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Looking for help breaking some climbing gear


Original Post
Justice Holloway · · Oak View, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 120

There has been a bit of discussion lately about using the wild country revo for rope soloing as it feeds well and functions in a similar way to the silent partner. But it's a new device and this is an off label use so we want to know under what circumstances the device will fail. A few people so far are willing to pitch in for a device to have pull tested.
https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/114610323/wc-revo-vs-silent-partner-for-solo 

So I want to get the ball rolling on this. Would anybody with the resources be willing to pull test this thing for science if we send you one.

If people are interested I could gather funds from those who want to chip in (after we find someone to test it). I'm going to put $30 in the pot initially and after a few days I'll just cover the rest if it hasn't been funded.

The goal is to buy the revo(s) next weekend to try and catch them on sale.

Currently on sale for $130 (so I assume similar deals should be around?)

So far for funding we have:

Me-$30
Aaron F-$15
M. Hanna-$40
Caveman Y-$20
C. Limbinki-$15 or $30 if conducted by Jim
Patmas-$10
Jared C.-$10 if conducted by Jim

Total thus far-$130
Total if sending to Jim-$155

We pretty much have one device funded and it's only been a day so I'm thinking we'll be able to pull off a second.

Still looking for someone to conduct the test.

Aaron Formella · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 435

Count me in for $15

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

You should develop a test procedure if it hasn't been done. Objectives, sequence, data recording, static vs dynamic, criteria for pass/fail, etc. I have calibrated static (slow pull) test gear but that may yield wildly different results than dynamic drop testing. Count me in for $40 regardless, I think this is a worthy project.

M. Hanna

Richard Gilbert · · Colorado Springs · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 106

I could probably get this tested. We tested some rope and a few biners last year in the lab on campus. 

Aaron Formella · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 435

M Hanna,

To sum up the failure mode in question from the other thread, an individual got a hold of a Revo and speculated that they would be able to break the connection point by securing a carabiner in a vise, attaching the Revo, and then twisting/torquing the Revo by hand.

So to start, it would be reassuring data that this is not possible (except by perhaps someone like John Brzenk).

Would you have a way of measuring torque?

I hear what you're saying about approaching the test scientifically with a protocol and data collection. But before taking it that far; which should require testing several of the Revo units to have an adequate sample size from which to draw conclusions (even statistically given a large enough sample size), I am assuming that those expressing interest thus far would at first be satisfied with testing a single device and making some observations, given the cost of around $145 per Revo.

If this were to be taken further, and multiple devices tested. Maybe you could propose a testing procedure?

From the previous thread...

kevin deweese asked:"Does anyone know what is tested and how it’s tested on a belay device to receive certification?"
Healyje replied:"I don't. But I'm pretty sure I could come close to breaking the attachment point by hand if I fixed the biner in a vice and twisted the unit. The clamshell sides would have to be stainless and still be beefed up before I'd use it as a soloing device."

I'm guessing Wild Country thoroughly tested the pull strength since it's intended use is as a belay device. And therefore probably also the dynamic loading. But Healyje's concern about the twisting/torque seems reasonable; starting with testing torque would be a good step toward settling concerns about the connection point.

This not a thorough protocol, but here's a start to addressing your list of criteria for testing (assuming the device is still intact from the initial test by hand, the first one could supply the first data points of any subsequently decided on sample size):

  • Objectives: test the strength of the Revo's connection point (and compare to known data of forces generated at the tie-in point of a climber fall under a range of fall factors from mild to severe)

  • Sequence: test by torquing by hand, test by torquing with lever, pull test statically, dynamic pull or drop test
  • Data recording: record units of force achieved at appropriate intervals up to and at the moment of failure (e.g., torque in Nm at 1 Nm intervals, static pull weight in Kg at intervals of 100 kg, dynamic loading in kg at intervals of 0.5 kN

  • Static vs dynamic: torque test first, then static pull, then dynamic loading

  • Criteria for pass/fail: pass if device's connection point is still intact above appropriate or standardized load values. (? Nm torque, ? 2045 kg static load?, 15 kN dynamic load belay loops are rated to at least 15 kN so could be guideline). Fail if connection point fails below the decided values. However, even if passing values achieved, test to failure at least one or up to several devices to obtain sample of ultimate breaking strength values.
Caveman Y · · bristow, VA · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 28

As mentioned in the previous thread, I’ll pitch in.

As it is a certified belay device, I don’t expect the Revo to fail with normal loading, it should handle FF2 and then some. 

My concern is that somehow the device gets a shearing force at the attachment point or is cantilevered across the belay carabiner. 

Is this a realistic concern? Before breaking this thing we should think about realistic failure modes. 

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

The basc strength test is outlined in UIAA 129.

I test plenty of belay devices and for the Revo I´d do it in this order:-
Test the holding power with the two strands parallel (to mimic a soloist that carries the rope in a pack) starting with the smallest diameter, a middle diameter and then the largest diameter rope the device is rated for and see at what load either it slips or the rope is damaged.
Deliberately arrange the Revo on an HMS karabiner so it is cross-loading on the spine and test with the thickest rope until either the Revo or the karabiner failed.
If the karabiner failed then replace with a quicklink.
With a second one I would then drop test with increasing severity until either the rope or the device failed, starting again with the thinnest rope and working up. If the Revo survived I´d then use a stronger, non-standard rope to pull-test to destruction.
Then I´d go climbing with my GriGri  

F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 361

Just remember it can be loaded either way so you have to test it both ways. I had the first one tear up pretty good on my crag tests. The second is better, but both show separation/flexing more pronounced on one side. 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,460
Justice Holloway wrote: There has been a bit of discussion lately about using the wild country revo for rope soloing as it feeds well and functions in a similar way to the silent partner. But it's a new device and this is an off label use so we want to know under what circumstances the device will fail. A few people so far are willing to pitch in for a device to have pull tested.
https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/114610323/wc-revo-vs-silent-partner-for-solo 

So I want to get the ball rolling on this. Would anybody with the resources be willing to pull test this thing for science if we send you one.

