Two Recent Glue In failures; are there others?


Original Post
dnoB ekiM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 2,560

I think there are a lot of great things about glue ins, but they are not without their drawbacks including unexpected failures (most likely due to bad mixing).

This year, there has been a failure at Stratocaster Wall at Red Rock and on Sprout at Maple Canyon.

Anyone know of other failed glue-ins?

james schaefer · · Henderson, NV · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 10

UGH.

I had not heard about stratocaster.  
Thank you.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352

ha, funny this came up, I think that failure on the Stratocaster Wall happened to a guy who is visiting my local crag. I was talking to him the other day and he mentioned a glue-in bolt pulled on him (or his partner, couldent figure out which) on the Stratocaster Wall and it was part of anchor. I asked him about it and he said the bolt pulled with the epoxy bonded to the bolt, but not the hole which implies the hole was probably not cleaned sufficiently (or at all). Glue-in bolts are extremely reliable when placed correctly, but there are mistakes that can be made such as failing to mix the epoxy correctly, not cleaning the hole sufficiently or a few other things.

If poor mixing is to blame, it is easy to identify. All companies use white for one component and a coloring agent for the other part with epoxies. When mixed correctly, the epoxy will be uniform with no colored swirls. If you see colored swirls in the cured product, it did not mix correctly. There are a few other ways to tell if it mixes correctly or not as well.

What's the story with Sprout?


Brendan N · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 378

The Sprout failure was a Fixe that came out without glue on it. 

My best speculation is that the installer pumped the glue into a void off of the drill hole. 

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
Brendan N wrote:

The Sprout failure was a Fixe that came out without glue on it. 

My best speculation is that the installer pumped the glue into a void off of the drill hole. 

hmm, yea that's placement error then. You must always see the epoxy exit the hole to confirm the placement is good and there is enough epoxy coverage. Once you do it many times you know just the right amount of epoxy to add to get it so only a tad comes out, but anytime you insert the bolt fully and nothing comes out, you may have not inserted enough epoxy.

Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an... · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115

There was a glue in failure at the turtle wall in st George. A fixe bolt failed in an anchor in bad rock. The consensus was poor cleaning of the hole. this was 2 yrs ago I think. 

A ti glue in failed in a roof don't remember where. The shaft snapped. Badly drilled hole. 

Anyone seen a wave bolt pull?

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
Rob Warden...Space Lizard wrote:

There was a glue in failure at the turtle wall in st George. A fixe bolt failed in an anchor in bad rock. The consensus was poor cleaning of the hole. this was 2 yrs ago I think. 

A ti glue in failed in a roof don't remember where. The shaft snapped. Badly drilled hole. 

Anyone seen a wave bolt pull?

Well, all the bolts that I saw at Turtle Wall were Wave Bolts. Did those come before or after the failure? I also seem to recall all the installed bolts appeared to have been installed with concrete, not epoxy at Turtle Wall, although I couldent be sure.

I think the main issue with that titanium bolt was that it was installed upside down and sticking out of the rock. I've seen several Fixe glue-ins that were not countersunk and bent as a result.

Jorge Jordan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2011 · Points: 20

The failure at Stratocaster in Red Rock was not due to insufficient hole cleaning -- the glue never hardened.  From what I heard, a month or two later the removed bolt was still covered in goopy, unhardened sludge.

Disclaimer:  The following is all "best guess"  2nd hand info based on what info I was able to find about the incident, shared to help inform the community, not to point any fingers.

Couple things probably contributed to the glue not hardening:

  1. The glue was expired. Check your expiration dates.  I've heard of people checking Home Depot shelves and finding 2+ yr expired glue.
  2. The bottle of glue wasn't brand new (a partial bottle). Often times you don't end with an empty bottle -- so you cap it, and start with that tube on the next job.

The 2nd point is important.  If you've ever used a partial bottle, sometimes the tip can get clogged / obstructed / pinched, etc. etc.  Keep the tip clean when you cap it, and clean it when you put on a new nozzle.

As an example, I think Sika AnchorFix-2 is basically just two bags inside the tube (pardon the from memory illustrations, I don't have any bottles to tear apart at the moment)...

If one of the bags gets obstructed -- or if the plunger in a cheapo gun doesn't evenly press on the direct center of the tube -- as the plunger pushes on the bags, one bag empties, and the other kind of just bunches up in the newly available space.

