Chain and Your Outdoor Recreational Facility
After prolonged closures in 2020, outdoor recreational facilities such as parks, playgrounds, and theme parks are getting ready to host the public again in spring and summer 2021. If you’re responsible for maintenance at one of these facilities (or you’re a supplier to a team who is), preparation for your busy season is likely already underway.
It’s important to add checking the condition of your chain on playground equipment, queue lines, and anywhere else to your list of preparations and routine maintenance.
What to Look for When Inspecting Chain at Your Recreational Facility
- Stretched or deformed links. Visible stretching in your chain or fittings indicates that it has been pushed past its safe working load limit. This means that your chain has reached the end of its useful life and must be replaced immediately. Stretching or deformation can cause chain to weaken to the point where it may be dangerous or unsafe. For more information on excessive wear, the NACM Welded Steel Chain Spec is a good resource. Here’s an example of what stretched chain looks like:
- Excessive Corrosion. Significant rust compromises the strength of your chain and mars its appearance. Chain showing visible rust should be replaced to ensure that it performs properly and gives your facility a well-maintained look. If you need to replace corroded chain, it’s a good time to consider investing in chain with a longer-lasting finish (keep reading for our recommendations). Here’s an example of chain showing severe corrosion:
How to Choose the Right Replacement Chain for Recreational Applications
All chain is not created equal! Laclede Chain offers finishes that are especially well-suited for outdoor recreational applications.
Powder coated chain is ideal for general outdoor applications such as playground equipment, queue lines, and general barriers. The powder coating adds an additional protective layer to the chain that helps it withstand exposure to the elements and exhibit less wear and tear over time. It outperforms other polymer coatings and painted chain because the powder coating thermally bonds to the steel in the chain, which makes the coating last longer.
Powder coating not only helps your chain perform better, but it also can give your equipment a polished look as well as a more child-friendly feel because the polymer coating smooths rough edges. Laclede Chain offers our powder coating in custom colors, so you can ensure your chain either blends into its environment, stands out for safety, or matches your organization’s colors. Powder coating can also be applied over other protective coatings such as hot-dip galvanizing, EG, or Galv360Ⓡ.
Galv360 is an advanced coating that offers best-in-class protection for chain used in more demanding applications, highly abrasive environments, or any time that corrosion is a major concern. If your facility is exposed to marine air or in an area that receives frequent rain or snowfall, Galv360 can be a good choice for prolonging the life of your chain.
Through independent testing, we’ve demonstrated that Galv360 outlasts traditional hot-dip galvanized (HDG) chain due to enhanced corrosion resistance. Another benefit of Galv360 is that the process ensures the coating reaches in between every link of the chain, which is not possible with traditional HDG.
While Galv360 can be a necessity for extreme weather environments, facilities in milder climates can also benefit. Galv360 will keep your chain looking good and lasting years longer than uncoated chain, which can save money in the long run and simplify your maintenance requirements.
Other Specialty Chain Needs
Theme and amusement park rides are another area where Laclede Chain can supply replacement chain. Depending on the environment, load requirements, and other factors, we can help you select the right chain to keep your patrons safe and your rides operating smoothly. If your application requires a custom-designed product, our engineering team will work right alongside you to provide an ideal solution for your needs.
The Right Chain Keeps Your Facility Safe and Looking Great
If you’re seeking a reliable supplier for chain and fittings for your recreational facility, Laclede Chain can help. We are experienced working across all types of outdoor applications and are committed to helping you and your guests work and play safely. Request a quote online today or connect with a Laclede Chain representative to get started!