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Fixe Triplex feedback?


Original Post
cleatis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 75

I really like the concept and simplicity of the Fixe Triplex, but I have not ever placed one.  In scouring the internet, it seems to have mixed reviews.  Great for temporary placements, bad for soft rock. Any feedback on their use as long-term bolts in hard rock?

cheers,
cleatis

rocknice2 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 3,129

Great for temporary placements, bad for soft rock

M Hanna · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 5

My perspective:

Very bad for permanent placements, particularly in freeze thaw areas where the nut loosens with thermal cycles, and becomes easy to withdraw.

They claim UIAA strength but offer no certification or test data to back up axial capacities despite 2 years of asking for test data.

Really low pullout for the relative size of hole (my testing shows between 3400 lbf and 5000 lbf in a range of machine drilled holes in good concrete and granite). Haand drilled holes would be more sloppy and way worse.

304 ss, I like 316 or better inline with UIAA 2015 corrosion recommendations.

Expensive

Requires 12mm bit, easy to confuse with 1/2, and hard to get depending on where you are located

M. Hanna

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
M Hanna wrote: My perspective:

Very bad for permanent placements, particularly in freeze thaw areas where the nut loosens with thermal cycles, and becomes easy to withdraw.

They claim UIAA strength but offer no certification or test data to back up axial capacities despite 2 years of asking for test data.

Really low pullout for the relative size of hole (my testing shows between 3400 lbf and 5000 lbf in a range of machine drilled holes in good concrete and granite). Haand drilled holes would be more sloppy and way worse.

304 ss, I like 316 or better inline with UIAA 2015 corrosion recommendations.

Expensive

Requires 12mm bit, easy to confuse with 1/2, and hard to get depending on where you are located

M. Hanna

The 55mm ones sold in the USA don't conform with EN959 and thus no UIAA safety label.

M Hanna · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 5

Jim-

If you know, why would you suppose the longer length meet axial capacity minimums? Once the internal friction is exceeded from a tension load, it begins to withdraw, and that is the maximum axial force achieved. As there is no back up expansion mechanism (as in a wedge anchor), how would it pass? It seems like this type of withdrawal would be similar regardless of the length of bolt (similar to other sleeve anchors). Of course this is assuming substrate cone failure is not controlling.

(Edit) Think I got it: EN has a minimum length requirement not met in a 55 cm product

MH

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

Embedded depth (to point of engagement) 5 x diameter for mechanical bolts.

Kent Krauza · · Vancouver Island · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 0

Just a question - the so-called 12 mm Triplex is actually an 11 mm stud inside a 12 mm sleeve. Would this change the math when calculating the ‘5 x diameter’ vs ‘depth to expansion’ rule?

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

No, it is still a 12mm bolt in a 12mm hole.

C. Williams · · the Climber Cave · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 1,254
Jim Titt wrote: No, it is still a 12mm bolt in a 12mm hole.

What Jim really means is that the Triplex is a 10mm draw-stud in a 12mm sleeve, requiring a 12mm hole. UIAA calculates length from the required hole diameter. Regardless, Triplex bolts suck, 3400 lbs is weaker than some 3/8" wedge anchors!

Rob warden The space lizard · · Now...where? · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 0

So this fixe triplex in red rock is a poor choice?
C. Williams · · the Climber Cave · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 1,254
Rob warden The space lizard wrote:

So this fixe triplex in red rock is a poor choice?

A poor choice indeed, especially since the hanger appears to be installed under the flange. If that nut loosens and someone leans out... Pop goes the weasel.

MorganH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 170
C. Williams wrote:

A poor choice indeed, especially since the hanger appears to be installed under the flange. If that nut loosens and someone leans out... Pop goes the weasel.

The hanger has to be installed under the flange, or they are not removable. 

If they've been torqued properly, the flange will actually hold a pretty decent fall even if the nut has popped off.

We've been using lock-tite for all the ones we've installed.
dscramer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 65

 What kind of fall? Overhang? Slab?  My experience with these bolts out in the wild has been nothing but a complete bummer.

MorganH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 170
dscramer wrote:  What kind of fall? Overhang? Slab?  My experience with these bolts out in the wild has been nothing but a complete bummer.

