Confused about eyebolt standards? You’re in the right place!
In this blog, we’re breaking down the governing standards for eyebolts used primarily in rigging operations.
When ANSI first published the B18.15 standard on forged eyebolts in 1960, they stated as a disclaimer that “it would be impossible to develop an ANSI standard which would agree with even a small percentage of the products (eyebolts) being produced.” Regardless, B18.15 serves as ANSI’s attempt to come as close as possible to an average value for all forged eyebolts.
In addition to B18.15, there is one other standard that covers eyebolts – ASME B30.26.
ASME B30.26 (2015) “Hardware” covers identification, ductility, design factor, and proof load and temperature requirements for forged eyebolts and other rigging hardware.
ASME B18.15 “Forged Eyebolts” covers dimensions and capacities for threaded eye bolts intended primarily for lifting applications.
In case you’re wondering, OSHA does not provide regulations to cover eyebolt capacities. However, most companies will defer to ANSI/ASME standards in addition to any OSHA requirements that may exist anyway. Unfortunately, in the case of eyebolts, this can create confusion since there are two conflicting ANSI/ASME standards.
B18.15 has a capacity table with reductions for 0°, 30°, 60°, and 90° angular loads, as shown in the illustration below.
B30.26 does not list eyebolt capacities but does require angular load reductions, as demonstrated in the illustration above.
The issue is if we use the guidance from B18.15 for eyebolts used at 90°, their rated capacity will be significantly higher in value than what B30.26 recommends. So how do you know which standard to follow?
The safest way to determine eyebolt capacity is to ask the eyebolt manufacturer.
This should always be the first choice.
Be cautioned that manufacturer guidance trumps ASME’s recommended capacities. For example, if the manufacturer states that you cannot use their eyebolt at 60° and you decide to follow the ASME standards anyway, and the eyebolt fails, then you will be considered at fault for not following the manufacturer’s instructions.
The bottom line? It’s safe practice to always verify working load limits with the equipment manufacturer before use. However, if that information is not available for some reason, your next safest practice is to go with the capacity reductions listed in ASME B30.26. You can find a more in-depth explanation of this reasoning in Shackles, Swivel Hoist Rings and Eyebolts. What to Use and When.
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Klinke, Jerry. Rigging Handbook. 5th ed., ACRA Enterprises, Inc., 2016.