ASME BTH-1-2017 - Design of Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices


ASME BTH 1 2017 Design Below the Hook Lifting Devices


The ASME BTH-1 standard for the design of below-the-hook lifting devices has been revised. The new edition, released as ASME BTH-1-2017 - Design of Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices, updates and supersedes the 2014 version of the standard, continuing to serve as a guide for designers, manufacturers, purchasers, and users of below-the-hook lifting devices.

ASME BTH-1-2017 provides minimum structural, mechanical design, and electrical component selection criteria for below-the-hook lifting devices, and it can assist compliance with ASME B30.20-2013 - Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices, a document within the ASME B30 series that specifies the marking, construction, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, and operation of these devices.

Below-the-hook lifting devices, or devices used for attaching a load to a hoist, can contain components such as slings, hooks, and rigging hardware. They can be in the form of structural and mechanical lifting devices, vacuum lifting devices, operated close proximity lifting magnets, remotely operated lifting magnets, or scrap and material handling grapples.

While ASME B30.20-2013 addresses most considerations related to below-the-hook lifting devices, there were, during the standard’s lifetime, formal requests for interpretation of the limited structural design criteria covered in the document. This birthed the ASME BTH-1-2017 standard.

ASME BTH-1-2017 calls for lifting devices to be designed by, or under the direct supervision of, a qualified person. It covers provisions for specified rated loads, load geometry, Design Category, and Service Class, which users are to adhere to during the design of any below-the-hook device. In addition to design criteria, the standard addresses analysis methods for measuring allowable stresses, materials, welding designs and procedures, explanatory information (including units of measure) and other considerations.


ASME BTH 1 2017 Design Below the Hook Lifting Devices


Ever since its initial publication in 1999, ASME BTH-1 has undergone a periodic revision process, and each subsequent edition has possessed changes that improved upon the previous version. Some of these changes have been relatively minor, while others were more substantial, such as the addition of new chapters. Some changes to ASME BTH-1-2017 include:

  • Chapter 6: Magnet Lifting Design has been added.
  • An accompanying Nonmandatory Appendix with commentary for the new chapter has been added.
  • Definitions of applied load(s), dead load, load cycle, maximum stress, minimum stress, and rated load have been added.
  • Definitions of load cycle, applied load(s), dead load, rated load, rigging hardware, sling, maximum stress, and minimum stress have been deleted.
  • Terminology for equalizing sheave, running sheave, electrical power supply, electric motor, externally powered electromagnet, master switch has been altered.
  • Definitions of shall and should, as well as the location where design factor, back-driving, L10 bearing life, vacuum pad, brake, control system, rectifier, and sensor(s) are first used have been revised.
  • Units have been added for: the distance from the edge of the pinhole to the edge of the plate in the direction of the applied load, the pin diameter, the shear plane locating angle for pinconnected plates, the effective area of the vacuum pad enclosed between the pad and the material when the pad is fully compressed against the material surface to be lifted, and the angle of vacuum pad interface surface measured from horizontal.
  • Nomenclature for hc, hp, My, Sxc, and Sxt has been added.
  • Nomenclature for Fr, Fyf, and Fyw has been deleted.
  • Nomenclature for ni, Su, Sy, and Fu has been revised.
  • Design Category C Lifters have been added.


Furthermore, there are numerous editorial changes present in the standard. To assist users, ASME BTH-1-2017 summarizes every revision with its corresponding location in an early section of the document.

It is important to realize that the provisions defined in ASME BTH-1-2017 address the most common and broadly applicable aspects of the design of below-the-hook lifting devices. Therefore, there may be design issues that are not explicitly covered in the standard. A qualified person is responsible for handling any specialized criteria.

ASME BTH-1-2017 - Design of Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices is available on the ANSI Webstore.
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