International Chain Grades: What You Need to Know

July 1, 2019

International Chain Grades: What You Need to Know

While Laclede Chain is known as one of America’s oldest domestic chain manufacturers, we also distribute imported chain through our international division. In our many years of experience working with imports, we’ve become familiar with the common practices of international manufacturers that can have an impact on end consumers.

Marketing of Grade 43 Chain Overseas

For example, suppliers in China commonly market two different steel types (Q235 and 20Mn2) as grade 43 (G43) chain, a general purpose chain used in agriculture, construction, transportation, mining, and marine applications. However, only 20Mn2 steel can produce the strength required for applications that call for G43. The other steel, Q235, is only capable of reaching grade 38.

There is an obvious safety risk to using grade 38 chain for uses that require grade 43, so if you use imported chain from China, it’s essential to take measures to ensure your chain meets the demands of your application.

How to Avoid a G38/G43 Mix Up

If you are importing directly from a supplier, be sure that you know what type of steel your chain is made from. For G43 chain, be sure that your chain is manufactured using 20Mn2 steel, not Q235.

However, the only true way to tell the difference between chain made from 20Mn2 and Q235 steel is by destruction testing, because there is likely no visual difference between the two. At Laclede Chain, we perform measurements and testing on all of our imported chain to ensure our products reflect the quality you expect and the strength you require.

If you don’t have the means to test chain yourself, then it is wise to find a partner who can perform testing on your behalf. Further, working with a distributor like Laclede International is also a great way to save the hassle of coordinating the testing yourself and will give you peace of mind that your chain won’t let you down.

Questions about imported chain? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at 800-325-2699 with any questions! You can also request a quote through our website at