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Bolt issue on Kalymnos

Kalymnos bad bolt Stress Corrosion Cracking

The missing bolt was bad; the remaining bolt was good. The bad bolt, which has been replaced, was NOT stainless steel. This is an exception on Kalymnos, a single case of using inappropriate materials, and it is certainly not the norm. Photo by Aris Theodoropoulos

Introduction:

The original ‘report’ about ‘SCC in Kalymnos’ was compiled by John Byrnes (see below) and emailed to Climb ZA.  We decided to publish John’s report. 

Sustainable bolting and safety of climbing routes is a topic of great concern to us – we have had SCC failures in and around the Western Cape and are actively trying to address the problem by means of an Anchor Replacement Fund (ARF) – ARF is a fund for the Western Cape only.  
Like in Kalymnos it is run by volunteers.

A mistake was made in not contacting someone in Kalymnos for comment before publishing the report.
For this we apologise.

By posting the report our goal was certainly not to slander any person or climbing area, but to make people aware.  Climb ZA is meant to be a platform for healthy debate.

Yours Sincerely,
Climb ZA

——————————————————————————————————————

Bolt issue on Kalymnos

I wanted to warn my friends about the current situation in Kalymnos.

One of the key people involved in producing titanium bolts, an expert on the subject, has just returned from Kalymnos.  As we anticipated for years, they have Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) of their stainless steel bolts, just as Cayman Brac and Thailand used to have; both places use titanium bolts now.

SCC can be invisible to even an aware climber.  It usually occurs behind the hanger where it can’t be seen.  By the time it is visible (see photos in this post) the bolt is VERY seriously weakened.  Notice in the first photo that the Hanger looks perfect but the bolt has snapped off flush (also notice that the photographer is hanging from the remaining single bolt!!!  Yikes!)

I wouldn’t hang my lunch on the bolt in the second photo.  Look closely, you can see cracks in the hanger!  Bolts that look like this have broken off in my fingers.

For more details see  http://www.climbcaymanbrac.com/safety/

Kalymnos bad bolt Stress Corrosion Cracking

Click to enlarge (see extra close up below).  We are still awaiting clarification on the exact location of the bolt in this picture.

 

In Kalymnos they have a guy who is rebolting 100 routes a year; it’s his full-time job.  But he’s replacing old stainless bolts with new stainless bolts and perpetuating the problem.  In Thailand new stainless bolts broke in as little as 9 months; in the Brac 18 months.  So only climbing on new looking bolts is just a guess, and with almost 1,700 routes on Kalymnos, your chances of choosing one with bad bolts is pretty damn good.

So I’m telling my friends.  Tell YOUR friends, or if you hear of someone going to Kalymnos, make sure they understand what’s going on before they go.

John Byrnes
Related articles:

Kalymnos bad bolt

Closeup of the 2nd photo – click to enlarge

Kalymnos bad bolts warning

55 Responses to Bolt issue on Kalymnos

  1. Ebert May 2, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Not that it matters, but clipping your quickdraws in above the ring of a bolt or ontop of another quickdraw is VERY BAD PRACTICE.

    eT

  2. Chris F May 2, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    This isn’t the only problem on the island. A batch of duff bolts were used too, but should hopefully have all been replaced by now.

    http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=64604

  3. niel May 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    I am not an expert in this regard, but the photo’s you posted doesn’t look like stress cracking. This looks like a chemical incompatibility issue it is common in applications where concrete and stainless are used together in a moist environment. Regardless, I didn’t see a lot of bolts in this condition, but would have been more attentive if I saw your post earlier.

    Cheers.

  4. andy davies May 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    When we were there I noticed some of the lower off chains had corrosion on the weld Heat Affected Zone [HAZ] of the stainless steel. I must say I am not surprised they have had failures.

  5. Josh Lyons May 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    Hey if anybody is interested in learning more about stress corrosion cracking check out http://www.thaitaniumproject.com. You can download a documentary film of the same name about SCC in Thailand and the process that caused it. All the proceeds go to the project and helps purchase the Titanium bolts, Hilti RE-500, bits, ropes, grinders, and all the other equipment needed to re-bolt Railay Bay/Tonsai Beach.

