Fixe PLX HCR - "New"? Metal as alt to Titanium?


Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

But (some of us) do, we state the lifetime is infinite. The conditions the are used in are unknown to both us and CEN so then the onus is on the installers/user.
There is no guidance from both the UIAA or CEN about when an anchor is no longer usable so we cannot say how to check them or when to replace them. This is also an issue with ALL other climbing equipment where the manufacturer MUST give a lifespan but no criteria are given for what is a fail, if the expectation is that when it no longer conforms to the original certification then most climbig equipment should be junked effectively straight out of the packaging. Manufacturers have their own opinions on what is safe and use this instead as there is no information from the standards authority regarding acceptable deterioration.

I didn´t "complain" about the UIAA removing the material requirement, it is a matter of complete indifference to me. The observation was in the context of previous posts where you stated the UIAA would be unable to perform independent verification of manufacturers claims as to the materials used as often their claims were vague and I pointed out that previous to the UIAA removing the material requirements a works certificate was required and the approval of the UIAA safety label was conditional on this information being available to you.

The majority of anchors in Europe are also 304 or worse.

Roy Suggett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 6,365

Okay guys, take this as a compliment, you are a bunch of hardware wonks! And though I have a science background and have carefully followed this thread, I am not sure where this is going. Help us dirtbag route setters better understand where you think we are headed. We will not be able to afford the cost($) line this discussion is headed down/up. This will only drive the knuckle heads (there are always these folks in every sport) to put in (more) skitchy bolts. So...back in the day I thought I learned this: Notched ridges on the bolt head indicated the metals strength, ie. one notch = residential use, two = construction use, and three = the top of the line or industrial use. Then the letters inside of these notches on eg., Rawl/Powers would indicate the bolts depth. You could ascertain from the size of the head the bolts diameter. I always thought this was a good idea, giving the climber a chance to better evaluate what they were clipping. If you all have any pull on standardizing "expansion bolts" I think this would be a benefit to all concerned. The letters could be changed to centimeters (our ropes are metric) and then WE ALL could better read a bolt no matter where we climb. On a the glue-ins, hum...somebody needs to invent a better system for quickly and cleanly placing these bolts while on lead, yeah, some of us still try to do this when and where possible. Even the eyes on these glue-in bolts could have a stamp indicating their depth/strength. Besides these indications, a message detailing the type of metal (perhaps the periodic table) would also be very useful when evaluating an anchor. These three marks: 1) Strength of metal, 2) Depth of bolt, and 3) Type of metal would go a long ways to improving bolt safety as well as helping the everyday dirtbag determine if the so called knuckle heads were the ones who placed the bolts we might choose to exit away from. Thanks for your thoughts.

WarthogARJ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 45
Jim Titt wrote:But (some of us) do, we state the lifetime is infinite. The conditions the are used in are unknown to both us and CEN so then the onus is on the installers/user. There is no guidance from both the UIAA or CEN about when an anchor is no longer usable so we cannot say how to check them or when to replace them. This is also an issue with ALL other climbing equipment where the manufacturer MUST give a lifespan but no criteria are given for what is a fail, if the expectation is that when it no longer conforms to the original certification then most climbig equipment should be junked effectively straight out of the packaging. Manufacturers have their own opinions on what is safe and use this instead as there is no information from the standards authority regarding acceptable deterioration. I didn´t "complain" about the UIAA removing the material requirement, it is a matter of complete indifference to me. The observation was in the context of previous posts where you stated the UIAA would be unable to perform independent verification of manufacturers claims as to the materials used as often their claims were vague and I pointed out that previous to the UIAA removing the material requirements a works certificate was required and the approval of the UIAA safety label was conditional on this information being available to you. The majority of anchors in Europe are also 304 or worse.
Nope.
And I'm busy writing an FAQ: all is not wasted with these efforts.
I'm going to add these types of questions to that so we don't need to repeat ourselves.

(1) Lifetime in terms of corrosion/SCC: in practical terms "a very long time", 50 years and "infinite" are equivalent. What they all mean is that if used in the correct environment, that anchor is not going to be affected by corrosion/SCC.

It's not trying to say it has an "infinite" lifetime. It's saying that after this period (let's say 50 years, it's easier to visualize than "infinite") that you should reassess the situation. Perhaps some other factor will cause you to pull the anchor: wear, resin degradation, rock weathering etc etc.

