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Simpson Titen HD


Original Post
Andrew Davidson · · Everett, WA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 1,393

So in lieu of a recent thread's side topic.   I feel it would be nice for the topic to start its own thread.  The Simpson Titen HD anchor bolt.  As some know, Mark Hanna has done some great testing with this bolt around here in WA in a couple different types of rock.   A lot of the discussion and background info can be found in the Cobra Bolt thread.

I was home this weekend and put together a quick little video of myself installing a Titen HD into a piece of Gneiss that I got from the Darrington area.  I was installing a 3/8" x 3" 316 Stainless.

The whole process is pretty slick and goes relatively smooth.  People have asked before if they could simple use a SDS adapter for their Hammer Drill, and the answer is no. You still need the impact driver to get the torque to drive the bolt into the rock. I wouldn't want to risk my hammer drill trying either. beside, the impact cost less than half that of the hammer drill.

Here is Mark demonstrating the same process.  Titen in granite

One helpful tip, after the initial install, it is always good to remove the bolt and inspect the thread to make sure they haven't rolled over.  In the video, that is my fifth bolt installation of the day.  And the installation recorded, was the bolt's second time cutting threads. (EDIT: IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT A BOLT BE ONLY USED TO CUT THREADS ONCE) It still held great.  I took out my 1/2" breaker bar and tried to over tighten the bolt in the left rock, it snugged a bit, but I think I was only able to put about 100 ft-lb into it before I couldn't keep the rock steady. So in a nice hard rock, I don't see one over torquing this bolt and blowing the hole out.  

My biggest issue on install was not drilling the hole deep enough the first time and bottoming the bolt out before the hanger snugged up.  Which then, you remove and just drill a touch deeper.

So some advantages I see with using this bolt at opposed to other bolts,
First obviously is the ease of install and future remove-ability and inspection.
Second, you have a solid 3/8" cross section to load,  Don't have to worry about the necked down sections of other bolts.
Third,  if this did loosen up, become a spinner, you still have 2+ inches for the bolt spin and turn before the hanger would be lost.  

I would love to see this bolt further tested around the US in the various types of rock we have.    
Jon Nelson · · Redmond, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 5,115

Thanks Andrew for posting the info and video.

I can't add much, except to say that I've placed many of these in granite and feel very secure when clipping into one. The whole screw seems solid, and the fact that is threaded into grooves into the rock make it feel like it will take a lot of force to pull out.

So far, I've just hand screwed them in, and found that the cutting can be tough in some cases. For overhanging routes, the impact driver may be crucial, as I've generally put them in rock that is less than vertical where I can get fairly stable against the rock to torque on the screw. For installing without the power tool, the hole diameter seems to have a big influence on the difficulty, particularly with getting the groove started. But with practice and experience, it gets easier. Even when it is tough to install though, I feel the effort to be worth it because they are so easy to unscrew with a standard wrench and later replace. 

It would be interesting to hear how well it goes in with the impact driver on very overhanging routes.

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

Thanks for this Andrew! I think this product definitely deserves a look in all rock types. I was hoping to test in some sandstone this last weekend but the "Big Boss" had some other plans! The gneiss you have installed in is about 2800 psi compressive strength. Looks like granite but quite a bit softer.

In my view, the addition of water filling the hole and soaking in a bit is key. I have also put these (3/8" 316 ss) in a vice to see where they yield under torque and got to about 120 ft/lbs if I recall. Way more tolerant to torque than wedge anchor or sleeve anchor in the same size. In my experience, they do not loosen or become spinners if snugged down.

I really do like Powerbolts in stainless as well, but given the ownership changes in recent years, and the development of PB+, I think the market for our beloved 5 pc is going to go away in coming years.

A valid replacement would have the following merits:

1) Removability
2) Ease of Inspection
3) Low Cost
4) 316 or better material
5) High strength to diameter of hole needed
6) One piece construction
7) Full diameter shank at the shear plane
8) Easy Installation
9) Works in most if not all rock types
10) Vibration and cyclic load resistant

The Titen is looking good in all of these realms, with more testing coming to better refine the #9 and #10 criteria for soft rock.

Thanks again!

MHanna

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,823

Not for rock climbing!!

That sort of design has been around for a while, those bolts are for concrete not rock. There’s a chance they could work in certain rock types, but they are very limited, and the bolt is not a robust design with good holding power (and it’s very sensitive to exact hole diameter, which in softer rock can be hard to achieve since brushing and blowing out the hole can enlarge the hole). Also even if it’s perfectly installed in concrete or some rock that would work, the strength is far lower than a Power-Bolt or glue-in (or stainless wedge/stud bolt).