    Kalymnos’s problem will not go away. Thailand saw two decades of experimentation before stumbling on Titanium bolts, thanks to the guys on the Caymans, and it’s working. The Thaitanium Project’s mission is to re-bolt the entire area of Railay Bay which includes more then 700 pitches, an audacious mission to say the least and at this point it looks like it will take the better part of ten years. But what we are learning on Railay/Tonsai with taking on re-bolting these large climbing areas with be priceless for places like Kalymnos which has 2,000 pitches!

    Check it out, get involved and stay safe.

    Cheers,
    Josh Lyons – Founder of the Thaitanium Project

  6. Aris Theodoropoulos May 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Having spent a good part of the last fifteen years bolting and rebolting routes on Kalymnos, allow me to object to this post.

    My main reasons:

    1. The first photo in the post was taken by me, while rebolting the route ‘Harlem Nights’. The missing bolt was bad; the remaining bolt was good. The bad bolt, which has been replaced, was NOT stainless steel. This is an exception on Kalymnos, a single case of using inappropriate materials, and it is certainly not the norm.

    The good bolt pictured is high-quality stainless steel and did not need replacement. The main problem with corroded bolts on Kalymnos is just this: not stainless-steel per se, but the use of either bad quality stainless steel or non-stainless steel bolts and hangers. (For the record, I [the photographer] am not hanging from the single remaining bolt; I had to climb the route to get to the lower-off, so like any experienced climber I am also clipped in to every single bolt below.)

    2. The second and third photos in this post do not appear to be from Kalymnos. There has never been a problem with stainless steel hangers in Kalymnos, especially the Raumer pictured here, which is used extensively. In addition, in these photos the hangers are caked with salt –also something we’ve never seen on Kalymnos. If these photos were taken on Kalymnos, can you please name the route?

    3. Titanium is not fail-proof. In a test of five titanium bolts by DAV, three out of five titanium bolts failed at only 10 kN. The norm is 25 kN. Also, no glue supplier that we know of will guarantee their product for more than three years. The capacity of quality stainless-steel bolts is 25 kN and when properly placed on Kalymnos they have lasted for ten years or more. Stating that “replacing old stainless bolts with new stainless bolts [is] perpetuating the problem” and that “with almost 1,700 routes on Kalymnos, your chances of choosing one with bad bolts is pretty damn good” is incorrect. It sounds exactly like the sales pitch of a person involved in producing titanium bolts.

    To recap, the corrosion seen on Kalymnos bolts so far has been due to two main reasons: a) non-stainless steel bolts were used, or b) defective stainless steel bolts were used (most notably a bad batch of defective stainless-steel bolts by manufacturer Rockland). In routes where high quality (304) stainless-steel bolts are used (i.e. in the majority of routes in Kalymnos) there have been no problems. Problematic bolts are gradually being replaced with high-quality stainless steel bolts (304 or 316L) on a voluntary basis by a small team of climbers living on Kalymnos. There is no guy with a full-time job of rebolting 100 routes a year. If you mean me, it’s something I do in addition to my full-time job and, for the past few years, at my own expense.
    More volunteers are always welcome.

    Lastly, can you name this person defaming Kalymnos other than as “an expert” and “one of the key people involved in the production of titanium bolts”? Did it occur to you that Kalymnos may pursue legal action against such defamation?

    Aris Theodoropoulos
    Mountain Guide, author of the Kalymnos Climbing Guidebook / http://www.climbkalymnos.com”

  7. Alan Jarvis May 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    Greetings all,
    I agree that the problems with anchors at Kalymnos is sad. The local people have been trying to support climbing and a lot of the bolts are sponsored by local money (so I’ve been told).

    And they are putting a LOT of effort into addressing it: I don’t think you should cancel your Greek vacation plans due to fears of bad bolts. But sure, you do need to be aware of possible issues.

    My understanding is that a lot of the problem is due to high corrosion rates of the stainless steel grade used for a lot of the bolts. A grade called 303 was used: which has high sulphur to make it easier to machine. However not so good for corrosion resistance. 303 has its place, but not for outdoor climbing anchors. You might note that its use is not recommended in both the current UIAA Anchor Standard (UIAA 123) as well as the European one (EN 959). However some of these anchors were installed before these standards were revised and this specific recommendation against its use was made.