(2) Guidance: this is the CRUX of the matter, the manufacturers said that THEY would give the guidance.
And in fact ALL of the standards, either UIAA or CEN, only look at NEW products.
It's ALWAYS been up to the manufacturers to give guidance on how long they should last, and how to inspect them.

But that hasn't been very successful in the case of anchors.
So we are going to do this.
As well as classify anchors, because leaving that up to any manufacturer who wants to sell an anchor hasn't worked either.

It's not that manufacturers are incompetent, it's just that it's something they cannot do on an individual basis: there needs to be a standard that provides consistency.

(3) Definitions of deterioration: the EN 959 standard is clear. Manufacturers self-certifiy themselves: they say "trust me, I'm following the standard". It clearly says that the MANUFACTURER will provide this guidance and definitions.

We tried to do it, but got voted down. The manufacturers said they didn't WANT us to do it. That THEY could do it. But it didn't work.

(4) Anchors in Europe: without any sort of record of installed anchors, I am a bit dubious about ANY claims of what anchors are used where. In terms of total numbers.

In Europe, a lot of anchors were indeed 304, but they are not what tends to be installed anymore. It's all 316 going in. As you said yourself, you stopped making 304. Neither does Petzl. Or Raumer. etc etc.

Remember the goal: we're looking at very long lives. A large number of the 304 anchors will not have been installed for much longer than 20 years. Nobody is very sure that they will indeed last to 50 years. So Europeans would rather play it safe and use 316.

Anyways, this comment about what used to be installed in Europe is irrelevant.

We are not trying to ban 304: I already explained that it will be included as Class 4.
But I doubt any organization with a bolting fund will buy 304 for European use: seems a poor choice to me.
Look at the Slamova map as an example: conditions vary quite a bit from one area to the next, and in general, Europe is more severe than continental USA.
Look at the effects of global warming too.

But as long as it's sold in the USA, it would be impossible to try to ban it.
Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
WarthogARJ wrote:But I doubt any organization with a bolting fund will buy 304 for European use: seems a poor choice to me.
The DAV bought some today.
The rest of your post seems a bit rambling somehow!
WarthogARJ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 45
Jim Titt wrote: The DAV bought some today. The rest of your post seems a bit rambling somehow!
Where was it going to be used?
Indoors?
Outdoors, but in a very mild environment?

I sort-of doubt that the DAV bought 304 for outdoor use.

I suspect you know this, but the other Forum readers likely don't.
The DAV owns & operates about 50% of the climbing walls in Germany.
Many/most are inside.

And it was the DAV itself that tried to get the last EN standard changed.
They wanted 316 or better to be used outdoors.

And all of the European Construction industry (via EOTA) requires 316 or better for safety critical anchors.
You must know that.

So why would the DAV now go against their own ideas?
Makes no sense.

If someone in the DAV truly bought 304 for a rock cliff face, then I'd really like to know who.
I can get the UIAA DAV representative to chase up why that was done.
The DAV is a big organization, perhaps not all of them do what they should do.
WarthogARJ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 45

In addition to Herr Titt's comment that the DAV buys 304 from him.
(The DAV = German Climbing Federation).

For the previous EN 959 revision in 2007, the DAV wanted to follow the German Building Codes: Z-30.3-6 (Allgemeine bauaufsichtliche Zulassung Z-30.3-6).

If you look at your handy copy of these, it's pretty clear that for stainless steel installed on a climbing cliff that you really need to use Corrosion Resistance Class 3 or better in most outdoor cases.

Grade 304 (1.4307) is Class 2, and would only be allowed in a few special cases.

The rationale is that the anchors are going to be installed in such a a way that is either not readily accessible for washing/cleaning and inspection, or else has no regular regime for this.
This requires Class 3 or better.

The argument is that a climbing cliff is not readily accessible for regular inspection and washing (washing away deposits from the air/rain).

If you argued that it was well washed by the rain, then one might consider use of Class 2. However what if some of these anchors are used in a placement that is NOT well washed by rain?

In addition, if you are near to an industrial area, or a source of sulphur dioxide, then Class 3 or better is recommended.

Therefore it was argued that Class 3 (316 or better) was a more logical choice.

And the entire European Construction Industry follows this logic for safety critical construction anchors in general. Even Jim Titt cannot argue that: it's very clearly specified in the EOTA ATAG's.

