Fasteners: What Every Climber Should Know And No One Told

Any outdoor climber eventually will depend on an anchorage to support your fall and, therefore, your life.
Worldwide entities have been organizing to ensure a preventive maintenance and avoid accidents.
All equipment possess your life; carabiners, ropes, harness, ribbons, laces, and mainly the fasteners, which being collective equipment and fixed the rock are exposed to all kinds of weather and by far the weakest link of the chain climbing safety.
Before I talk about the equipment we need to define some parameters.
Climbing anchors are designed to work in a safe working load 16 kN (about 1,600 kg), which represents the force generated in anchorage for a fall 1:00 pm-factor one held by a grigri in an 11 mm rope UIAAcertified with a 100 kg climber.
For this they are manufactured to withstand a minimum of 25 kn (approximately 2,500 kg, which is the force generated by a factor 2).
For those who do not know what is the fall factor: click here
There are currently three groups of fixed anchors:
The fasteners for mechanical action known as flaps,
Chemical fixation anchors known as glue-in or glued
Anchors fixed by lever known as Staples.
As a result of a pioneer generation that had extremely limited access to equipment for the opening of roads, inevitably the Brazilian climbers have become accustomed with a huge range of improvisations that often compromise the performance of the equipment.
To avoid unnecessary exposure to such equipment is necessary to understand the workings and the possible faults of manufacture and installation of each model, I intend to explore in this text encouraging critical analysis of each reader.
Flaps are fasteners that depend on basically three components.
A screw which must be associated with a cone, an expansive shirt and a tag (or flapper itself) that allows setting of connectors in the same.
Were initially used the Spits, fasteners for industrial and home application.
These fasteners offer odd risks to its users, mainly because of the low thickness of the screw used and the possible loosening of the anchor into the hole, having occurred several accidents both in climbing and caving.
Currently this anchoring is a target for maintenance equipment throughout the U.S. and Europe, being the great villain of American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) in Yosemite, failing usually with loads below 1,000 kg or 10 kN.
Spit (self drilling anchor)
With the development of screws made with the objective of supporting dynamic emerged the falls parabolts, which have immensely better than the spits and allow a much larger loads due to your weight and quality of the material used.
Yet there are dangers inherent in the mechanical and stress of the equipment, being the “push” screw nut the critical moment of the installation. If you applied a torque higher than the recommended screw may suffer the phenomenon of shear and rupture, or worse, almost breaking.
When this occurs the bolt is in fragile state waiting for some force (which may be the weight of the body, or fall) to break, becoming a true vertical trap. To avoid this, always use a torque wrench when “push” anchoring with your specific torque reported by the manufacturer.
Try tightening a nut on a bolt as far as getting to understand about what I said above.
Another common mistake is to install flaps with its components of different steels, such as a stainless steel plate and the parabolt carbon steel (platted steel). This mix creates the electrochemical corrosion phenomenon, which will favor the corrosion of the material of higher oxidation potential. In the above example would be the parabolt.
For being a device that requires constant tension in the bolt, this is more subject to stress corrosion in saline (salty air) than other equipment, especially when made with AISI 304, remembering that the voltage is applied at the parabolt and not on the data plate.
Most Flaps made for climbing has your load between 25 kN and 30 kN.
Are fasteners that depend on two major factors for your operation: a good glue and anchor profile, that is, factors in the body of the anchor who will work for the adhesion of the glue.
The main errors are setup with low quality adhesives and the lack of a suitable anchor profile, usually occurring in homemade anchors.
Bonded anchors made for climbing generally have the breaking loads up to 30kn.
Fasteners Glue-in can also be replaced at the same hole.
Cool colada anchoring in stainless steel AISI 304:
Are billets of metal hammered into the rock with a loop and have several critical points.
Because there is a standard installation procedure the rock type and thickness of the bit (remembering that this wears out over use) end up influencing too on the quality of the installation.
This occurs because the clip depends on precision of tenths of millimeters so that “pressure”.
When a hole is off it is common use of zinc or aluminum vanes to fill the remaining space, these reeds act causing electrochemical corrosion, condemning the set over the long term. Another risk factor is the solder of the ear clips that do not have any kind of quality control, often showing structural flaws.
If the hole gets too tight the clamp does not enter until the end leaving the eye away from the rock.
The eye away from the rock increases the bending moment (lever) on the billet and significantly reduces your resistance. If there is doubt about the quality of a clip, tie a knot manhole in billet at the closest to the rock.
The tests conducted on carbon steel clips had the breaking load around 12kn, but there are reports of break from the weight of the body. Another danger of the clips are stainless steel clips, which already has a history of accidents and failures with the weight of the body.
Because of characteristics of metal alloy and weaknesses created at the time of soldering, corrosion attacks strongly at the site of welding, most subject to stress generated in the use of the anchor.
Stainless Steel clips should be avoided ALWAYS and should never be mounted a stop on them.
The major problems of the anchors are currently manufacturing and installation without discretion by well-meaning enthusiasts, but uninformed, that end by compromising fasteners that should work in accordance with international standards, defined by the International Union of mountaineering Associations, entity of which the Brazilian Confederation of Mountaineering and rock climbing is a member, or using Unknown performance and equipment without quality control such as Staples.
For further information, is available to query a case study about the weaknesses created by a Goodis.
Even with the expansion of rock climbing as a sport and a progressive increase in the number of climbers and enthusiasts, there is not yet a course of installation of anchors, either an official document of the organized local mountaineering entities (at least in Rio de Janeiro) advising or informing about the functioning of the equipment that we use both, making the risk of climbers beginners and leaving this information restricted foreign sites usually in English.
Those who read in English, I strongly recommend reading the informative sites:
To those who do not read, will be summarizing the information of these sites on Climbing Blog.
I hope that the text will help prevent accidents and increase the interest of the climbers in the operation and discussions about the fasteners, which influences the life of all of us.