Connectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different applications and are used to connect components together within a fall protection system.
Surface Finish of Hardware
Metallic components used in fall protection equipment are subjected to a neutral salt-spray test intended to prove a minimum resistance to environmental corrosion (specifically rust). Products are held within a sealed chamber, which is filled with a salt-water mist, which can induce rust in unprotected metals. Products are subjected to 48 hours exposure and examined for rusting and function afterward.
Major/Minor Axis Static Strength
All snaphooks and carabiners are required to be loaded along the major axis to 5,000lbs (22.2kN) for a minimum of 1 minute, without failure or the gate opening by more than 0.125 inches (3.1mm). They are also required to hold a load along the minor axis of 3,600lbs (16kN) for 1 minute without failure .
Gate Face/Gate Side
All snaphooks and carabiners are required to be loaded on the gate face and gate side to 3,600lbs (16kN) for a minimum of 1 minute, without failure or the gate opening by more than 0.125 inches (3.1mm).
D-Rings, O-rings, Oval Rings, Buckles and Adjusters
All D/O/Oval rings are required to be loaded to 5,000lbs (22.2kN) for a minimum of 1 minute without failure. Buckles and adjusters are subjected to the same test but only loaded to 3,372lbs (15kN).
All snaphooks, carabiners and rings are required to be loaded to 3,600lbs (16kN) along their major axis. The item fails if any cracking, breaking or permanent deformation occurs.
Snaphooks, carabiners and D/O/Oval rings are all required to undergo a dynamic test by dropping a 100kg test mass from a height to give an arrest force of between 5,000 and 5,405lbs (22.2 - 24kN). Before this test is carried out, all samples are required to be conditioned on an abrasion machine, followed by either cold conditioning (metallic samples) or accelerated aging (non-metallic samples).
Transverse body loading
Connectors and snaphooks which have a gate opening greater than 1 inch (25mm) are required to pass a transverse body load test, both statically and dynamically. This applies the force/load to the connector with its body pressed over a metal edge. In both these tests the connector needs to hold the load without breaking or distorting enough to allow the gate to release from the nose by 0.125in (3.1mm) or more.