Comparison between plastic and steel drag chains

In this article, Mr. Bilal Ismail - Sales Director for Asia of EKD Systems GmbH – is sharing his expertise on the differences between plastic and steel drag chains.

Comparison between plastic and steel drag chains

What determines the choice between plastic and steel drag chains?

The demand of the application will determine whether to use plastic or use steel drag chains.

For example, in applications with scorching heat like coking plants, iron steel industry, the plastic drag chains will not last, then we will use the steel ones. Also, regarding offshore or drilling rigs, sometimes you need long unsupported chains made of stainless steel, with cable mark lines.

Again, the plastic drag chains are different: they’re lighter, more durable, used for medium to lighter applications. In overall, it all depends on the application.

What are the pros and cons of plastic and steel drag chains?

Compared to steel drag chains, plastic ones are lighter in weight, so you can carry them very easily. On the contrary, to carry steel drag chains, you have to put a lot of effort. Therefore, in small machines, you will see plastic drag chains being applied frequently because this is the better choice. However, there are also cases where steel drag chains are used to protect machinery from hot chips.

Another factor to consider is the cost. Of course, using plastic drag chains will be more cost-effective than steel drag chains if the application allows. In terms of assembly, plastic drag chains also show advantages because you only need a tool like a screwdriver to open every part. With steel drag chains, it is more complicated, you need to use pliers to remove the circlip, bolts, and nuts to be loosened and other things, so it is not easy.

Which type of drag chain, plastic or steel, can be customized?

For the PKK series, it comprises moulded parts which cannot be customized. However, for the PLE series, for example aluminum, you can cut it to whatever length without having to follow the norm. So sometimes instead of jumping 50mm, you can go by 10mm and then you can use a taller or smaller option, which significantly saves time or money.

As for the steel chains, it may not be a component, so you can customize it very easily. Especially when you need bigger, like a big hose that’s big in diameter but not so heavy, we have special windows you can use. Like in woodworking industries, when they have a vacuum to hose to suck up the saw dust, the hose is very big, but also very light. We have special adaptors that can connect plastic drag chains and you don’t need to switch to bigger or steel drag chains.

For more information, please contact:


905, Nguyen Kiem Street, Ward 3, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam

Tel. +84 28 77755578 | |