Which is pretty much exactly what happened when I pulled out an old bottle of Sika a while ago to test this theory -- I didn't make a ton of effort  to clean the bag openings or to ensure they both were flowing before I nozzle'd it.  Sure enough, basically the entire epoxy bag emptied first -- THEN all the hardener came out at the end.

Sika AnchorFix-2 is fine glue, but as a comparison the Powers AC100+ Gold bottle's tip is way easier to keep clean, and the bottle has an insert that keeps the plungers well centered.

Stay diligent.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
Jorge Jordan wrote:

The failure at Stratocaster in Red Rock was not due to insufficient hole cleaning -- the glue never hardened.  From what I heard, a month or two later the removed bolt was still covered in goopy, unhardened sludge.

Disclaimer:  The following is all "best guess"  2nd hand info based on what info I was able to find about the incident, shared to help inform the community, not to point any fingers.

Couple things probably contributed to the glue not hardening:

  1. The glue was expired. Check your expiration dates.  I've heard of people checking Home Depot shelves and finding 2+ yr expired glue.
  2. The bottle of glue wasn't brand new (a partial bottle). Often times you don't end with an empty bottle -- so you cap it, and start with that tube on the next job.

The 2nd point is important.  If you've ever used a partial bottle, sometimes the tip can get clogged / obstructed / pinched, etc. etc.  Keep the tip clean when you cap it, and clean it when you put on a new nozzle.

As an example, I think Sika AnchorFix-2 is basically just two bags inside the tube (pardon the from memory illustrations, I don't have any bottles to tear apart at the moment)...

If one of the bags gets obstructed -- or if the plunger in a cheapo gun doesn't evenly press on the direct center of the tube -- as the plunger pushes on the bags, one bag empties, and the other kind of just bunches up in the newly available space.

Which is pretty much exactly what happened when I pulled out an old bottle of Sika a while ago to test this theory -- I didn't make a ton of effort  to clean the bag openings or to ensure they both were flowing before I nozzle'd it.  Sure enough, basically the entire epoxy bag emptied first -- THEN all the hardener came out at the end.

Sika AnchorFix-2 is fine glue, but as a comparison the Powers AC100+ Gold bottle's tip is way easier to keep clean, and the bottle has an insert that keeps the plungers well centered.

Stay diligent.

Cool. I asked him if there was any uncured epoxy and he dident recall seeing any which is why I was presuming hole cleaning was the problem.

This is another reason why I like the cartridge system--no need to worry about bags getting unevenly dispersed. I dont get why Hilti doesent switch to it, especially considering their RE-500V3 stuff is quadruple the price of other fine epoxy systems. Anyway, if you leave the mixing tip on when you're done with partly used containers, it helps keep the epoxy inside from getting old/ dry/ ect. That's the recommended way to do it by Simpson and as a result they say partly used containers are good for one year if you keep the tip on. You are right that the tip can get hardener and resin mixed together which clogs the tips. This seems to happen when you unscrew the tip, which is another reason to just leave the old tip on. However, if it happens I find using two different wood screws (to avoid cross-contamination) or similar picks to clean the openings well works good. Just be sure to remove all the hardened stuff or it can get stuck in the nozzle and create mixing problems.

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,067
20 kN wrote:

Well, all the bolts that I saw at Turtle Wall were Wave Bolts. Did those come before or after the failure? I also seem to recall all the installed bolts appeared to have been installed with concrete, not epoxy at Turtle Wall, although I couldent be sure.

The Fixe bolt failure happened before there were any wave bolts at Turtle Wall.  Also, the turtle wall failure really wasn't a bolt failure, it was a rock failure.  The bolt was placed about 4 inches above a hueco, and the entire top of the hueco crumbled and broke away.  There was however very little rock bonded to the glue on the bolt, so the hole wasn't cleaned well enough either (though that wasn't what led to the failure).

dnoB ekiM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 2,560

Stratocaster bolt after pull.  Photo from MP.com stratocaster page.

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,067
dnoB ekiM wrote:

Stratocaster bolt after pull.  Photo from MP.com stratocaster page.

Yep, looks like the glue didn't set up, but unfortunately, the photo is too out of focus to really see what's going on.

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053

We use sika epoxies in my business from time to time, both the regular set and the fast set varieties depending on the application. I would suggest for bolting applications that the "quick set" version be used. You know in about  5 minutes if your mix was bad. 

Something else to ponder, we use these products in concrete that will be saturated shortly after application with a pretty high success rate. With sandstone wet/dry cycles might cause the rock to release from the glue if water penetration gets deep enough. 

