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Titanium Eterna vs ClimbTech SS Wave Bolt - A Battle of Glue Ins


Original Post
William Fleming · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 305

To the wise and benevolent bolting gods of MP I humbly pose this question.....

I understand the preference of titanium bolts on the coast.....But in a non-maritime environment where price was no option would you rather bolt with the Titanium Eterna or the SS Wave Bolt? Why?

William Fleming · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 305

Also......has anyone installed the U-bolts Titan Climbing makes? Rated stronger....but maybe hard to install well?

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

Use the cheapest SS Glue in you can find in the size (for the rock) you need.

They are so much better than anything else out there you are gonna be fine no matter what.

Francis Haden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 9

You have excluded cost from the question so I would opt for titanium.

Reasons:

1) INSTALLATION
i) Eterna bolts are far easier than wave bolts in hard rock because of the design. Essentially the inference fit acts almost immediately for wave bolts and this can prove to be an undesirable issue when trying to drive the fixing home in hard rock types. I've placed a lot of both bolts in limestone, volcanic tuff, granite in various countries and consistently wave bolts tend to jam up in harder rock when knocked in, start spitting out adhesive whereas for bolts with an inference fit only close behind the eye (Titan climbing, Bolt Products) this rarely happens. The dedicated installation tool for wave bolts is designed to address these issues and enables the use of a standard hammer but it's still a hassle that I never experience with titanium glue-ins.

ii) The difference in where the inference fit acts makes it easier managing the expelled adhesive - with a wave bolt usually you have stop twice to manage the adhesive i.e tidy it before finally driving the fixing home.

iii) With an inference fit acting upon the entire shaft length, accurate hole depth becomes more of an issue as it is impossible to extract a banged in wave bolt only to find the hole was n't quite deep enough where as both BP and eterna bolts can be torqued out.

Overall these observations are less of an issue in limestone (and a wave bolt is a good fixing) however using wave bolts in granite tends to produce these issue where eterna bolts never do.

2) CORROSION
The corrosion resistance of an eterna bolt resists nearly all evaporative salts that have been identified through the UIAA crag chemistry project as being capable of inducing corrosion in SS fixings. It's moot point perhaps on the basis the environment in your question is assumed to be relatively benign however cost is n't an issue right, so this fixing will provide the greater corrosion resistance.

3) MASS
i) Cheaper to ship
ii) Lighter to be hauling around (eterna bolt 61g vs wave bolt 77g).

Some downsides are drilling a larger diameter hole and that titanium wears twice as fast compared to SS and is half the tensile strength. Obviously you won't drill as many titanium fixings versus SS for the batteries you are using however modern battery capacity and drilling performance is lessening this as an issue.

The wear implications concern lowering hardware however in practice I'm yet to see heavy wear on the titanium lowering components in my region where I manage a bolt fund and routinely install SS and titanium fixings.

Strength? Whilst current Euro standards don't really address yield strength per se, the certification requirements are sufficient in that they have a 'built in' margin for this so both fixings are very strong. I have load tested to tensile failure both eterna p and staple bolts with the p bolts snapping around 45kN. I have not been able to break a staple because the linking hardware (I should use a shackle) fails around 55kN and this reflects the increased Ti bar diameter (8.8mm) used to fabricate the staples. Eterna bolts use 8mm Ti bar.

I accept that having a fixing that will outlast the usability of the crag (it becomes too polished to climb on) can be argued as a 'lost investment' over a cheaper SS fixing but here in this discussion cost is n't an issue : )

STAPLES...
Trying to install these on overhanging rock is a no no given there is no inference fit (or centralising design feature) to hold them in the correct position whilst the adhesive gels. Yes duct tape can work and there are other tricks when placing staples on leaning walls but ultimately using a standard P bolt is going to be better for an inverted roof placement. The hole accuracy is obviously critical but is n't too difficult to get right. I typically start one hole then place the staple sideways on the rock surface to line up the other hole. Marking the rock surface with the leg helps to pin point where to drill. Start the second hole, drilling enough to place the staple legs into both holes and check the alignment is correct. Drill both holes to full depth.

