Ratchet Straps Web Lashing EN 12195-2
Ratchet straps are an important player in securing cargo for transport, and once you understand how to use them you’ll be wondering why you ever used anything else. They hold their tension with a built-in tensioner device and have rated weight capacities that make them a reliable and safe tie down choice.
EN 12195-2 Ratchet Straps
The web lashings made from man-made fibres according to the EN 12195-2 standard are a commonly used equipment for the cargo lashing. By means of the traction action obtained through a manual tensioning device, the web lashings hold the load by increasing the friction forces, in the case of the frictional lashing, or directly, in the case of the direct lashing.
The formulas contained in the EN 12195-1 standard require, for the calculation of lashing, the specific parameters for web lashing according to the EN 12195-2 standard. Therefore, the use of web lashings not approved according to this standard does not allow the calculation of the lashing according to the EN 12195-1 standard, and ultimately does not allow to comply with the cargo securing requirements in case of technical roadside inspections introduced by the Directive 2014/47/EU on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union.
The current edition of EN 12195-2 is the 2004 edition.
Web lashings main features
Web lashings usually consist of two branches with a manual ratchet on the short branch. The ends of the web lashings belts can have different types of hooks or rings, to properly fix the lashing in or on lashing points on the vehicle or on the cargo.
The ratchet shall always be manually operated, without the aid of levers or other mechanical devices, and shall be blocked during transport.
Some lashings are equipped with a built in tension indicator, for an immediate visual check of the tension force reached following the action on the ratchet.
The image below, present on the Würth website at this address, shows a typical example of a web lashing for cargo securing.
Typical web lashing for the cargo securing, image taken from the Würth online catalog
Web lashing label
Web lashings approved according to the EN 12195-2 standard are provided with a label describing the technical specifications, as shown in the example below.
The content of the label is of fundamental importance for the correct selection and use of the web lashing. Below is a brief description of the main parameters contained on the label.
Web lashing strength
LC: lashing capacity. It is the maximum allowed force, expressed in daN, that the lashing device is designed to sustain in use. This is the parameter required to calculate the securing of the cargo in case of direct lashing, according to the provisions of the EN 12195-1 standard.
SHF: standard hand force of a lashing. It is the load, expressed in daN, which represents the maximum action that can be performed manually on the tensioning device. In practice, it is the maximum force, corresponding to about 50 kg, with which an operator can act on the ratchet to tension the lashing.
STF: standard tension force. Residual force after physical release of the handle of the tensioning device after an action equal to SHF = 50 daN. This is the parameter that is used to calculate the securing of the cargo when frictional lashing is used, according to the provisions of the EN 12195-1 standard. The higher the value of the STF parameter, the greater the lashing performance of the equipment. In fact, with the same action on the ratchet, equal to 50 daN, a web lashing with a higher STF value guarantees a greater residual tension than a web lashing with a lower STF value. Web lashings that do not have the STF parameter shown on the label shall not be used for frictional lashing, but can only be used for direct lashing.
Web lashing material
The color of the label represents the material of the fiber:
- Blue: web made of PES, polyester. It is a material resistant to mineral acids, but subject to alkali attacks.
- Green: web made of PA, polyamide. It is a material potentially immune to the effects of alkalis, but subject to attack by mineral acids.
- Brown: web made of rete di PP, polypropylene. It is a material that is not subject to the attack of acids and alkalis, therefore more suitable than polyamide and polyester lashings for use in environments requiring high resistance to chemical agents
Recommendations for the correct use of web lashings
Web lashings represent are a valid method for the securing of the cargo, as they are versatile, they adapt to loads of different shapes and sizes and allow various lashing configurations to be adopted. However, for correct use and to ensure safety during transport, some simple but essential rules must be observed:
- Web lashings shall be approved according to the EN 12195-2 standard and the information contained on the label must be legible;
- The minimum number of lashings to be used, based on the specifications, shall be calculated according to the formulas contained in the EN 12195-1 standard;
- Web lashings shall not show signs of weakening, such as tears, lacerations, or signs of wear. Similarly, the hooks at the ends of the belt shall not show any deformation. The belt shown in the photo below is damaged and shall not be used.
- Web lashings shall not be used if knotted;
- Web lashings shall be protected from contact with sharp corners of the load or of the vehicle, as this could damage the lashings causing them to break. In this regard, corner protectors shall be used, which among other things allow to reduce the friction between the belt and the load, ensuring a more uniform distribution of tension on all the branches of the belt. In addition, the corner protectors hold the belt in place and allow it to be used even on irregularly shaped loads;
- As far as possible, it is advisable to periodically check the state of tension of the web lashings during transport and, if necessary, to restore them by the driver. Small settlements and vibrations could in fact cause a decrease in the tension of the web lashings limiting their effectiveness, especially in case of frictional lashing.
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