bolt/hanger metallurgy question


Original Post
Eric Werfel · · Patagonia · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 158

thanks in advance for any help...

i have zinc-plated rawls powerbolt+ bolts and am looking for hangers to go with them. im in mexico, so options are limited (as is salesperson knowledge) and shipping from the us not an option.

here they have some golden colored hangers that they say are 'tropicalizada', ie 'tropicalized'. its not clear what exactly that means in metallurgical terms. im assuming its another form of plating, and in research i have seen other golden colored hangers that are described as zinc plated. my bolts, and previous hangers, are gray/silver colored.

does it make sense that these yellow hangers are zinc plated, and if so is it ok to mix 'yellow' zinc hangers with my 'gray' zinc bolts? also, is it possible that the yellow hangers are not zinc plated but something else?

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,067
Eric Werfel wrote: does it make sense that these yellow hangers are zinc plated, and if so is it ok to mix 'yellow' zinc hangers with my 'gray' zinc bolts?
Yes, and Yes. They are almost certainly zinc plated, and it is fine to use them with the silver (colored) zinc plated bolts, though you should probably be using stainless.
Bruce Hildenbrand · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2003 · Points: 945

What Ken said!

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

The yellow colour is a common finish to zinc-plated components, they are treated with trivalent chromate which is yellow to increase the corrosion resistance.

Eric Werfel · · Patagonia · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 158

thanks all...
fyi, i understand the argument for stainless but the route I'm developing is over 2,500'. doing it in stainless would simply have been cost prohibitive. thankfully its an arid environment.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
Eric Werfel wrote:thanks all... fyi, i understand the argument for stainless but the route I'm developing is over 2,500'. doing it in stainless would simply have been cost prohibitive. thankfully its an arid environment.
Have you considered trying to get it funded by others? Carbon steel certainly does corrode in Mexico. I've clipped several dozen shitty-looking, rusted out 3/8" carbon steel bolts in EPC, and developers are already having to replace old carbon steel bolts on some routes in EPC (Pitch Black is a good example).
Eric Werfel · · Patagonia · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 158

it would be nice and i am collecting donations. but what I've collected to date would not even pay a single pitch in stainless.

developing a route like this has more in common with an expedition-style alpine FA than your standard single pitch sport development. 99% of the work is exploration, route finding, access logistics, cleaning. i go out for 18 hr days and place 5 bolts, on a productive day. my point being that a retrobolt job would take literally 1/100th the effort as the initial bolting.

also, this isnt some random single pitch lost in some canyon that will be forgotten and abandoned. it will be, i believe, the 2nd longest bolted route in the world, and is a sweet line imho, so i hope/expect it to become a classic. so hopefully, by the time these bolts begin to need replacement, it should be a lot easier to get said funding

zibircut · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 10

How many bolts and hangers do you reckon, you would need?

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,772
Eric Werfel wrote: it will be, i believe, the 2nd longest bolted route in the world, and is a sweet line imho, so i hope/expect it to become a classic. 

All the more argument for putting in the route using the best current practice for hardware, which, being non-marine environment, would still be stainless.

Why create work for someone else to do when you could do it right the first time?

If you don't have the budget, hold off until you do.

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 451
Eric Werfel wrote: it would be nice and i am collecting donations. but what I've collected to date would not even pay a single pitch in stainless. developing a route like this has more in common with an expedition-style alpine FA than your standard single pitch sport development. 99% of the work is exploration, route finding, access logistics, cleaning. i go out for 18 hr days and place 5 bolts, on a productive day. my point being that a retrobolt job would take literally 1/100th the effort as the initial bolting. also, this isnt some random single pitch lost in some canyon that will be forgotten and abandoned. it will be, i believe, the 2nd longest bolted route in the world, and is a sweet line imho, so i hope/expect it to become a classic. so hopefully, by the time these bolts begin to need replacement, it should be a lot easier to get said funding

Sorry Eric, but anyone who establishes a "classic line" with bolts he KNOWS will need to be replaced will never have my respect or the respect of future climbers who risk injury and death because of your corroded bolts.    Instead of establishing a classic line, you're just making work and expense for someone else, who will have to clean up your mess.  Thanks for nothing, eh?    

As someone who's replaced hundreds of corroded bolts, lemme tell ya, it sucks and takes more time and money than you think.   And if you think I'm wrong, and rebolting is cheap and easy, then commit to personally rebolting it within the next 10 years!   But then, wouldn't it be way cheaper to put in stainless right now?

So suck it up and put in stainless, or leave the route for someone with the maturity and funds to do it right.  

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
John Byrnes wrote:

As someone who's replaced hundreds of corroded bolts, lemme tell ya, it sucks and takes more time and money than you think.   And if you think I'm wrong, and rebolting is cheap and easy, then commit to personally rebolting it within the next 10 years!   But then, wouldn't it be way cheaper to put in stainless right now?

Yea, I can vouch for this big time. Removing and replacing old bolts is some of the hardest, most annoying, most highly-underappreciated work out there. Most people have no idea how difficult it is to replace bolts and reuse the hole.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
John Byrnes wrote:

Sorry Eric, but anyone who establishes a "classic line" with bolts he KNOWS will need to be replaced will never have my respect or the respect of future climbers who risk injury and death because of your corroded bolts.    Instead of establishing a classic line, you're just making work and expense for someone else, who will have to clean up your mess.  Thanks for nothing, eh?    

As someone who's replaced hundreds of corroded bolts, lemme tell ya, it sucks and takes more time and money than you think.   And if you think I'm wrong, and rebolting is cheap and easy, then commit to personally rebolting it within the next 10 years!   But then, wouldn't it be way cheaper to put in stainless right now?