Vertical. Spinners?

M Hanna · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 5
MorganH wrote:

The hanger has to be installed under the flange, or they are not removable. 

If they've been torqued properly, the flange will actually hold a pretty decent fall even if the nut has popped off.

We've been using lock-tite for all the ones we've installed.

Morgan-


I need to take exception on this statement. For fun this morning, I just did an axial test with a perfectly drilled hole in 3500 psi concrete, properly torqued to 25 ft/lb with the flange captured as you mention, and as Fixe apparently intends. I then released and removed the nut and applied axial force. The entire assembly withdrew from the hole at approximately 2400 lbf. I think it's worth bearing in mind that this installation saw exactly zero thermal cycles and no freeze thaw action which is very common where I climb (Washington Cascades). In actual service, these environmental conditions would invariably weaken the placement at some level over time. As stated before, I have pulled these WITH the nut on in the same concrete at around 3400-3600 lbf. What is the point or advantage in using these? Thanks but I'll take a fresh buttonhead :)

If you have some of your own testing data that somehow legitimizes the use of this product for permanent anchors, please present it here. Also, in freeze/thaw areas, the use of loctite will likely prevent subsequent retightening as an ice plug expands (just spins the stud in the sleeve). Applying logic here, that makes these UNREMOVABLE, which is one of the purported benefits.

Where are you installing these Morgan?

M. Hanna

MorganH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 170
M Hanna wrote:

Morgan-


I need to take exception on this statement. For fun this morning, I just did an axial test with a perfectly drilled hole in 3500 psi concrete, properly torqued to 25 ft/lb with the flange captured as you mention, and as Fixe apparently intends. I then released and removed the nut and applied axial force. The entire assembly withdrew from the hole at approximately 2400 lbf. I think it's worth bearing in mind that this installation saw exactly zero thermal cycles and no freeze thaw action which is very common where I climb (Washington Cascades). In actual service, these environmental conditions would invariably weaken the placement at some level over time. As stated before, I have pulled these WITH the nut on in the same concrete at around 3400-3600 lbf. What is the point or advantage in using these? Thanks but I'll take a fresh buttonhead :)

If you have some of your own testing data that somehow legitimizes the use of this product for permanent anchors, please present it here. Also, in freeze/thaw areas, the use of loctite will likely prevent subsequent retightening as an ice plug expands (just spins the stud in the sleeve). Applying logic here, that makes these UNREMOVABLE, which is one of the purported benefits.

Where are you installing these Morgan?

M. Hanna

They are the bolts that WARP is providing for rebolting. Considering that a standard wedge bolt will hold no force at all if the nut falls off, these bolts not failing till 10kn seems great, if I'm understanding what you did, correctly. That is a pretty huge axial load, way more than you'd see in any normal climbing fall. I don't think your correct about the locktite preventing removal either, you'd always be able to funk the hanger to reset the sleeve and then undo the nut. 

Kent Krauza · · Vancouver Island · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 0

There are at least a dozen types of Loctite for different end uses. Some are removable with hand tools and some are not. The wicking type I’m familiar with is used on wheel studs among other things. It keeps the lug nuts from loosening, but you can break the bond with a lug wrench, it doesn’t require an impact wrench or heat. This would be the best bet for climbing bolts I would think.

I understand MHanna’s argument from a cost and convenience viewpoint, but I’m not sure I agree with the safety concern if the Triplex bolt is installed correctly.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Kent Krauza wrote: There are at least a dozen types of Loctite for different end uses. Some are removable with hand tools and some are not. The wicking type I’m familiar with is used on wheel studs among other things. It keeps the lug nuts from loosening, but you can break the bond with a lug wrench, it doesn’t require an impact wrench or heat. This would be the best bet for climbing bolts I would think.

I understand MHanna’s argument from a cost and convenience viewpoint, but I’m not sure I agree with the safety concern if the Triplex bolt is installed correctly.

Yeah, we tried to cure some loose hangers that had usefully been installed with Loctite, what would have been a two minute job as we climbed the routes turned into a pantomime with a blowtorch. Please don´t use any kind of threadlock on bolts (that includes Nylock nuts).

