Knowing when to use a regular or standard eye bolt and when to opt for something more specialized can be important for your project. Depending on which way the load is pulling, a regular or plain pattern eye bolt may not provide the stability and strength you need.
In applications where the load is pulling away from the eye, a standard eye bolt will work well. This design features enough material on the top of the eye to handle a load. Remember that a bent eye can be used in light duty applications, but for those applications where heavy loads exist, only a forged eye bolt will do.
Other applications have the load pulling toward the eye. In those cases a shoulder eye bolt should be used, as the large flared shoulder can handle the load. Using a nut and washer also helps to distribute load in a more efficient way. When dealing with either a standard eye bolt or a shoulder eye bolt, remember that a riggers load refers to the amount a single fastener can handle.
Tips on Using Eye Bolts
The full thread of your eye bolt must be engaged in order to achieve the stated capacity rating. Leaving some threads unengaged often results in fastener failure and torn threading in any type of load.
Avoid using an eye bolt if your application involves an angular lift. Eye bolts are designed for direct loads, and angular loads can easily bend the fastener at the shaft, resulting in fastener failure. Some eye bolts are tested to a 45 degree angle with no sign of rupture, but pushing the fastener beyond that point is unwise and unsafe.
Eye bolts come in both galvanized metal and stainless steel. Most are fully threaded, although others may come with a smooth shank for depth and extension. For special applications where a certain size of eye must be made, start with an eye bolt blank and alter to fit.
Consider the load direction in your application. If it pulls away from the bolt, ask your fastener distributor for a standard eye bolt. For those loads pulling toward the bolt, a shoulder eye bolt is well suited. Both are available in a broad range of sizes and materials.