Staples can be very useful for anti theft lower off / abseil station configs when used with chain. The staple can be placed through one end of chain used to link both bolts and glued thereby preventing theft of the chain. This also saves on the cost of a quick link (SS or Ti) and not just preventing theft.

   
   


Titan Climbing staple loaded to 55kN in granite                       Titan Climbing Eterna bolt failed at 45kN (eye snapped)           Titan Climbing staple glued through titanium chain for anti theft.

Bear in mind the type of adhesive in use...where you have threads (staple) then using an adhesive that is not an epoxy, won't flow as well and can result in much lower achieved fixing strength. The above tests used Hilti RE 500 pure epoxy so depending on other products actual results may be very different.
William Fleming · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 305

You’re the man Francis. Just the kinda answer I was hoping for. Photos are rad as well! Thanks! 

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 577
William Fleming wrote: Also......has anyone installed the U-bolts Titan Climbing makes? Rated stronger....but maybe hard to install well?

I've installed the Eterna & the U-bolts.  Yes, the U-bolt is harder to install because you have to have two perfectly spaced and parallel holes, which are harder to drill.   Strength isn't an issue.

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 577
Francis Haden wrote: You have excluded cost from the question so I would opt for titanium.

Reasons:

1) INSTALLATION
i) Eterna bolts are far easier than wave bolts in hard rock because of the design. Essentially the inference fit acts almost immediately for wave bolts and this can prove to be an undesirable issue when trying to drive the fixing home in hard rock types. I've placed a lot of both bolts in limestone, volcanic tuff, granite in various countries and consistently wave bolts tend to jam up in harder rock when knocked in, start spitting out adhesive whereas for bolts with an inference fit only close behind the eye (Titan climbing, Bolt Products) this rarely happens. The dedicated installation tool for wave bolts is designed to address these issues and enables the use of a standard hammer but it's still a hassle that I never experience with titanium glue-ins.
Huge YES/agree.  



ii) The difference in where the inference fit acts makes it easier managing the expelled adhesive - with a wave bolt usually you have stop twice to manage the adhesive i.e tidy it before finally driving the fixing home.
YES.   You can push the Eterna in with your fingers to the "interference" point.  At that point, you should be able to see glue starting to mushroom out.  If you don't see glue, just pull out the bolt, put more glue in the back of the hole, wipe the bolt (so you don't get bubbles) and try again.  When all looks good, tap the final 1cm in with a mallet/hammer.  



iii) With an inference fit acting upon the entire shaft length, accurate hole depth becomes more of an issue as it is impossible to extract a banged in wave bolt only to find the hole was n't quite deep enough where as both BP and eterna bolts can be torqued out.
I've had to pull a few out because of not having enough glue and, yes, you can twist/funk them out without much trouble.

IMO, the Eterna is overall a better design for most applications, regardless of material.   The only advantage of the Wavebolt (excepting cost) is that you can bolt from the ground up, assuming you climb and work really fast (before the glue hardens in the nozzle)  and/or have nerves of steel (and a slower-curing glue).
William Fleming · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 305

Do the U-bolts have an "interference point" as well? Do you end up hammering on the Ubolts or are you essentially just placing them in the hole by hand?

Francis Haden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 9
William Fleming wrote: Do the U-bolts have an "interference point" as well? Do you end up hammering on the Ubolts or are you essentially just placing them in the hole by hand?

No inference fit, no certified staple on the market has an inference fit. Push the staple in by hand.

The only major difference between various staple designs is how the legs are worked to provide mechanical advantage (stamped or threaded) and the inclusion of a dropped nose to reduce the probability of an unclipped karabiner.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,346
Francis Haden wrote: You have excluded cost from the question so I would opt for titanium.

