Mountain Project Logo

The best epoxy for wave bolts


Original Post
jlind · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 33

Hi folks,
I have been using redhead epcon a7 epoxy for wave bolts. I am frustrated by short work periods and availability of mixing tips. I am looking for something better. What do you prefer?

jlind · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 33

Really, no suggestions.  


Anyone use Ultrabond1?

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

I've always used the Hilti stuff. ClimbTech also has an approved list of epoxies for them if you want suggestions. 

C. Williams · · the Climber Cave · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 1,145

I have used both Hilti RE-500 v3 and powers AC100+. Both are approved by ClimbTech. The AC100+ is readily available and is super easy to use, the small cartridges can be used with a caulking gun. Another plus is the grey color when it cures. It's one drawback is the short working time,if its hot you have only a few minutes before it starts so set. I just started using the Hilti RE-500 v3. It seems a bit harder to work with, it is fairly runny when it comes out. It also requires a special dispenser made by Hilti. That being said, it seems to be the strongest product available.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

The OP said he was frustrated with short work periods, so AC-100 is clearly not for him considering it sets in 3-5 minutes. Here is a list of epoxies that are acceptable. Except for the Redhead A7, they all have hot weather work times of 15 minutes or longer:

- Powers Pure 110+
- Hilti RE-500
- Simpson SET-XP/ SET-22
- Redhead A7 (5-7 min set time)


Of those, the Simpson SET-XP probably has the longest gel period and you can find it at Home Depot if you need to.

jlind · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 33

Thanks everyone.  I appreciate the help.  

Francis Haden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 27
20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

Francis Haden wrote:

AC-100 Gold is an vinylester, not an epoxy. I think A7 is epoxyacrylate. The 110+ and XP are pure 1:1 epoxies.

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

20 kN wrote:

AC-100 Gold is an vinylester, not an epoxy. I think A7 is epoxyacrylate. The 110+ and XP are pure 1:1 epoxies.


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

Even though A7+ is desribed as epoxy and hybrid epoxy/in various places the certification declaration says it is vinylester.

As Francis has obliquely referenced by pointing out the biggest problem testing is actually joining the bolt to the tester there isn´t a "best" or even "better" resin system anyway, it either gets the required pull-out value or it doesn´t. Once the bolt/resin combination is stronger than any force you could impose or stronger than whatever you clip into it anything more is irrelevant which is why the bolt manufacturers are relatively relaxed about what you use. Nobody actually makes a bolt that "needs" epoxy to be safe, I allow any certified resin grout system or quick-setting cement as they all will get the required values.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

Jim Titt wrote:

 Once the bolt/resin combination is stronger than any force you could impose or stronger than whatever you clip into it anything more is irrelevant which is why the bolt manufacturers are relatively relaxed about what you use. 

It might not be irrelevant over the course of a bolt's entire lifespan. The resin might be strong enough to exceed the 25kN UIAA requirement when it's brand new, but what after several thousand lead falls and 20 years time? 

Even if we can guarantee the resin will never degrade overtime under any circumstance, there is still the human error factor. Any resin might be strong enough in concrete when installed standing on the ground, but perfect is much harder to achieve on the side of a cliff. Equippers get air bubbles in the installation, the bolt or hole might not be perfectly clean, there are a million things that can happen that can reduce the strength of the placement. In those examples, stronger resin might make the difference between meeting the UIAA required pullout value and not. Glue-in bolts have failed in the field for a wide variety of reasons. Among other examples, Thailand had an issue awhile back where their epoxy was degrading and as a result their bolts would hold falls when new, but not after a few years. It's occurred in limestone in other locations as well.

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

If the installer screws up the installation it´s rather irrelevant which one you start with.

Bolting is always a compromise based on cost and drilling effort, if climbers always equipped routes with the strongest bolt they can find with the greatest tolerance to failed installation and resin deterioration they would buy the biggest, longest bolt they can buy. Since I make them (standard bolts up to 300mm long) and know the proportion of sales at the various lengths it is clear this is not the way people are thinking. 

In reality the best resin is the one you can easily get and work with, that was the OP´s question in fact. He had no interest whatsoever about how well the resin held the bolt in, he wanted one that had a longer gel time and could get the nozzles easily.

Chris Vinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 75

20 kN wrote:

The OP said he was frustrated with short work periods, so AC-100 is clearly not for him considering it sets in 3-5 minutes. Here is a list of epoxies that are acceptable. Except for the Redhead A7, they all have hot weather work times of 15 minutes or longer:

- Powers Pure 110+
- Hilti RE-500
- Simpson SET-XP/ SET-22
- Redhead A7 (5-7 min set time)


Of those, the Simpson SET-XP probably has the longest gel period and you can find it at Home Depot if you need to.


Put your AC100+ in the fridge and carry it to the crag in a cooler.  


Michael Schneiter · · Glenwood Springs, CO · Joined Apr 2002 · Points: 8,775

Chris Vinson wrote:


Put your AC100+ in the fridge and carry it to the crag in a cooler.  


+1 for this. I often keep my AC100+ in a cooler, sometimes with a bottle or two of frozen water to keep it cool. I have a soft-sided cooler that I sometimes haul up on the climb as well. I know it sets up quicker than RE500 and others but I've used the AC100+ a ton, including in hot temps of 80-90+ degrees and can make it work without wasting a bunch of nozzles. 

Joseph Crotty · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Nov 2002 · Points: 1,145

Of late I am seeing issue with AC100+ Gold cartridges that are leaking internally. Typically, they leak when I get close to the end of the tube. In one case the plastic part in the tube the caulk gun pushes against broke which created a big mess. Never had an issue with Hilti RE500 although it's overkill adhesive.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "The best epoxy for wave bolts"
in the Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors

Log In to Reply