    But I’d hazard a guess that all the UIAA and EN rated anchor suppliers BEFORE this revision was made did not use Grade 303. Most people knew it was not a good choice for anchors before this.

    We’re working on revising the UIAA Standard to address issues like this in any case.

    As far as the comment about “bad” titanium bolts that were tested by the German Alpine Club (DAV), to my understanding the problems were due to poor welding. And also in the size used. They tested Titanium Grade 2 (nothing very special with regards to strength) and there’s not much room in 10mm stock for grooving to get the glue to bond.

    The Thaitanium project is getting United Titanium to weld their bolts: a very good company, but good welds cost money, so the final cost is not cheap. But you DO get a good bolt. That lasts a LONG time.

    As far as how long “glue’s” CAN last, you can get 50 years (or more) from the right systems. Hilti and other top end suppliers rate their systems for 50 years. And that’s how civil engineering projects are specced, for lifetimes of 50 years: or longer.

    Alan Jarvis
    Materials Engineer
    UIAA Safety Commission Delegate

  8. Joe Ross May 3, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    In reply to Alan Jarvis

    Just wondering why you say “…there’s not much room in 10mm stock for grooving to get the glue to bond.”?

    The Fixe glue in bolt is made from 10mm stock and is grooved for adhesion to glue and works very well. I have used this bolt extensively for sea cliff development in soft rock. I am placing them in moderately soft sandstone, not limestone which some of the above mentioned areas have. But the point is that a 10mm stock provides ample material for glue adhesion grooves.

    I don’t know the cost of titanium bolts but in areas where corrosion is an issue it may be cheaper to use a removable bolt such as the Fixe Triplex bolt or the new ClimbTech sleeve anchors which are designed to be removable which aides in replacement or inspection.

  9. Emanuele Pellizzari May 4, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    In reply to Alan Jarvis

    Dear Alan,
    thanks for your feedback.

    We had some issues with some glue a few years ago in a climate similar to Kalymons. As far as we know, two crags in Sardinia, two in France and one in Sicily have been re bolted after C150 from Hilti, after a significant number of years, started to de-polimer.
    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=depomerizzazione+hilti&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    Following that issue, I called toll free number of HIlti and asked for a clear statement about the “warranty” (not to be confused with lasting charatheristic of glue) and they replied “1 year”.
    It would be great if you could pass me a link where officially Hilti (or whoever) warranty (not to be confused with claims) that any of their glue is warranted for more than 3 years. Thanks. I could not found it any written document with such warranty, but it can be my mistake.

    I have recently been to Kalymnos, and I found all routes I did safe. I am very aware of issues of “pitting” and that cannot be easily seen the problem. Saying so, Kalymons locals bolts “closely”. And I never felt in danger.

    Just to know: where can any of these titanium glue ins be bought in Europe?

    Finally, I know that UIAA is working in defining classes of bolting material. Because it’s rather a long time we have this issue, when do you think UIAA will finally speak out?

    Thanks for the help.
    Emanuele

  10. captain Haddock May 4, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Its called climbing, not falling.

  11. Lee Cujes May 4, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Hi Alan

    You say “Hilti and other top end suppliers rate their systems for 50 years. And that’s how civil engineering projects are specced, for lifetimes of 50 years: or longer.”

    In fact, Hilti will not warrant any of their products for use in a rockclimbing environment on real cliffs. There is too much variation in rock quality for them or any other glue manufacturer (at this point of time) to offer anything definitive for more than 3 years. We clearly know that RE-500 will give us much more than 10 years on any cliff on our planet (to the people using polyester glues like C150 in corrosive environments – don’t!)

    If people would like a more balanced (and factual) background to the issues of bolting on Kalymnos, please see my article: “An analysis of climbing on the island of Kalymnos with respect to new routes, the safety of fixed hardware, and route maintenance now and in the future” – http://www.upskillclimbing.com/2012/12/an-analysis-of-climbing-on-island-of.html

    Lee Cujes
    Upskill Climbing
    Safer Cliffs Australia
    http://www.safercliffs.org/

  12. Emanuele Pellizzari May 5, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Dear Lee,
    interesting your article.