Reasons:

1) INSTALLATION
i) Eterna bolts are far easier than wave bolts in hard rock because of the design. Essentially the inference fit acts almost immediately for wave bolts and this can prove to be an undesirable issue when trying to drive the fixing home in hard rock types. I've placed a lot of both bolts in limestone, volcanic tuff, granite in various countries and consistently wave bolts tend to jam up in harder rock when knocked in, start spitting out adhesive whereas for bolts with an inference fit only close behind the eye (Titan climbing, Bolt Products) this rarely happens. The dedicated installation tool for wave bolts is designed to address these issues and enables the use of a standard hammer but it's still a hassle that I never experience with titanium glue-ins.

ii) The difference in where the inference fit acts makes it easier managing the expelled adhesive - with a wave bolt usually you have stop twice to manage the adhesive i.e tidy it before finally driving the fixing home.

iii) With an inference fit acting upon the entire shaft length, accurate hole depth becomes more of an issue as it is impossible to extract a banged in wave bolt only to find the hole was n't quite deep enough where as both BP and eterna bolts can be torqued out.

Overall these observations are less of an issue in limestone (and a wave bolt is a good fixing) however using wave bolts in granite tends to produce these issue where eterna bolts never do.

2) CORROSION
The corrosion resistance of an eterna bolt resists nearly all evaporative salts that have been identified through the UIAA crag chemistry project as being capable of inducing corrosion in SS fixings. It's moot point perhaps on the basis the environment in your question is assumed to be relatively benign however cost is n't an issue right, so this fixing will provide the greater corrosion resistance.

3) MASS
i) Cheaper to ship
ii) Lighter to be hauling around (eterna bolt 61g vs wave bolt 77g).

Some downsides are drilling a larger diameter hole and that titanium wears twice as fast compared to SS and is half the tensile strength. Obviously you won't drill as many titanium fixings versus SS for the batteries you are using however modern battery capacity and drilling performance is lessening this as an issue.

The wear implications concern lowering hardware however in practice I'm yet to see heavy wear on the titanium lowering components in my region where I manage a bolt fund and routinely install SS and titanium fixings.

Strength? Whilst current Euro standards don't really address yield strength per se, the certification requirements are sufficient in that they have a 'built in' margin for this so both fixings are very strong. I have load tested to tensile failure both eterna p and staple bolts with the p bolts snapping around 45kN. I have not been able to break a staple because the linking hardware (I should use a shackle) fails around 55kN and this reflects the increased Ti bar diameter (8.8mm) used to fabricate the staples. Eterna bolts use 8mm Ti bar.

I accept that having a fixing that will outlast the usability of the crag (it becomes too polished to climb on) can be argued as a 'lost investment' over a cheaper SS fixing but here in this discussion cost is n't an issue : )

STAPLES...
Trying to install these on overhanging rock is a no no given there is no inference fit (or centralising design feature) to hold them in the correct position whilst the adhesive gels. Yes duct tape can work and there are other tricks when placing staples on leaning walls but ultimately using a standard P bolt is going to be better for an inverted roof placement. The hole accuracy is obviously critical but is n't too difficult to get right. I typically start one hole then place the staple sideways on the rock surface to line up the other hole. Marking the rock surface with the leg helps to pin point where to drill. Start the second hole, drilling enough to place the staple legs into both holes and check the alignment is correct. Drill both holes to full depth.

Staples can be very useful for anti theft lower off / abseil station configs when used with chain. The staple can be placed through one end of chain used to link both bolts and glued thereby preventing theft of the chain. This also saves on the cost of a quick link (SS or Ti) and not just preventing theft.
   
   


Titan Climbing staple loaded to 55kN in granite                       Titan Climbing Eterna bolt failed at 45kN (eye snapped)           Titan Climbing staple glued through titanium chain for anti theft.

Bear in mind the type of adhesive in use...where you have threads (staple) then using an adhesive that is not an epoxy, won't flow as well and can result in much lower achieved fixing strength. The above tests used Hilti RE 500 pure epoxy so depending on other products actual results may be very different.

Where did you find titanium chain?

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

There are a couple of suppliers in China which is probably where Francis got his since he lives there, I´ve bought it from Ganpat Industrial in India (for something other than climbing) but they only sell in industrial quantities. For you the best place would be AlliedTitanium who sell all the shackles and stuff as well. "Sell" is the operative word here!
For short lengths of a few metres I´ve reverted to welding it myself rather than the hassle of importing it by the coil.