And as a result, you cannot buy 304 construction anchors in Europe.
Well, except from Jim....:-0

DAV 01

DAV 02

The key point is note (4).
I repeat that here:

DAV 03

WarthogARJ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 45

In fact, the current revision to EN 959 is trying to follow a version of this.
Based on the Eurocode 3 - Design of Steel Structures 2015 (EN 1993).

So after the DAV tried to get the German codes adopted (and were voted down), they said they think the manufacturer's are better at that: just as Jim wants done.

And that didn't work. Sorry Jim.

Even the manufacturers agreed that it was a bust, because it was THEY who voted in Berlin to adopt the version of EN 1993: based on rigid definitions of anchor classes. Based on materials ALONE.
NOTHING about manufacture.
Or about design type.

The problem with this is as I've said: climbing anchors are more varied in design than many construction anchors (some use welds) and are used in more aggressive locations (natural rock is not a nice safe alkaline like concrete) and are not very accessible to inspection and replacement. Nor is there a regular re-bolting programme in many cases.

Plus climbing manufacturers are in general MUCH smaller than the HUGE construction manufacturers like Hilti and Powers (multi-billion dollar companies). So they don't have access to the same specialists who can advise them on corrosion issues.

That's why the UIAA wants to have anchor classification based on testing the ENTIRE anchor.
Under load.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

According to those charts almost everwhere in Germany is class 2 so 304 is fine, in fact a great number are class 1.
The DAV usually order 304, probably my biggest customer for them in fact. I sent some on Monday and some more go out this afternoon to somewhere else, both outdoors. They probably look at the millions of 304 anchors out there and use their own judgement as to what is suitable.
My commercial relationhips with my customers are private.

And now I shall pack my car ready for the morning to go and clip all those lovely steel bolts installed with quick setting cement that have kept generations of climbers in the Frankenjura off the ground while you puzzle about how this corrosion test under load in all the varieties of rock available is going to be performed. And find a lab that can do it.

WarthogARJ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 45
Jim Titt wrote: According to those charts almost everwhere in Germany is class 2 so 304 is fine, in fact a great number are class 1. The DAV usually order 304, probably my biggest customer for them in fact. I sent some on Monday and some more go out this afternoon to somewhere else, both outdoors. They probably look at the millions of 304 anchors out there and use their own judgement as to what is suitable. My commercial relationhips with my customers are private. And now I shall pack my car ready for the morning to go and clip all those lovely steel bolts installed with quick setting cement that have kept generations of climbers in the Frankenjura off the ground while you puzzle about how this corrosion test under load in all the varieties of rock available is going to be performed. And find a lab that can do it.

Well that's interesting about the DAV buying 304 for outdoors: if it is in fact correct.

I am sceptical by nature, I don't see why they'd do this.

Sure I can understand why you don't want to disclose details of sales, but I am going to follow this up with the DAV.

I see it as an inconsistent action, and it's actually NOT according to German Construction Codes.

It seems you are not reading the charts correctly: Germany has quite a bit of sulphur dioxide from burning coal, so that will make most areas Class 2.

And the issues with inspection and washing are what bumps it up to Class 3.

It's also not according to EOTA practice.

Why should buildings require 316 and yet Jim Titt can sell the DAV 304 anchors? I suspect German climbers don't know this: let's see what they say.

I think the DAV has compromised the safety of climbers by doing this.

I'll ask Pitt Schubert about this and also follow up via my other DAV contacts.

I shall post the feedback on this forum.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

They probably don´t give a sh#t about building codes, they aren´t in the construction industry.

By any reasonable standards bolts are easy to inspect, easy to replace and sure as shit they get washed enough most of the time. Sulphur dioxide? Do you actually know where the coal fired power stations are in Germany and which direction the wind blows and they´ve all had scrubbers for many decades?