M Hanna · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 5
MorganH wrote:

They are the bolts that WARP is providing for rebolting. Considering that a standard wedge bolt will hold no force at all if the nut falls off, these bolts not failing till 10kn seems great, if I'm understanding what you did, correctly. That is a pretty huge axial load, way more than you'd see in any normal climbing fall. I don't think your correct about the locktite preventing removal either, you'd always be able to funk the hanger to reset the sleeve and then undo the nut. 

Morgan-
 
 I believe you have a misunderstanding there. A wedge anchor with a loose nut has near full capacity even as a spinner once set properly, as it is torque controlled. A Triplex with a loose nut has a well known propensity to easy pullout with hand pressure and a quickdraw; thus the marketing claim as being reusable. It has no residual back up expansion once axial withdrawal is initiated.  In over 25 years of climbing, I have seen perhaps 2 missing nuts on wedge anchors, in the ice fall line on Westward Ho, on Blueberry Hill in Darrington. It's an active avalanche chute. I have however, encountered many spinners of all bolt types in all areas of Washington. So if missing the nut entirely has calculated into the use of these, perhaps that should be reconsidered in priority of likelihood of this happening.


Ok so let’s review the bolts that are (too) easy to remove if they become spinners:
Wedge anchors: Nope
Powers 5 Pc: Nope
Glue ins: Nope
Nail Ins (Petzl Long Life): Nope
Compression Bolts: Nope
Triplex: Yep- That's their marketed design

In my view, 2400 lbf (with loose nut) or less withdrawal is not acceptable for a nearly 1/2" anchor that costs $6.35 (today's FixeUSA price), takes a metric bit to set,  has known issues with loosening, and is problematic in freeze thaw areas, soft rock or hand drilled holes. Period. The idea that that number represents a "huge" axial load is incorrect.


I was under the impression we were trying to evolve our methods and ideas regarding anchors and rebolting practices. Triplex is a step back, as myself and many others have noted since they came out around 2006.
 
 Other competitive 1/2" installations achieve 8000-12000 lbs axial at the same or significantly less expense and "Fiddleyness". This is what we call Safety Factor, and it accounts for environmental conditions, installation F ups, and material/substrate variability. I wasn’t kidding about the ¼” buttonheads. They test stronger than a Triplex spinner. Jeez, I've tested lots of 3/8 x 2.25"  5 pc bolts to 6500 lbf in good granite.
 
 As far as using Loctite, think about it..... The nut is LOCKED to the threaded shaft. A bad idea as Jim pointed out, in all types of threaded installations. Prevents retightening, removal, and inspection.


I ask again: What is the point of using these, please describe the advantage in any way?


And once more, please, where in Washington have these been placed as permanent anchors as part of a rebolting program?


Thanks,
M.Hanna

Peter Thomas · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2018 · Points: 16

Digging up an old thread. I used a bunch of Fixe triplex bolts when I was having trouble getting SS1/2" 5-piece bolts for bolt replacement. There's a lot to like about these, but having placed and replaced many of them, I won't use them anymore. the video above is an anchor bolt on a moderate multi-pitch route in Clear Creek Canyon. I saw a lot of new outdoor climbers unquestioningly trust this bolt before I replaced it. It pulled by hand without any loosening, and you can see that it had been held in by some dirt that falls out when the bolt is removed. 

Beyond the unintentional loosening resulting in easy pull out, it has been my experience when replacing or retightening, that the nut often gets some grit in the threads. This makes the full bolt shaft spin and makes re-torqueing to spec impossible, so once loosened, it is often difficult to make it safe again. Once the shaft spins it is also difficult to loosen it enough to easily remove, in which case a tuning fork is needed to get it out.

Finally, because the 12mm hole is just slightly smaller than 1/2" once removed, re-drilling the hole to expand to 1/2" is a nuisance, and I've found that the 1/2" bit will hammer in and bind without expanding the hole. With all of these that I've attempted to replace I end up needing to patch and drill a new hole, which is not ideal, or switch to a glue in.
MorganH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 170

Are you 100% sure that was a 12mm hole? I've pulled a couple with Hurley Seniors after taking of the nuts and tapping the anchor into the sleeve, and it's comparable/slightly harder than pulling a wedge bolt that's been spun.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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