William Fleming · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 305
Jim Titt wrote: There are a couple of suppliers in China which is probably where Francis got his since he lives there, I´ve bought it from Ganpat Industrial in India (for something other than climbing) but they only sell in industrial quantities. For you the best place would be AlliedTitanium who sell all the shackles and stuff as well. "Sell" is the operative word here!
For short lengths of a few metres I´ve reverted to welding it myself rather than the hassle of importing it by the coil.

You in the states Jim? or out in Germany? Would be cool to get hands on some Ti chain as well.....but barring access to Ti chain would the best solution for chains on these anchors be a Ti quicklink to chains? Or would a SS quicklink be appropriate? I havent been able to find Ti quicklinks for US delivery on the interwebs as of yet.....so if you know where to find them id love a link

M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,989

He is probably trying to not be gauche by not mentioning them, but if not by the sea, why not go with the Jim's 8mm SS twist bolts? They are beefier than the wave bolts, you don't need an applicator tool and they wont wear as quickly as the titanium..different lengths available too.

..and man, that red glue above is ugly.

Francis Haden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 9

The background with Ti chain goes back to discussions with Martin around 2015 when he was only selling 2 bolt types (Eterna glue-in and staple design) and rap rings. When installing Ti glue-ins, I did n't want to be rigging lower offs or bolt belays with stainless steel chain and quick links (mismatched metals) nor use climbing rope (with all the obvious issues that raises) so discussions with Martin developed a full comparable set of products in Ti (rams' horns / links / chain) to match what you can source in stainless steel.

As Jim said, one source is China and the other source that Martin tested came from Japan. The Japanese Commercially Pure Ti chain is very well manufactured with consistent breaking strains for every link. The finish is exceptional and each link has tight dimensional tolerances. XRF analysis gave clean Ti with iron well within tolerance (under 0.4%) and no other crap mixed in. Martin started proof loading at a very low load, only 4kN and went up in 1kN increments with no yielding in chain length until the link was pulled to 14kN. The links stretched 0.02mm from 13 to 14kN. At 20kN the single link had stretched only 0.18mm in length. The only issue was the relatively low ultimate load of 20kN however this is still pretty strong. When I bought some he had proof loaded it to 13kN with no issues.

I'll have to dig out the detail on the Chinese hand welded chain.

Mass produced, machine welded chain is not available as far as I know so obviously with an already costly material, fabricated by hand, it is expensive at around USD 130/m (ouch).

With nearly 3 decades of new routing and too much bolt replacement (Zzzzz), my preference is to equip to a high standard of fixed hardware whether that be using Jim's gear or Ti from Martin or simply not do it. For a coastal crag well geared with Ti glue-ins, it would've been nonsense to have gone to all that effort (and quality) just to cut corners on a few metres of chain. As it stands I'll never have to do any real maintenance on that crag with 120 routes aside from replacing ram's horns and that cost is comparatively low.

Chain is available from Martin if anyone needs it.

Cross section images of the Japanese chain showing weld quality.

Francis Haden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 9
William Fleming wrote:

You in the states Jim? or out in Germany? Would be cool to get hands on some Ti chain as well.....but barring access to Ti chain would the best solution for chains on these anchors be a Ti quicklink to chains? Or would a SS quicklink be appropriate? I havent been able to find Ti quicklinks for US delivery on the interwebs as of yet.....so if you know where to find them id love a link

Quick links can be bought individually from Titan Climbing in 2 lengths.

Pictures in the link below...

http://www.titanclimbing.com/titanium-anchor-set.html

Francis Haden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 9
M Sprague wrote: He is probably trying to not be gauche by not mentioning them, but if not by the sea, why not go with the Jim's 8mm SS twist bolts? They are beefier than the wave bolts, you don't need an applicator tool and they wont wear as quickly as the titanium..different lengths available too.

..and man, that red glue above is ugly.

Bolt Products are excellent however the OP was asking for comparison comments between Ti glue-ins and Wave bolts, not any other product.