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

Greg- I would agree wholeheartedly if you were referring to the ITW Tapcon or Powerbolt screw in. Those suck for a variety of reasons. We will have to respectfully disagree though on the Simpson product. Get a handful and try them out with an impact driver. I have tested lots in various stones in both hand drilled holes, and as mentioned more testing is in the works. I would also note that both 5 pc and wedge anchors are for concrete as well.

I have tested many to 12000 lbf in granite. Way stronger than anything out there in a 3/8” size.

Mh

Taylor Spiegelberg · · Lander & Sheridan, WY · Joined May 2012 · Points: 1,501

I would put a lot of money on the fact that every single one of these would become a spinner in a short amount of time.

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,823
M Hanna wrote: Greg- I would agree wholeheartedly if you were referring to the ITW Tapcon or Powerbolt screw in. Those suck for a variety of reasons. We will have to respectfully disagree though on the Simpson product. Get a handful and try them out with an impact driver. I have tested lots in various stones in both hand drilled holes, and as mentioned more testing is in the works. I would also note that both 5 pc and wedge anchors are for concrete as well.

I have tested many to 12000 lbf in granite. Way stronger than anything out there in a 3/8” size.

Mh

5-piece (Power-Bolts) are for stone as well, not just concrete (check their website if you want). The ASCA does not use any wedge/stud bolts (stopped in '99 or 2000 or so).

Jon Nelson · · Redmond, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 5,115
Taylor Spiegelberg wrote: I would put a lot of money on the fact that every single one of these would become a spinner in a short amount of time.


Hi Taylor,

1) How much money exactly?

2) How long exactly is "a short amount of time"?

I am not inclined to play betting games, but could use a little money right now.

Out of curiosity though-
Do folks dislike spinners because a) they can be harder to clip, or b) because they think the hanger will fall off?
For these screws, b) is not going to happen. So, at an anchor, it hardly matters if the thing spins. 
Jon Nelson · · Redmond, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 5,115
Greg Barnes wrote: Not for rock climbing!!

That sort of design has been around for a while, those bolts are for concrete not rock. There’s a chance they could work in certain rock types, but they are very limited, and the bolt is not a robust design with good holding power (and it’s very sensitive to exact hole diameter, which in softer rock can be hard to achieve since brushing and blowing out the hole can enlarge the hole). Also even if it’s perfectly installed in concrete or some rock that would work, the strength is far lower than a Power-Bolt or glue-in (or stainless wedge/stud bolt).


Greg, you might look again at what Mark did.
No brushing is needed. And he did comparison testing.

What is needed is more data.
It may be that the holding power is particularly sensitive to hole diameter as you suggest. Extensive testing could quantify this. But we also might consider that other bolt types are sensitive to certain aspects of installation as well.
Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,823
But we also might consider that other bolt types are sensitive to certain aspects of installation as well.
5-piece are incredibly versatile and not sensitive to installation, I've even seen a 3/8" 5-piece where the sleeve had expanded into about 1" diameter under the surface in super poor quality rock (we found that out since the rock cracked and broke off - it was placed too close to an edge - so the whole bolt came out with the sleeve expanded).
Taylor Spiegelberg · · Lander & Sheridan, WY · Joined May 2012 · Points: 1,501
Jon Nelson wrote:


Hi Taylor,

1) How much money exactly?

2) How long exactly is "a short amount of time"?

I am not inclined to play betting games, but could use a little money right now.

Out of curiosity though-
Do folks dislike spinners because a) they can be harder to clip, or b) because they think the hanger will fall off?
For these screws, b) is not going to happen. So, at an anchor, it hardly matters if the thing spins.

For what it's worth, I obviously have no experience with these bolts. But I do know that bolts that utilize a hanger get most of their strength from the hanger being compressed against the rock. I don't imagine that these could put the same force on the hanger that a typical five piece or wedge anchor does.

Since they're installed by being screwed in with an impact, any rotational force on the hanger (such as at an apex of the rope when a route turns) would put a small rotational force on the hanger over time and cause it to loosen. Thus causing the above referenced situation where the hanger isn't being pressed against the rock. Then, during a fall, the hanger is levering against the bolt, drastically weakening it's strength and damaging the hole.

First impressions for sure. I wouldn't place a bolt like this in the wild, as there are much better options that have been extensively tested and last long enough where a longer replacement time is a good compromise.
Taylor Spiegelberg · · Lander & Sheridan, WY · Joined May 2012 · Points: 1,501
Jon Nelson wrote:


Hi Taylor,

1) How much money exactly?