    May just add some thoughts?
    316 is better than 304. It’ will not solve the problem in a given day. 304 will corrode, but 316 will corrode too, just later. Same matter for 12 mm compared to 10 mm: more materials will last longer, but hangers are always of the same thickness no matter the diameter of bolts you use. Then, let’s face it, only FIXE hanger works fine with 12 mm bolts, all the others were designed for 10 mm rod. I had a few carabiners poorly orientated on 12 mm Petzl in Sikati…But Fixe appears to have more durability issues than other brands.
    New I-Beam carabiners (with the other flaws they have as it came out in UIAA meeting in Saint Petersbourg) works even worse on 12 mm bolts and hangers.
    .
    1.4529 appears to be a solution, but one day it will corrode. When? Very difficult to say, should last 4/5 times 316, so we talk about a time span of +20 years. There are bolts made from 1.4529 and hangers can be made.
    Glue ins are nice (titanium), but can’t be placed on overhangs easily. Re bolting a route with Glue ins, means twice as much work ad with bolts, so adding even more work on the few who maintainance; if you ask me to place glue ins on Grande Grotta, and then come back to clean the old hangers, I amnot super sure I will do it that much work. Beside that, if nobody will warranty glue for more than 3 years, I don’t see the point: why doing a lifetime re bolting is at the end glue is not warranted for longer than 10 years?
    Finally climbers needs to be less cheap and more intelligent. Despite printed on guidebooks and on the web they suggest to how to use their biners in avoiding wear at belays, in one week there, I was the sole doing that procedure in hundreds of climbers. This is ridicoulos.

    There is one point I totally agree with you. More routes does not mean Better. It’s better to bolt less and maintainance more. We don’t need another route. But, being an equipper by myself, I understand that opening routes is like sex or drugs: you become addicted. You you can’t never get enough so you will never stop..

    Ciao,
    E
    .

  13. Baloe May 6, 2013 at 4:50 am #

    Yuck!
    This does smell like a big PR stunt, and it may have worked because I was about to spread the word to my friends, since we’re headed to the island later this week… Luckily I continued reading the comments! I don’t want to sound like a preaching SOB, but people who write that kind of stuff, should do their homework first. Meanwhile, can’t wait to climb in Paradise, and I already wanna thank all those volunteers for making this possible!

  14. Derek Marshall May 6, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Stainless Steel is complicated. Thicker 316 bar bent into a P is not nesesarily better, unless the heat treatment is performed correctly.

  15. Chris F May 6, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    As Baloe says, this seems surprising that a whole load of people just turned up out the blue.

    What was the orginal source of the article Justin.

  16. Justin Lawson May 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Thanks for all the comments so far.

    Chris, I am trying to get hold of the person where the email originated from. I am also in contact with Aris.

    Should have more for you soon.
    Justin

  17. Francis May 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi All,

    The Fixe, glue-in bolts have a number of well engineered features and in reference to above posts, the grooves are created by stamping rather than cutting into the metal.

    Whilst the titanium bolts given to me for pull tests, featured cut notches, they failed at reasonable loads i.e around 20kN. Failure occurred at the weld so this simply reinforces many posts above concerning the need for manufacturing by those skilled in titanium fabrication. With the comparitively small amount of titanium bolts in use (versus SS bolts), when compared to the unit cost of a finished bolt, it will be a challenge in seeing a finished product with all the usual Euro’ stamps of approval. I’d rather clip something of the finished quality I’ve tested, in titanium however, rather than alternate stainless steel varieties, in Southern Thailand. Interestingly the forged Petzl Collinox rings in SS 316, have held up pretty well! Ultimately SS won’t last so credit to the TP crew for their work in maintaining something too many climbers take for granted.