Of course you could always actually do some research instead of plucking straws from the air by looking at the sulphur dioxide values for Germany, the mpa for yesterday is suspiciously blue which is the nice end of the scale. https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/daten/luftbelastung/aktuelle-luftdaten#/map?s=XY29CsIwFIXf5cwZklKkZnQXB4XOlzRK8DY3pKkipe/udXU7f3xnw0wFfkMQlgqPl4NBiTXJBO8Oqpk+KT9OFJ5vqhreiZdo0NIc4fPKrBthXhvlpoDrpVPCEqRoDXc7j2onaupcf7RD1w/Wmt/tf7jvXw==&_k=6yl381


Ken Chase · · Toronto, ON · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0

Im just catching up since I last posted here, but here's a pretty complete PDF on SS corrosion for various alloys, thought it'd be informative for all.

http://www.worldstainless.org/Files/issf/Education_2/Module_05_Corrosion_Resistance_of_Stainless_Steels.pdf

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 451
Ken Chase wrote:

Im just catching up since I last posted here, but here's a pretty complete PDF on SS corrosion for various alloys, thought it'd be informative for all.

http://www.worldstainless.org/Files/issf/Education_2/Module_05_Corrosion_Resistance_of_Stainless_Steels.pdf

It's informative, but in the case of climbing bolts, useless.   It includes statements like:

"f) What is Stress Corrosion Cracking1(SCC)? Sudden cracking and failure of a component without deformation. This may occur when–The part is stressed (by an applied load or by a residual stress )–The environment is aggressive (high chloride level,  temperature above 50°C)"

Above 50C    Before metalurgists Muralheedharan in 2000 and A. Sjong in 2008, no one believed that SCC in G300 stainless could start in ambient temperatures (in fact, less than 30C).  As late as 2014, Alan Jarvis, professional metalurgist and now lead of the UIAA safety comittiee, told me I was full of shit when I said SCC was cracking 316.    He's come around ;-)

Ken Chase · · Toronto, ON · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0

I left a comment in a review on the MEC site and they sent me this from Fixe. Not sure what to make of it, but metallurgists might.

http://sizone.org/m/c/PLX%20Installation.pdf

As for the 50C, that's already an issue in rock anyway - black slab facing up at sun at our lattitude, in a wet bolt hole from seepage - perfectly hot chemical soup where all sorts of reactions are occurring.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
Ken Chase wrote:

I left a comment in a review on the MEC site and they sent me this from Fixe. Not sure what to make of it, but metallurgists might.

http://sizone.org/m/c/PLX%20Installation.pdf

As for the 50C, that's already an issue in rock anyway - black slab facing up at sun at our lattitude, in a wet bolt hole from seepage - perfectly hot chemical soup where all sorts of reactions are occurring.

"PLX is a brand name of 1.4462 Duplex Stainless Steel which composition could be compared with common Stainless Steels on table below:"

So I guess it's not 2304 but 2205 instead by the looks of it. I guess Greg should be asking for a refund from his analysis partner then. ;)

Mike Slavens · · Houston, TX · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 35
John Byrnes wrote:

It's informative, but in the case of climbing bolts, useless.  

"Useless" is quite an overstatement.  There is a lot of good, still very valid information, in that slide show.  Yes, they do occasionally make some assumptions about "ambient environmental" conditions that are poor assumptions when specifically looking at climbing bolts and where they are placed in some of their statements.  But the coverage of types of corrosion, and how SS is a vast improvement over platted steel is quite good.

On your point of SCC, it is still extremely rare to see SCC occurring at below 50C.  It takes an incredibly unique set of factors to cause SCC below 50C which were previously thought not to be able to occur in "ambient environmental" conditions.  However we in the climbing world just happen to see that set of factors come together for climbing bolts in certain areas.  

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 451
Mike Slavens wrote:

"Useless" is quite an overstatement.  There is a lot of good, still very valid information, in that slide show.  Yes, they do occasionally make some assumptions about "ambient environmental" conditions that are poor assumptions when specifically looking at climbing bolts and where they are placed in some of their statements.  But the coverage of types of corrosion, and how SS is a vast improvement over platted steel is quite good.

Perhaps I should have been more clear.  In the context of comparing different metals/alloys for corrosion resistance for climbing bolts, the article is way behind the times.  As I said, the first time a metallurgist published saying SCC in SS could start below 50C was 2001, and no one listened.  The next publication was 2008, and a few people listened.  There's been maybe a half-dozen publications since then, and still, most of the community hasn't gotten the message.

On your point of SCC, it is still extremely rare to see SCC occurring at below 50C.  It takes an incredibly unique set of factors to cause SCC below 50C which were previously thought not to be able to occur in "ambient environmental" conditions.  However we in the climbing world just happen to see that set of factors come together for climbing bolts in certain areas.  

