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Hard Rock 

Glue-in Bolts
Any glue-in bolt produced by a reputable manufacturer of diameter and length equal to or greater than 3/8”and 3” respectively constructed of an alloy at least as corrosion resistant as 304 stainless is recommended for hard rock. In highly corrosive environments, the bolt should be 316 stainless, Ti64 or alloy 2205.

However, glue-in bolts are difficult to place properly. Also, there is no reliable method to remove them such that the hole can be reused in rebolting; they have to be chopped and patched. Lowering directly from glue-ins should be avoided. Unlike mechanical bolts, they are all one piece and wear from the rope may cause permanent damage. Thus, all glue-ins designed to be used as a lower-off point should be equipped with a quick link or some other type of sacrificial hardware of matching alloy and adequate strength.

Medium Rock 

Medium rock includes high strength concrete and a significant portion of sandstone found throughout the country. There is a range of bolts that are acceptable in this medium.

Sleeve Bolts
In medium rock, sleeve bolts produced by a reputable manufacturer of diameter and length equal to or greater than 1/2”and 3.5” respectively constructed of an alloy at least as corrosion resistant as 304 stainless is recommended.

Glue-in Bolts
For medium rock, any glue-in bolts produced by a reputable manufacturer (or of an equivalent quality and sustainability from a reputable manufacturer) of diameter and length equal to or greater than ½” and 4” respectively constructed of an alloy at least as corrosion resistant as 304 stainless is recommended. In highly corrosive environments, the bolts should be 316 stainless, Ti64 or alloy 2205.

Wedge Bolts
Wedge bolts are not recommended in medium rock due to their low contact surface area, low expansion range and concentration of force under the clip. If necessary, due to the circumstances (i.e. ground-up), double clip versions produced by a reputable manufacturer of diameter and length equal to or greater than ½” and 3” respectively constructed of an alloy at least as corrosion resistant as 304 stainless is recommended.

Soft Rock 

The selection of acceptable bolts for use in soft rock is limited. Soft rock should be inspected carefully before climbing or placing permanent hardware.

Sleeve Bolts
Sleeve bolts are the only type of mechanical bolt that should be used in soft rock. The low compression strength both inside the hole and at the lip of the hole, the maximal surface area, and expansion range of sleeve bolts is necessary to achieve an acceptable level of safety.

Glue-in Bolts
For weak rock, any glue-in bolts produced by a reputable manufacturer of diameter and length equal to or greater than ½” and 4” respectively constructed of an alloy at least as corrosion resistant as 304 stainless is recommended. In highly corrosive environments, the bolts should be 316 stainless, Ti64 or alloy 2205.

Wedge Bolts
Wedge bolts are not acceptable for use in soft rock.

Next Topic » Examples of General Rock Strength by Area

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