U-bolt spreader question
I'm planning on using U-bolts as spreader bars for a couple of my end channel hammock in the near future. Weight isn't a problem as they are yard dwellers, but I'm not sure if I should go with the 4 or 5 inch U-blots. The reason is that they don't seem to make metal plates that go between the ends in sizes over 4".
So, if I don't have a plate there is a possibility that the U-bold could be pulled partially closed by the forces on the eye nuts that will have amsteel going to a ring buckle set up. Ultimately there are two questions. Will the forces described above do much to a 1/2" steel U-bolt? And secondly, would it really matter if it did?
Yes, without the bar the applied forces will seek to narrow the open end. Will it matter with 1/2" u -bolt? That's a big u-bolt. Depending on which steel alloy it is (there are hundreds) it will close sooner, later, or never in actual use as a Mini Spreader Bar. You could easily fit a block of wood with holes on the u-bolt before the eye nuts to counteract the forces present without it.
Would it matter if it closed up? IMHO, no.
That was my line of thinking, but seeing as I have little to no experience with these items I always like input from others.
I don't know if saying it is ANSI/MSS-SP-58, Type 24 zinc-plated steel with a working load limit of 2020lb helps.
Those numbers refer to the ANSI standard for that item as it is used for a particular application, not what alloy it is. Working load limit is more useful to the layman. With the mini spreader, something else will fail before that u-bolt. Just make sure there aren't any burrs or rough edges that would abrade the hammock fabric. And obviously, don't let the fabric hang on the threads of the bolt.
I'm not too worried about the hammock as it's made from two layers of upholstery fabric. My thought is the weakest point will be the amsteel going though the eye nuts, but I'm pretty sure that using thimbles will take care of that.