more commonplace in recent years. The reason has to do with safety. If a metal chain or wire rope breaks in close quarters, there’s nowhere for workers to take cover.

What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier: Tycan Chain Application

In this article, you will learn the answers to the following questions:

  • What’s the Tycan® Chain?
  • What are its best fit applications?
  • Are there disadvantages to using the Tycan® Chain?
  • What’s the cost compared to alloy steel chain?
  • Where will I see the biggest benefits to using it?
  • What’s the inspection criteria?

What is the Green Pin Tycan® Chain?


What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier: Green Pin Tycan Chain

It is a synthetic chain made out of Dyneema® fiber, which is the strongest man-made fiber in the world. It has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, just like the high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) ropes.

Since it and HMPE ropes are made from the same materials, there are a lot of similar characteristics, including:

  • Strength comparable to alloy chain slings of equal specifications
  • About 1/8 the weight of steel chain
  • Can do almost everything a steel chain can do

With the Dyneema® fibers, the Green Pin Tycan® Chain is:

  • Resistant to UV rays
  • Resistant to many chemicals, including:
    • Oil
    • Diesel fuel
    • Grease
    • Non-oxidizing chemicals
    • Cleaning solvents
    • Jet fuel
    • Hydraulic fuel
  • Floats instead of taking on water
  • Greener than steel chain
    • Doesn’t have the oils a wire rope or steel chain has
    • Creates less pollution in water-rich environments
    • No concerns about rust

What are the best fit applications for the Green Pin Tycan® Chain?


What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier: Tycan Chain Best Fit Applications

The Green Pin Tycan® Chain is good for any place you want to get lighter and safer.

Our experts have found many companies use Grade 70 or Grade 40 chain to tie down new equipment being shipped on flatbeds. However, the Green Pin Tycan® Chain is a lot softer, which will reduce the damage done to your equipment, as well as the loads being lifted. Additionally, it is quieter, and with less weight than steel chain, you’re reducing the added weight on your lifts.

If you’re close to exceeding capacity in crane operations, using the Green Pin Tycan® Chain will help you save hundreds of pounds in weight.

Underground mining was the first big application where our lifting and rigging specialists saw it being used.

Needing to tow broken down railcars is a big concern in the mining industry. By using the Green Pin Tycan® Chain, miners have found they quickly can adjust the chain to make easier turns on the rails.

Because miners work underground, there is little protection if a steel chain or wire rope breaks while in use. Having “nowhere to run” has caused many injuries, but using synthetics has helped save lives and prevent catastrophic incidents.

Like the 12-strand HMPE ropes, the Green Pin Tycan® Chain is made with the Dyneema® fibers. When breaks occur with Dyneema®, due to kinetic energy, the material just falls to the ground. There is no whipping motion.

In addition to reducing breaking injuries, the Green Pin Tycan® Chain has no pinch points. If you’re handling heavy steel chains, you’re running the risk of getting your fingers pinched and/or hands smashed. That risk doesn’t exist with the Green Pin Tycan® Chain.

What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier: Tycan Chain Weight Ratio

Weight Ratio

The Green Pin Tycan® Chain is going to be about an 1/8 of the weight of a traditional steel chain. Like the 12-strand HMPE ropes over wire ropes, you’ll have roughly a 3-5% increase in strength over steel with the Green Pin Tycan® Chain.

Length Maximum/Minimum

The Green Pin Tycan® Chain typically comes in lengths of 100 meters, but can be sold in any length needed.

When using the Green Pin Tycan® Chain with a shackle, the shackle needs to follow the minimum requirements for the width between the eyes and the pin/body diameter. Van Beest lists those minimum requirements in the user’s manual.

If you’re shortening up a steel chain, you need a grab hook at the top to shorten it up. It’s the only type of hook that’s going to get that chain to fit right into the link pocket. With the Green Pin Tycan® Chain, it’s only possible to use any type of hook, including a safety locking hook, when the product is following the requirements for the pin diameter and the clevis width.

The Green Pin Tycan® Chain can be used in single-leg, two-leg, three-leg, and four-leg configurations, as well as an “endless chain doughnut.” Whatever you’re doing with your steel chain, Mazzella has found that you can duplicate it with this synthetic chain.

Specifications

With it being a new product, there are four sizes only, and they’re identified by their capacity in a single leg vertical lift.

The capacities include models built to handle:

  • 2.6-ton
  • 4-ton
  • 5-ton
  • 6.8-ton

Although limited right now, if you routinely have lifts at or below these capacities, the Green Pin Tycan® Chain would allow you to replace bulky steel chain.

With the ability to use the Green Pin Tycan® Chain in slings, if you have a 10-ton load, you can customize a four-leg sling that can handle your lift.


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Are there disadvantages to using the Green Pin Tycan® Chain?


The two main drawbacks to using this synthetic chain are:

  • Cut potential
  • Melt potential

While it will take a lot to cut or melt the Green Pin Tycan® Chain, those possibilities do exist.