So suck it up and put in stainless, or leave the route for someone with the maturity and funds to do it right.  

Sorry John, but you're being a dick.

Some places are fine with plated bolts and the fact of the matter is that you don't know enough about this climb to be able to determine whether stainless bolts are necessary. You want people around the world to only use stainless bolts regardless of their location? Fine. Do you want to pay the difference so that FA can actually afford stainless? Or is it that only the wealthy should be allowed to bolt climbs? 

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
eli poss wrote:

Sorry John, but you're being a dick.

Some places are fine with plated bolts and the fact of the matter is that you don't know enough about this climb to be able to determine whether stainless bolts are necessary. You want people around the world to only use stainless bolts regardless of their location? Fine. Do you want to pay the difference so that FA can actually afford stainless? Or is it that only the wealthy should be allowed to bolt climbs? 

Well, the real question is plated truly okay in these areas? A lot of places that use plated steel will not see a 50 year lifespan. The RRG is a perfect example. They used a crap load of plated steel and now they are paying for it big time. The RRGFGI has had to replace thousands of carbon bolts with stainless wavebolts. There are many areas throughout NA where plated steel has been the norm forever, and now people are having to go back and replace those bolts even though we arnt even 20 years into the area's history let alone 50. EPC uses a lot of plated steel and a few routes that are not even 20 years old have had bolts replaced. If plated steel truly does work in the area, I don’t see an issue with using it. However, a lot of places use plated steel in an area where it's not appropriate and they are not going to see a reasonable lifespan from the bolts.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
20 kN wrote:

Well, the real question is plated truly okay in these areas? A lot of places that use plated steel will not see a 50 year lifespan. The RRG is a perfect example. They used a crap load of plated steel and now they are paying for it big time. The RRGFGI has had to replace thousands of carbon bolts with stainless wavebolts. There are many areas throughout NA where plated steel has been the norm forever, and now people are having to go back and replace those bolts even though we arnt even 20 years into the area's history let alone 50. EPC uses a lot of plated steel and a few routes that are not even 20 years old have had bolts replaced. If plated steel truly does work in the area, I don’t see an issue with using it. However, a lot of places use plated steel in an area where it's not appropriate and they are not going to see a reasonable lifespan from the bolts.

You're right, there are a lot of places that plated steel isn't appropriate. However, all we know is that this route is in Mexico. Mexico has a lot of places, such as EPC, where plated still shouldn't be used. It also has some really dry places where plated steel can be appropriate.

The fact of the matter is that we don't actually know where this route is and John is making an assumption that the route takes place in a very wet climate, which it may or may not. Regardless, his tone and language is very hostile and he comes across as a dick. Don't forget rule #1

Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 958
Eric Werfel wrote: my point being that a retrobolt job would take literally 1/100th the effort as the initial bolting.

Not even in the best of circumstances is this true.  

Byrnes and 20Kn are spot on in their recommendation to use stainless.  

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

Eli,

I am NOT assuming the bolts will be placed in a "very wet climate".  Just the opposite.   If you search, even just here on MP, you'll find that plated bolts can corrode rather rapidly (10-20 years) in desert environments (eg. Red Rock, NV) and not get anywhere near the 50 year goal.  And if it's limestone then that makes it worse compared to Red Rock which is sandstone.  

And perhaps the wealthy SHOULD be the ones putting in new routes if poor climbers put in junk bolts and then the wealthy have to rebolt it anyway,  eh?   If you approve of the OP's plan, then you, Eli, should commit to the following: 1) Monitor the bolt condition.  Remeber that low bolts may not corrode at the same rate as high bolts, so you have to check them all every few years.   2) Replace those bolts with stainless.  Let's see, pay for a trip (FAR more expensive than SS bolts!), lug all that bolting gear down there (baggage fees),  not climb while your there because you're working, and you don't get any credit in the guidebook.  C'mon Eli, say you'll do it!  Doesn't it sound fun?

 I'm NOT all that wealthy and I've purchased 600-700 titanium bolts at an average cost somewhere near $11.   So I KNOW what it means to pay the bill.   I've spent many thousands of dollars on airfare, food, car rentals, etc. and perhaps a thousand hours hanging on a rope when I could have been climbing.   And about 2/3rds of those bolts were for rebolting someone else's route.   So yeah, I have an attitude when it comes to someone putting up a route with shit bolts and expecting someone else to clean up their mess.   

T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 860

Ti or you suck ass. Use the best or suck right?

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 451
T Roper wrote:

Ti or you suck ass. Use the best or suck right?

I didn't say that.  I've never said that.  My point, if you had thought about it, is that people who whine about the price of stainless shouldn't expect much sympathy from people who have paid for Ti.     

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

You're assuming the OP won't take responsibility to re-bolt the climb if his bolts don't last. Don't make such assumptions, especially when you come across as such an asshole.

If I make a bad decision to bolt with plated steel when I should have gone with stainless you can bet I'll bite the bullet and clean up my mess. But there are places out there where you can get 50 years out of a plated bolt and in those places I won't be paying the extra $100 for stainless because I'm a poor ass college student. 

rocknice2 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 3,018

Hi Eric

If your going to bolt where I think you are then, Please use stainless steel. The work to remove and replace 250 bolts is not a small job by any stretch of the imagination. Thank you for all the work that you're doing. I know it's not easy to establish a new route of this length and it certainly is expensive.

I'll be happy to donate some SS hardware to you. Hit me up when you are back in the New Paltz and we can meet in the Gunks or the Dacks.

Eli, I'm just wondering, how many routes have you rebolted?

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

None, although I've pulled a few sleeves here and there during the process of patching holes. It would be great if there were more people like you at there who are willing to put the money where their mouth is after demanding that FAs use stainless. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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