If people are interested I could gather funds from those who want to chip in (after we find someone to test it). I'm going to put $30 in the pot initially and after a few days I'll just cover the rest if it hasn't been funded.

The only way you will get a clear answer is if you test it in real life. Go use it with backups.

You're welcome.
Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 250
Justice Holloway · · Oak View, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 120
Jim Titt wrote: The basc strength test is outlined in UIAA 129.

I test plenty of belay devices and for the Revo I´d do it in this order:-
Test the holding power with the two strands parallel (to mimic a soloist that carries the rope in a pack) starting with the smallest diameter, a middle diameter and then the largest diameter rope the device is rated for and see at what load either it slips or the rope is damaged.
Deliberately arrange the Revo on an HMS karabiner so it is cross-loading on the spine and test with the thickest rope until either the Revo or the karabiner failed.
If the karabiner failed then replace with a quicklink.
With a second one I would then drop test with increasing severity until either the rope or the device failed, starting again with the thinnest rope and working up. If the Revo survived I´d then use a stronger, non-standard rope to pull-test to destruction.
Then I´d go climbing with my GriGri  

This seems like a pretty solid test set. I'm wondering if you could set the device perpendicular to the angle of pull to test the connection points/ see if it wants to come apart. 

I will update the post after work with how much each person is willing to chip in so we can all track the progress. If the funds exceed the initial device, maybe we can get another (depending on how much traction this gets). I think the plan would be to maybe buy them on Friday and see if we can get it on a presidents weekend sale or something.

As of now we are still looking for someone to test but things are looking pretty good so far.

Richard, can you make the inquiry and see if you can maybe get access to the equipment?

Jim, Any chance you'd be willing to do the testing?

cheers!
C. limbnski · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 5

I'll throw in $15 
...
$30 if we send it to Jim.

I haven't read every post yet, but I do like the idea of two devices and two tests; one for shear and one for drop.

Everett · · Nevada · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 35
Jim Titt wrote: The basc strength test is outlined in UIAA 129.
https://www.theuiaa.org/documents/safety-standards/129_Breaking%20Device_UIAA_2018.pdf
Caveman Y · · bristow, VA · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 28

Looks like FF2 with my weight
Everett · · Nevada · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 35
Caveman Y wrote:

Looks like FF2 with my weight

More notably, I didn't know that the UIAA standard requires that the device works hands-free.

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

The pull tests would be no problem, drop tests a bit more difficult as my tower was dismantled when I moved house and never put back together. I'll see what I could work out.
Being in Germany would make shipping over here a problem, the cost to me over here would be 113USD.

PatMas · · Tulsa, OK · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Count me in for $10, especially if Jim does it.  

Jared Chrysostom · · Charleston, SC · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 5

I'm in for $10 if Jim does it also.

I think healyje's concern is a bit pointless, since I can't figure out how a fall would load the device in the manner he suggests. I can probably pry the lobes off of a C4 with a screwdriver but that doesn't matter a bit when you fall on it.

Everett · · Nevada · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 35
Jared Chrysostom wrote: I'm in for $10 if Jim does it also.

I think healyje's concern is a bit pointless, since I can't figure out how a fall would load the device in the manner he suggests. I can probably pry the lobes off of a C4 with a screwdriver but that doesn't matter a bit when you fall on it.

Concur. This was done by pushing with the heel of my palm, and nobody would call me a beefy person.

Justice Holloway · · Oak View, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 120

If you come up with something , keep us posted Jim! It looks like rei does free international  on orders over $150 but I'm not sure if you're subjected to any sort of customs or import taxes as I don't have any experience shipping overseas.

Updating post

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,460
Justice Holloway wrote: There has been a bit of discussion lately about using the wild country revo for rope soloing as it feeds well and functions in a similar way to the silent partner. But it's a new device and this is an off label use so we want to know under what circumstances the device will fail. A few people so far are willing to pitch in for a device to have pull tested.
https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/114610323/wc-revo-vs-silent-partner-for-solo 

So I want to get the ball rolling on this. Would anybody with the resources be willing to pull test this thing for science if we send you one.

If people are interested I could gather funds from those who want to chip in (after we find someone to test it). I'm going to put $30 in the pot initially and after a few days I'll just cover the rest if it hasn't been funded.

The goal is to buy the revo(s) next weekend to try and catch them on sale.

Currently on sale for $130 (so I assume similar deals should be around?)

So far for funding we have:

Me-$30
Aaron F-$15
M. Hanna-$40
Caveman Y-$20
C. Limbinki-$15 or $30 if conducted by Jim
Patmas-$10
Jared C.-$10 if conducted by Jim

Total thus far-$130
Total if sending to Jim-$155

Still looking for someone to conduct the test.
I thought you wanted to "test" this device in solo mode. Is that not the case? If the only concern is the attachment point getting cross loaded, it won't, but if you insist, just buy one, attach biner, place biner in a vice, grab the device with a large wrench and torque it. See what happens.

Spoiler alert: The device isn't going to break under any forces that won't break you first. It's not a fringe piece of hardware, it's an already tested product from a reputable company.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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