The melting point is around 280°F, but the cut potential is the main drawback. There will be applications where it isn’t the right fit, including picking up heavy, thin steel plates without added sling protection.

However, in a potential cut situation, the Green Pin Tycan® Chain can be protected with various types of cut and chafe protection, just like the HMPE rope options. The Dyneema® is a material with a very good cut resistance compared to polyester slings. Cut-resistant gloves are made of Dyneema® fiber.

Because of the temperatures generated within steel mills, the Green Pin Tycan® Chain is not a good fit in most of those applications. There are better synthetic or steel chain options available to use in high-heat applications.

Other than the cut and melt potential, our specialists have found the Green Pin Tycan® Chain will improve most of your lifting applications where you currently use steel chain.

What is the cost of the Green Pin Tycan® Chain compared to steel chain?


What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier: Cost

When compared to a Grade 100 steel chain of similar capacity, the Green Pin Tycan® Chain is generally a little more expensive up front, but has proven to provide longer life in most applications delivering a better value over time.

Need for Specific Hardware

The Green Pin Tycan® Chain comes with a need for further investment.

There’s a need for specific hardware to guarantee safe use of the product. A regular chain hook with a clevis pin will not work with the Green Pin Tycan® Chain because it creates bunching, which affects the D/d ratios.

While there are specific hooks, any shackles currently in use at your company should work with the Green Pin Tycan® Chain.

Longer Lifespan

A longer lifespan is another cost-determining factor.

You’re not going to have to retire the Green Pin Tycan® Chain because of:

  • Rust
  • Bent links
  • Nicks
  • Gouges
  • Elongation/Stretching

What are the biggest benefits to using the Green Pin Tycan® Chain?


What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier: Benefits

Safety

Your biggest benefit is the safety factor.

If you’re always looking for the safest options for your employees, you want to consider the Green Pin Tycan® Chain. In addition to the increased risk of injury should a break occur, steel chains may prove too heavy, and instead, require a crane to move.

Like the HMPE ropes, with the Green Pin Tycan® Chain, instead of needing three people to carry one steel chain, you can have one worker carrying three synthetic chain slings.

By lightening the weight of the chain, you potentially save on medical costs and time off work due to jobsite injuries.

What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier: Safety & Versatility

Versatility

The Green Pin Tycan® Chain can be used in most of the environments that steel chain is utilized, and is easier for employees to handle.

Using it will help you increase safety, efficiency and productivity because it’s versatile and doesn’t come with the same limitations as using heavy steel chains.

Morale Boost

During on-site visits to offer synthetic lifting options, Mazzella specialists have heard “Well, our employees won’t take care of it, so paying more just doesn’t make sense. They’re just going to trash it. They’re not going to care for it.”

However, what those detractors have found is if they do give synthetic chain a chance, employees actually prefer working with it. They’re taking care of the product and making sure it isn’t going anywhere.

The Green Pin Tycan® Chain’s versatility and lighter weight help make employees want to use the equipment and be more careful with it on the jobsite and in storage.

Increased safety factors have led to positive efficiency and productivity for our customers.

What is the inspection criteria of the Green Pin Tycan® Chain?


What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier: Inspection

The Green Pin Tycan® Chain is similar to the HMPE rope, which features layers of Dyneema®. The more layers of fiber, the stronger the synthetic lifting solution is going to be.

Currently, there is no applicable standard used to govern the Green Pin Tycan® Chain. However, Van Beest performed a comprehensive Technical Qualification (TQ) with global verification company DNV-GL. This process was done to assure qualified technical functionality for designated service, achieved by providing the needed evidence that a technology will function within specified operational limits, in a bottom-up process.

Also, Van Beest ran it through a thorough process, including:

  • Break strength measurement
  • Cut and abrasions resistance tests
  • Cyclic fatigue tests
  • Creep lifetime tests
  • UV resistance tests
  • Particle ingress resistance tests
  • End-terminations impact tests
  • Torsion resistance tests
  • Unravel tests
  • Elongations tests
  • Failure mode tests
  • Critical hitch tests
  • Various functional tests

The DNV-GL Technical Qualifications has a defined Working Load Limit safety factor of 4:1.

 When conducting an on-site visual inspection, you’re looking for any of the following:

  • Cuts
  • Weld splatter
  • Burns

Is the Green Pin Tycan® Chain the Right Fit for Me?


What Is the Tycan® Chain, & How Does It Make Rigging Easier: Right Fit

Can a synthetic chain really do the same kind of work that an alloy steel chain can do?

Mazzella Lifting Specialists have found the initial feedback to be positive. We’re seeing end-users who have purchased it that are becoming repeat customers eager to replace more of their steel chains with synthetic rigging gear.

By replacing their steel chains with the Green Pin Tycan® Chain, end-users have found the lower weight significantly has reduced:

  • Sick leave
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Hearing damage
  • Damage to cargo
  • Customer dissatisfaction

If you think the Green Pin Tycan® Chain is a good fit for you or have more questions about the product, call us at 800.362.4601 to speak with a Mazzella Lifting Specialist today!


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