2) How long exactly is "a short amount of time"?

I am not inclined to play betting games, but could use a little money right now
Well since I'm occasionally a betting man, I'd put $100 on these bolts becoming spinners/unsafe after ~10 falls!
Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 839

I am not a betting man but I would throw $50 toward seeing a video the above testing being done. 

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

I have them on several ground up climbs reaching back nearly a decade in heavy freeze thaw areas and in obscure sandstone choss. None are spinners. They have a serrated washer/flange head and are extremely vibration resistant. Once they came out in 316 SS, I am comfortable considering them as having excellent properties as long term climbing anchors. Here's the thing about a lot of anchors we see in the "wild": Very few are tested in the rock in which they reside. I'm making  a serious and dedicated effort to correcting exactly this. Before proclaiming judgement based on other types of screw ins, I urge interested parties to get a handful and install them in your local choss. Then we'll have something to really dive into. Otherwise, conjecture is unhelpful.

In my view, the propensity for newer folks to be relying on glue-in's is problematic. It's billed as easy peasy but holes need to be CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN. Commonly we see MP questions about the viability using out of date glues, or if it's ok to load the bolts before they're cured..... Fer gawdsake, who's putting in these things??

Please review my above stated characteristics of desirability for anchors. Choose your fav and let's see how they stack up. As always, if you're in the PNW, get me a rock sample and I'll test the hell out of it side by side. Again, here's one loaded axially to 10,000 lbf in medium limestone without detachment. 3/8 x 3".

Cheers,

MH

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,823
I have them on several ground up climbs reaching back nearly a decade in heavy freeze thaw areas and in obscure sandstone choss. None are spinners.
How many falls have been taken on each bolt? In other words, are these routes seeing heavy use with falls on the bolts, or are falls unlikely to have been taken?
M Hanna · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 5

Several have taken significant falls and route working. And the majority that have taken falls were the 1.75 versions in hand drilled holes. I’m no waif either at 215 plus gear. Greg- I like PowerBolt 5 pc too but I think we need to be looking into other solutions for the time when Dewalt/Stanley pulls the plug. I would guess that very few have been sold in the construction industry due to more recent designs and ACI code upgrades for cracked concrete certication (which  Titen has). Climbers are not a viable source of revenue for Powers.

Mh

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,823

The 5-piece have been backordered for months, so looks like someone is buying them.

From the Simpson website - these stainless bolts have carbon steel brazed onto the tip to cut into concrete - so obviously they're not going to cut into good hard rock (guess your granite is not super hard?). And their site specifically states not to re-use the bolt like the OP suggests at the start of this thread.

In order for these threads to be durable enough to cut into the concrete, they are formed from carbon steel that is then hardened and brazed onto the tip of the anchor.
M Hanna · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 5

Used them in Darrington and Index granite.  Compact hard rock. Cuts well with water trick as indicated in videos. I’m not advocating reuse to cut new thread. I believe he was indicating that the threads were undamaged and still could cut several holes in.

Andrew Davidson · · Everett, WA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 1,393
Greg Barnes wrote: The 5-piece have been backordered for months, so looks like someone is buying them.

From the Simpson website - these stainless bolts have carbon steel brazed onto the tip to cut into concrete - so obviously they're not going to cut into good hard rock (guess your granite is not super hard?). And their site specifically states not to re-use the bolt like the OP suggests at the start of this thread.

FWIW, I never did state that these bolts should be reused. I was making a demonstration of installation and instead of using a brand new bolt each time, I disclosed the fact that it was the second time cutting threads, (which was also the third damn video I made because of fumbling and mumbling).  Yes, the hardened steel threads were getting worn down, and I observed that it was still holding tightly in the rock.  But as you have noted, the manufacture states not to reuse the bolts. 

Jon Nelson · · Redmond, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 5,115
Taylor Spiegelberg wrote: Well since I'm occasionally a betting man, I'd put $100 on these bolts becoming spinners/unsafe after ~10 falls!

Sounds good, thanks.

 But what is "spinners/unsafe" exactly and "~" exactly? Previously, you wrote just "spinner", do you mean "or" or "and" here? 

In the previous post, you also said "every single one", which is noted.

Just thought I'd save this bet and clarify.  
Jon Nelson · · Redmond, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 5,115
Bobby Hutton wrote: I am not a betting man but I would throw $50 toward seeing a video the above testing being done. 

Thanks Bobby. 

I just thought I'd save this statement.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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