    I second the comments regarding Hilti HY-150 resin. Whilst ‘nicer’ to work with, the difference in holding power is very clear. In pull tests, I’ve found the same glue in bolt, placed in the same rock, failing at 20-25kN with HY-150 yet unmoveable when fixed with RE-500. Loads were hovering around 50kN and at that point the strongest links I had were snapping.

    Cheers,

    Francis

  18. John Byrnes May 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    The first photo is on Aris’s website climbKalymnos.com. Look under Bolting Issues. The second photo was taken a few weeks ago by a friend.

    I’ve been dealing with Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) in stainless for 15 years and so has Josh (who also posted) for almost as long. We have anticipated SCC becoming a problem on Kalymnos (and many other places, eg. Cuba) for many years now. Please take a look at Josh’s video and my website:

    http://www.climbcaymanbrac.com/safety/

    ************ SHORT TUTORIAL ***************

    The first stage of Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) is DENIAL: “The bad bolt, which has been replaced, was NOT stainless steel.” “…not stainless-steel per se, but the use of either bad quality stainless steel or non-stainless steel bolts and hangers.” “non-stainless steel bolts were used, or b) defective stainless steel bolts were used”

    With all due apologies, you’re deluding yourself. The evidence is clear: missing bolts are being reported all over the island. “Rust” is being reported on many bolts but stainless doesn’t just rust.

    316 Marine Grade Stainless bolt breaks
    Looks like rust, but this bolt is stamped “316 Marine Grade Stainless” and broke off with a tap of the hammer.

    Climbing bolts and hangers come in a variety of alloys of “Series 300″ stainless steel. You’ve probably seen “316 Marine Grade Stainless” stamped on some bolts. But there are also MANY bolts made of 304, 314, and other alloys. The lower grade alloys corrode FASTER but they are ALL susceptible to SCC.

    Corroded rock climbing hangers

    These three hangers, installed contemporaneously, were removed from three consecutive bolts on the same route in Cayman Brac. The left hand one is 316L, the middle one 301, the right 304L. (NOTE: These were originally painted to camouflage them and, that is not salt on the right hanger, but re-precipitated limestone.)

    hanger with obvious Stress Corrosion Cracking
    Hanger #2 has obvious Stress Corrosion Cracking.

    hanger made of alloy 304L with extensive cracking not invisible to the naked eye
    Hanger #3, alloy 304L on the right, has extensive cracking which was invisible to the naked eye.

    “The good bolt pictured is high-quality stainless steel and did not need replacement.” As above, SCC cracks can often not be seen but the strength of the bolt/hanger is seriously compromised. MANY bolts have broken in the past which looked brand-new.

    Salt from the ocean or other sources is NOT the main culprit. It’s dissolved limestone, a chemical soup, that cracks the steel. RAIN WATER dissolves limestone which then runs through or over the rock picking up all sorts of other ions and acids. It then wicks behind the hanger of the bolt and stays wet a long time, eventually cracking it.

    ****************** Titanium Bolts ****************

    “3. Titanium is not fail-proof. In a test of five titanium bolts by DAV, three out of five titanium bolts failed at only 10 kN. The norm is 25 kN.”

    I’ve heard this over and over from a variety of stainless bolt suppliers. It is my belief that this test, done in 2004, was done on counterfeit titanium bolts out of Russia. Russia had a history of counterfeit climbing gear for decades. In 2004 all the bona fide Ti bolts that were made in 2000/2001 had been sold and were out of production, so just where did they get them? I have written the UIAA, the testing Lab, and others for more details, but no one has ever had the courtesy to answer my emails.

    FOR THE RECORD: the Titanium bolts now being produced fail in both pullout and shear between 30 and 32kN. They have been used in Cayman Brac for 14 years. In Thailand for almost as long, have held thousands of falls, and never has one failed, or corroded.

    “The capacity of quality stainless-steel bolts is 25 kN and when properly placed on Kalymnos they have lasted for ten years or more.” “replacing old stainless bolts with new stainless bolts [is] perpetuating the problem” and that “with almost 1,700 routes on Kalymnos, your chances of choosing one with bad bolts is pretty damn good” is incorrect. It sounds exactly like the sales pitch of a person involved in producing titanium bolts.”