My bolting days are behind me, and I don't plant baby trees anymore, BUT if I were bolting in sand stone I would consider long (8") stainless expansion anchors with epoxy in the bottom of the hole and at the surface behind the hanger as a sealant. 

Obviously, whatever area dependent guidelines are in place should be followed. JB

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 253
20 kN wrote:

Cool. I asked him if there was any uncured epoxy and he dident recall seeing any which is why I was presuming hole cleaning was the problem.

This is another reason why I like the cartridge system--no need to worry about bags getting unevenly dispersed. I dont get why Hilti doesent switch to it, especially considering their RE-500V3 stuff is quadruple the price of other fine epoxy systems. Anyway, if you leave the mixing tip on when you're done with partly used containers, it helps keep the epoxy inside from getting old/ dry/ ect. That's the recommended way to do it by Simpson and as a result they say partly used containers are good for one year if you keep the tip on. You are right that the tip can get hardener and resin mixed together which clogs the tips. This seems to happen when you unscrew the tip, which is another reason to just leave the old tip on. However, if it happens I find using two different wood screws (to avoid cross-contamination) or similar picks to clean the openings well works good. Just be sure to remove all the hardened stuff or it can get stuck in the nozzle and create mixing problems.

Excellent "figgers"! A very clear explanation on this potential failure mode. Per John's post above, quick-set epoxy could alert you to this issue, if it exists. Unfortunately, if the hole is poorly cleaned, it sounds like there's no reliable way to tell, is there?

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053
Andrew Krajnik wrote:

Excellent "figgers"! A very clear explanation on this potential failure mode. Per John's post above, quick-set epoxy could alert you to this issue, if it exists. Unfortunately, if the hole is poorly cleaned, it sounds like there's no reliable way to tell, is there?

It exists, http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sika-10-1-fl-oz-AnchorFix-1-Anchoring-Adhesive-112729/202524387 And you'll know because any of it left around the hole, or a little squeezed out for inspection purposes will go off like a rocket. I wouldn't be afraid to fall on a bolt set with it after about 15 minutes. Something to think about anyway. JB

Edit to add: If you twist the bolt into the hole any remaining dust from drilling will mix into the epoxy instead of affecting adhesion. JB

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,067
John Barritt wrote:

...

Edit to add: If you twist the bolt into the hole any remaining dust from drilling will mix into the epoxy instead of affecting adhesion. JB

It takes quite a bit of twisting for this to work and is not an option for interference fit bolts like the titt or the wave bolt.

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 253
John Barritt wrote:

It exists, http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sika-10-1-fl-oz-AnchorFix-1-Anchoring-Adhesive-112729/202524387 And you'll know because any of it left around the hole, or a little squeezed out for inspection purposes will go off like a rocket. I wouldn't be afraid to fall on a bolt set with it after about 15 minutes. Something to think about anyway. JB

Edit to add: If you twist the bolt into the hole any remaining dust from drilling will mix into the epoxy instead of affecting adhesion. JB

I guess my post wasn't as clear as I intended. I meant quick-set would alert you if a mixing issue exists in your particular set-up on that day. (i.e., if you have a mixing issue, you'd find out quickly by using quick-set.)

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053
Ken Noyce wrote:

It takes quite a bit of twisting for this to work and is not an option for interference fit bolts like the titt or the wave bolt.

I defer to your expertise there, in our applications twisting rebar dowels or smooth sided anchors in holes before expansion is cheap insurance, perhaps twisting a screwdriver in the hole after epoxy injection might work. Just don't use your dad's good screwdriver. JB

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053
Andrew Krajnik wrote:

I guess my post wasn't as clear as I intended. I meant quick-set would alert you if a mixing issue exists in your particular set-up on that day. (i.e., if you have a mixing issue, you'd find out quickly by using quick-set.)

Ohhhhhh........if a problem exists......... ;)

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

We had several pull in Bermuda. This was due to too short and thin bolts, combined with soft rock and using ampules didn't help. Those were Tortuga.

We switched to Jim's bolts, between 150 to 200 mm and 16mm wide (5/8). Plus we started using a pump with a mixing nozzle. Overall a dramatic improvement over the old method. 

That was about 7 years ago. Those 316 bolts probably should be replaced with new long titanium bolts that are more readily available now.

dnoB ekiM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 2,560

Anyone familiar with a glue that cures as white?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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