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Stickers and Helmet Strength
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By Kevin Brooks Henry
From Iowa City, IA
Jun 26, 2010
close up
Recently while looking through Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills by Craig Luebben, I read that you shouldn't put stickers or paint on your helmet because it undermines the strength of the shell. Any idea why that is? Is it even true?

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jun 26, 2010
El Chorro
There could be a chemical in the adhesive or paint that weakens the plastic. Unlikely, but possible. I have stickers on my helmet.

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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jun 26, 2010
Stabby
In construction we have this issue with hard hats. Paint is a definite no-no; but the idea that stickers weaken it is generally dismissed as a wives tale. What the safety guys do state regarding stickers is the possibility of hiding a defect or damage.

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By usernameremoved
Jun 26, 2010
This is ridiculous. Sorry, but total BS. Sure the adhesive may have a chemical in it that may weaken the shell in the slightest bit, but I can't believe someone would honestly say a sticker caused failure of a helmet, not the whipper they just took or the rock that fell from above.

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By Buck Dooley
Jun 26, 2010
Mmmmm... summit beer.....
Mike Lane wrote:
In construction we have this issue with hard hats... What the safety guys do state regarding stickers is the possibility of hiding a defect or damage.


And yet on every site you go to you have to sit through a couple of hours of safety training just so they can put a sticker on your head saying you passed their safety instruction...

I doubt the ability of the adhesive on the sticker to weaken the integrity of your brain bucket.

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By tenpins
Jun 26, 2010
if you take some time to google this, you will find this largely unfounded from both the construction standpoint as well as climbing.
As stated, stickers hiding defects and cracks is a valid point. So make sure you know the status of your pot, and inspect it frequently.

In construction they do not like you to have metallic stickers within an inch of the brim because of (maybe also unfounded) concerns for elctrical conductivity.

besides, how do you tell your identical make and model helmet apart from everyone elses?

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By Gunkiemike
Jun 26, 2010
tenpins wrote:
In construction they do not like you to have metallic stickers within an inch of the brim because of (maybe also unfounded) concerns for elctrical conductivity.


Heh...tell that to the dude with the shiny metal (looks like aluminum) hard hat at the construction site at the local high school!

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By Woodchuck ATC
Jun 26, 2010
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Well judging from the dozen or so stickers on each of my helmets, I'm a dead man next rock I catch.

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By Larry Daniels
From Denver,CO
Jun 27, 2010
I like the link at the footer of the site that says "free stickers"

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By Daniel Crescenzo
Jun 27, 2010
Crux?
I am not a huge fan of being a billboard or an indicator species for that matter. I had a half dome suck up the impact of a toaster oven sized block and it performed really well. Give the stickers to your kid or your neighbors kid and go climbing. After all it's about doing it, not being a pawn to marketing.

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By cdurf
From Mpls, MN & Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jun 27, 2010
Climb alone. Except with Wilson on my helmet!
Think.

Paint could change to Styrofoam strength. Would it change the plastic? Stickers could hide things like damage.

What have you done to your brain bucket?

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By Kevin Brooks Henry
From Iowa City, IA
Jun 27, 2010
close up
cdurf wrote:
Think. What have you done to your brain bucket?


Nothing, just thought it was an interesting warning.

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By Buff Johnson
Jun 27, 2010
smiley face
Mike Lane wrote:
In construction we have this issue with hard hats. Paint is a definite no-no; but the idea that stickers weaken it is generally dismissed as a wives tale. What the safety guys do state regarding stickers is the possibility of hiding a defect or damage.


The funny thing is some jobsites require stickers to be on the job, as well as some union requirements to be performing certain tasks.

Somewhat funny story in my life; I was pounded on by an all-knowing safety guy, who had a series of qc problems from his dumb-ass & lazy incompetence. One day I had enough, I asked the safety guy if he ever actually produced anything substantive toward completing a project in his career.....(he actually got shown the door, and the const mgr wanted me on board after my contract was completed due to a turn around in safety, quality of const, & efficiency; but my life was meant to be in a different direction). It still seems I certainly do have a way of making a good point, though only in a bad way.


I have no idea why stickers are perceived as a chemical reaction issue to the extent that the shell would actually be weakened.

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By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Jun 27, 2010
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di Brenta.  October 1977.
Mark Nelson wrote:
I have no idea why stickers are perceived as a chemical reaction issue to the extent that the shell would actually be weakened.

The following is from the instructions for the Petzl Meteor III :

WARNING: Stickers, markers, paints, etc. may contain ingredients that can damage the helmet and reduce its protective properties. Before applying any of these products to the helmet, verify their compatibility with expanded polystyrene and polycarbonate

Similar warnings are given for the Elios, Altios, Elia, Picchu, and Ecrin ROC--the details of the message varying with the materials used in the helmet.

Edelrid says:

Paint, solvents, adhesives or self-adhering stickers may only be applied in keeping with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Black Diamond says:

DO NOT paint your helmet.
Stickers may have adhesives that can degrade the helmet shell material. Contact Black Diamond or your Black Diamond retailer to obtain stickers approved for use on your helmet.

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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jun 27, 2010
Me scaring years off my mom's life
Daniel Crescenzo wrote:
I am not a huge fan of being a billboard or an indicator species for that matter. I had a half dome suck up the impact of a toaster oven sized block and it performed really well. Give the stickers to your kid or your neighbors kid and go climbing. After all it's about doing it, not being a pawn to marketing.



You tell 'em comrade! Way to not be a slave to the man! Your post makes me want to listen to Rage Against the Machine and protest the G20!

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jun 27, 2010
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.




Wilson!!!!

Wilson!!!11111

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By Buff Johnson
Jun 28, 2010
smiley face
heads up
heads up




Stick It!

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By Travis Merrill
Aug 1, 2010
Me Starting Montazuma's Tower
Damn sucks for all my belayers. I just bought a preowned helmet that had a sticker on it...

Oh well if they are climbing with me they led a good life...

Also JP that stickers saying not to use stickers is clearly hilarious.

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By kachoong
From The Outback, Texas
Aug 1, 2010
Climbing at Frog Buttress
As a rider of motorcycles for much of my life, I had heard that you shouldn't put stickers on a motorcycle helmet because it compromises the ability of the slick helmet surface to slip across the ground upon impact.

Rather than the chemicals in the sticker affecting the material, it's the friction of the surface of the sticker itself that binds to the road surface when your head hits/slides along the road. If the sticker (and therefore your whole head) bites into the road surface, the momentum of your body could break your neck.

Not sure if this would transfer to the physics of a fall in climbing since you're falling downwards mainly, but maybe a sticker(s) could prevent a rock from glancing across the helmet?...dunno.

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By Corey Morris
From Fort Hood, TX
Aug 1, 2010
LOL...the subjects on here being discussed...

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