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The other day I found myself wondering this question.

What are connector links rated at? In other words what kind of a load are these little pieces of metal that connect my lines to my risers supposed to be able to take?

Anyone know?
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The safe working load should be stamped along the side opposite the nut along with "maillon rapide" (if I can remember french spelling from memory) and a number, usually 4 or 5, that indicates the size. The number can be harder to read because it is stamped in an apparently different process and doesn't necessarily line up correctly.

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If you read Paragear catalog, you will see them all: types, size, steel or stainless steel etc and their strenght (safe working load) in lbs.
French rapide link #5 in steel = 620 lbs (safe working load)
French rapide link #4 in steel = 400 lbs (safe working load)
French rapide link #4 in stainless steel = 615 lbs (safe working load)
French rapide link #5 in stainless steel = 990 lbs (safe working load)
#8 ring (harness ring for 3 mini ring release) = 2500 lbs
#10 ring (harness ring for 3 ring release) = 5000 lbs
medium ring (#2) (riser biggest ring) = 600 lbs
most adapters for leg strap = 2500 lbs
chest strap adapter (stainless steel) = 500 lbs
main riser soft link = made from 1000 lbs spectra lines but are double = 2000 lbs
Everything above are part of harware generally found on standard rig. Is that answer your question?
Learn from others mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all.

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One important addition to all the detail Erdnarob provided:

The rapide links have a 5 times safety factor above the "safe working load".

So a #4 stainless isn't just "good for 615 lbs", but has an actual minimum breaking strength of 3075 lbs.

==================================

If one wants to delve further into all this:

For the other hardware, the values provided (such as 5000 lbs for a big harness ring) are Proof loads. I'm not absolutely sure but I believe that that is supposed to be below the yield point, or Limit load in aviation parlance. Any of that other hardware should be able to be loaded to the quoted level without damage, without exceeding the yield point and suffering permanent deformation.

Therefore the actual point of complete failure, the breaking point or Ultimate load, will be higher. (Roughly 50% higher depending on the metal and how the limits are defined.)

So five times the quoted numbers for rapide links still can't be directly compared to numbers for other hardware.

For a rapide link they care at what point it fails completely, while for a 3-ring, one also cares if it gets bent out of shape.

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The old military specification for L-bar connector links is 3,000 pounds. Civilians copied that standard for most reserve connector links, ergo Maillon Rapide #5 and most soft links will hold a 3,000 pound load without distorting.

The minimum breaking strength on most parachute materials is the maximum load a piece of hardware or webbing can hold without permanent damage or distortion. Which means that if you slightly exceed the strength of a piece of hardware, it will bend, but continue to support the load until landing. No self-respecting rigger will repack that rig until the bent hardware has been replaced.

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Quote

So a #4 stainless isn't just "good for 615 lbs", but has an actual minimum breaking strength of 3075 lbs.




Another thing to factor in is the fact that you have4 links on a canopy. All thing being equal that would give you 4 times the working load of just one. Instead of 615 pounds you would have 2460. This is theory and mileage may differ.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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Thanks for giving some more details. And a 100$ question: What part of your parachute equipment is the strongest relatively to the maximum load it is supposed to hold????????? ah ah!
Learn from others mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all.

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