Ductility is a material property that describes a material’s ability to permanently deform or stretch prior to fracture. The more ductility, the more the material can permanently stretch prior to breaking. This is extremely important for winch and offroad rigging because as users, we want to be visually warned if we are overstressing a piece of rigging hardware.
A sudden catastrophic fracture in rigging is dangerous and unnecessary. The appropriate amount of strength and ductility is deliberately designed into reputable rigging hardware. USA hardware manufactured by Crosby , Columbus McKinnon , Skookum, Campbell, Chicago etc. have the proper ductile properties engineered into them.
As you know, during the destructive testing of our own products, we also subject the attached rigging hardware to the same high loads and are never surprised by any unpredictable hardware behavior. Where do you find this type of certified rigging hardware? Unfortunately, not at your local 4×4 shop. On the contrary, your local 4×4 shop is stocked with mostly rebranded cheap imported rigging hardware like hooks and shackles. These poor quality hardware pieces have unpredictable ductility and strength properties.
Look at the attached pictures of failed cheap imported hardware and observe what a brittle failure looks like – very little stretch and deformation which equates to very little warning of an impending failure. We are not fans of cheap imported shackles or cheap imported hooks that come equipped on most winches. By saving a few dollars on cheap rigging hardware, you are potentially endangering yourself and others. Do yourself a favor and go down to your local rigging supply shop and purchase some quality hardware. You will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable quality USA Made hardware actually is.