Preference is for an adhesive that has the best track record in aggressive conditions considering you're going to be hanging off an anchor glued in with it. 

Hilti RE500 changes colour rapidly in less than a year.

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 577
M Sprague wrote: He is probably trying to not be gauche by not mentioning them, but if not by the sea, why not go with the Jim's 8mm SS twist bolts? They are beefier than the wave bolts, you don't need an applicator tool and they wont wear as quickly as the titanium..different lengths available too.
Just trying to keep long-held misconceptions from being passed on without scrutiny: seaside is not the only situation in which Stainless can be attacked by SCC.  It's just that seaside is by far the worst situation.  

But overall I agree; Jim's twist bolts are better than the Wavebolt in any environment where SCC isn't an issue.



..and man, that red glue above is ugly.

Again, not quite the whole story.  The red glue is probably Hiltii RE-500, which comes out hot pink making it easy to see in all lighting conditions.  It fades to a nice, inconspicuous rose/brown after a year or so, which blends-in nicely to many rock colors.    So if you're patient with the initial color, it has other qualities which IMO, makes it superior to just about any other glue out there.   

EDIT: I see that Francis has already addressed the color change.

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

I live in Germany and have done for decades!
As has been noted the thread was comparing Titan Climbing bolts with Wave Bolts. Wave Bolts to Bolt Products there is no real comparison as John says, I make the biggest range of bolts of any manufacturer, better quality than any other manufacturer and if required make any custom product that you could want (I made some steps to bolt onto trees yesterday).
Titanium stuff- titanium chain is effectively a custom-made product as there is no practical application for it in industry because it is soft, weak and expensive, I specified some for a project for the food industry as it was for a transport application where the raw materials were particularly agressive and destroyed stainless steel, normally one would use another system but the machinery was already built. We got the chain from India but whether they hand-made the chain I don´t know. Commercial chain making machines would be unbelievably expensive to convert to weld titanium so without any demand it´s unlikely anyone would make the investment.
Chain is going to be expensive- cutting and bending isn´t too bad, you could probably run it through a conventional chain-making machine feeding by hand but welding is a real problem as it has to be done in an enclosed chamber so nomally you´d be looking at hand welding in a glove box. The cost of a weld is normally reckoned (around here at least) at €6, even going to a cheap labour country it´s going to be  couple of bucks a go and in a meter of chain there are between 20 and 36 welds, Francis´s $130 per meter sounds perfectly reasonable for 8mm long-link chain.
As there is no commercial demand for titanium chain then nobody makes quick-links commercially. They are anyway not the normal first choice for connecting chains, only climbers seem to be dead keen on using them ( I sell several thousand per year  but I have never personally fitted one on a cliff). The normal products for connecting chains to other objects are shackles which are stronger and cheaper, titanium shackles are available in the USA from Allied Titanium and worldwide from Witchard, expect to pay $75-100 each. (We made our own to suit the application but they still came in around $45 each).
If I was bolting a cliff which required titanium I would use a titanium glue-in and then a galvanised shackle and ring, changing them when needed as steel is not subject to SCC. Alternatively I would go to a marine-grade bronze as we have hundreds of years of experience with the material and it is readily available, titanium isn´t the only solution.

M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,989

Good to know about the Hilti glue fading. The garish pink red is one reason I have never used it, currently using Redhead EPCON A7+ instead. I am also bolting mostly NH granite and schist. Not to side track from the bolt comparison too much, but any reason a thin outer coating of sand from the native stone can't be pressed in to help camo, as done when patching?

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 577
M Sprague wrote: Good to know about the Hilti glue fading. The garish pink red is one reason I have never used it, currently using Redhead EPCON A7+ instead. I am also bolting mostly NH granite and schist. Not to side track from the bolt comparison too much, but any reason a thin outer coating of sand from the native stone can't be pressed in to help camo, as done when patching?

Sure, you could put some sand on it.   But after a year the bolt is far more conspicuous than the glue so...

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,346
William Fleming wrote:

 I havent been able to find Ti quicklinks for US delivery on the interwebs as of yet.....so if you know where to find them id love a link

Titan Climbing sells them.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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