Sorry, but that's totally wrong.  SCC is NOT rare.   

The list of places were SCC is cracking climbing bolts is huge.   You can start by listing just about every Mediterranean climbing area.   Almost all coastal/island areas: Brazil, San Francisco, Portugal, the Caribbean, Taiwan, Thailand, Okinawa, Philippines... just about everywhere in SE Asia.  Many inland limestone areas.  And those are only the places that have rapid and confirmed SCC.   I expect many more areas will eventually develop SCC but, due to temperatures and other conditions, just much more slowly.

If you don't believe me, search MP.   There's lots of evidence from all over the world right here.

Mike Slavens · · Houston, TX · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 35
John Byrnes wrote:

Sorry, but that's totally wrong.  SCC is NOT rare.   

 Climbing is still a fairly obscure sport.  If you look at the amount of SS that used for climbing bolts as compared to industrial uses, marine hardware, etc. it wouldn't even be a small fraction of an even smaller percentage of the volume of SS used.  

My point was that to a metallurgist/engineer not specifically looking at the highly specific application of climbing bolts that SCC occurring below 50C is till extremely rare.  In Angela Sjong's paper (the PhD metallurgist who lead the study of SCC in Thailand bolts) she specifically states that SCC does not normally occur in seawater or marine atmospheric exposures and then cites 26 different sources to support that claim.  Yes, given the issues seen with climbing bolts the metallurgist/engineering consensus has changed from "SCC is impossible" at those conditions but no one is re-writing text books or changing ISO/ASME/NACE/API/ASTM standards.

Whether or not all seaside cliffs experience SCC, and whether or not bolt failures were correctly associated to SCC has been debated ad nauseam in other forums so I have nothing to add on that front.

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 451
Mike Slavens wrote:

 Climbing is still a fairly obscure sport.  If you look at the amount of SS that used for climbing bolts as compared to industrial uses, marine hardware, etc. it wouldn't even be a small fraction of an even smaller percentage of the volume of SS used.  My point was that to a metallurgist/engineer not specifically looking at the highly specific application of climbing bolts that SCC occurring below 50C is till extremely rare.  

I'm talking about SCC in climbing bolts here.  Not in Stainless steel used for tableware, pots and pans, or Swiss Army knives.   

Since you seem to be familiar with Angele's paper, you should realize that climbing bolts are/were essentially the FIRST time SCC was found in SS under 50C.  If you watch her segment in the Thaitanium Project video, when she shows the cracked hanger to her colleagues, they can't believe what they are seeing because it happened in ambient conditions.   Look at Prosek's papers where he duplicates SCC in the lab.   Not rare.  Easily found world-wide and easily re-produced in the lab. 

In Angela Sjong's paper (the PhD metallurgist who lead the study of SCC in Thailand bolts) she specifically states that SCC does not normally occur in seawater or marine atmospheric exposures and then cites 26 different sources to support that claim.  Yes, given the issues seen with climbing bolts the metallurgist/engineering consensus has changed from "SCC is impossible" at those conditions but no one is re-writing text books or changing ISO/ASME/NACE/API/ASTM standards.

Who cares if the text books are being re-written when bolts are breaking today?  I didn't care back in '99, still don't.  

You should look up the definition of "rare".   Last I heard Titan Climbing is sending bolts to some 4 dozen countries around the world.   Rare means hard to find, uncommon, but if you had gone to Thailand about 20 years ago, I'd say every route there was dangerous, or would become dangerous soon (they had SS bolts break in as little as 9 months after installation).  Today you can go to 4 dozen countries and easily find it.  Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it's rare.  

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
John Byrnes wrote:

  Last I heard Titan Climbing is sending bolts to some 4 dozen countries around the world.   

Ha! A spurious argument at best. I send normal stainless steel bolts to Thailand, ergo there is no SCC occuring. Both positions are false.  

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 451
Jim Titt wrote:

Ha! A spurious argument at best. I send normal stainless steel bolts to Thailand, ergo there is no SCC occuring. Both positions are false.  

You meant specious, not spurious.   And you're twisting what I said.  I said SCC is not rare, and it's not.  

However, it's rather clear to me that stainless steel is would not be appropriate for any limestone area in Thailand.   Do you warn them of that, Jim?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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