Gouges commonly occur when the load is in a basket or choke hitch. As the sling begins to see an increase in load weight and adjusts itself toward the center of gravity, the force that is applied between the chain link and metal also increases. When this happens simultaneously, the tension and adjustment make the sharp corner in-bed itself into the chain link. This is what forms a deep gouge. If the gouge removes 10% or more of a given links’ material diameter or if the gouge occurs at or near the crown or radius area, remove the chain from service. If the gouged area is in question, contact a qualified chain expert to assess the sling further.
Gouges can be limited or prevented with the use of wear pads placed between the alloy chain and the sharp edges.