    Ten years is nothing. On some routes in Thailand, before Ti bolts were available, there were 5 steel bolts for every clip, in different stages of corrosion, tied together with webbing. How many re-bolts does it take for you to run out of rock to place them in?

    In addition, SCC is often invisible. It’s usually hidden by the hanger or the cracks are too small to see. In a warm, wet, limestone environment, especially with stalactites and tufas, and when many of the other stainless bolts are “missing” or breaking, I would not trust ANY of the bolts that were more than two years old.

    I’ve never made a penny on the Ti bolts. I’m not involved in selling them, producing them or supplying them, and everything I’ve posted is true to the best of my knowledge.

    Here’s why I’m doing this:

    Climber falling due to bolt failure

    Injured climber due to bolt failure

    Andy Burgess in 1998 after grabbing the draw on Bolt #2 which broke due to SCC. Broken ribs and a punctured lung.

    I’m going climbing,

    John

  19. Aris Theodoropoulos May 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Good intentions (protecting climbers) do not justify falsifying information and using scare tactics to promote titanium. Furthermore, a key question remains unanswered.
    The question was, ‘The second and third photos in this post do not appear to be from Kalymnos. There has never been a problem with stainless steel hangers in Kalymnos, especially the Raumer pictured here, which is used extensively. In addition, in these photos the hangers are caked with salt –also something we’ve never seen on Kalymnos. If these photos were taken on Kalymnos, can you please name the route?’. To answer vaguely that ‘the second photo was taken a few weeks ago by a friend’ only confirms that it was more than likely not taken in Kalymnos. Kalymnian authorities may pursue legal action against the intentional defamation of their island when they are made aware of it.

    Lastly, if you do visit Kalymnos at some point, you will realize that unlike all other climbing destinations you mention Kalymnos does not have a tropical climate. In 2009 PETZL took samples from all over the island to test for corrosion and reported the following: ‘Αs intended we tested all the anchors collected from Kalymnos. After analysis of the collected hangers, we did not notice any specific problem. We did not notice any traces of failure or crack and the resistance was above requirement. It is an interesting result and it means that with a regular replacement and maintenance, from the collected hangers we tested, the equipment of the routes at Kalymnos does not present any resistance problem. However, due the proximity of the sea and the real risk of corrosion, we encourage you to: a) Keep checking the corrosion of the anchor, b) replace in case of any doubt and c) keep an updated guidebook and history (web information…). For your information, we had a report of low resistance anchors by the seaside, under tropical conditions. We collected hangers in different locations such as Madagascar, Dominican Republic and we found out that 10 to 20% of analysed hangers had a really poor resistance, below standard. UIAA and other manufacturers are going to make a warning on the web to inform people about this phenomenon and advise climbers to care and check anchors before climbing’. You can read the full post here: http://climbkalymnos.com/?p=2837

  20. Emanuele Pellizzari May 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Dear John,
    good explanation.

    I have a few question if you can answer, I wrote to the web site Thaitaniumproject, but got no reply. Twice in past 12 months; can you quote price of these Titanium bolts? Because, so far, we were not able to get a quote, nor a unit. I am investigating 1.4529 bolts and hangers and would be nice to compare prices.

    A note on glue: I am skeptical and stay skeptical on chemical products. Some chemicals were told “safe” in recent world, but unfortunately they turned out after a while to be a huge mess.
    Best,
    E
    .

  21. Bruno FARA May 9, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    ” Kalymnian authorities may pursue legal action against the intentional defamation of their island when they are made aware of it.”
    there are many falsifications in the pictures, so it is best to! the desire to promote his material does not justify the lies!

  22. Martin Roberts May 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Dear all,
    I feel this will be a lengthy post so feel free to put the kettle on, make a nice cup of tea and read on :-)
    I would like to address every point that has been made in this ‘report’ and following comments in order of appearance.

    John wrote : “One of the key people involved in producing titanium bolts, an expert on the subject, has just returned from Kalymnos. As we anticipated for years, they have Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC)”

    I am currently the only person (as far as I know) involved in the production of the Titanium bolts that have been used mostly in Thailand for the very worthy Thaitanium project as well as various other projects around the world for the last few years. I think I can be considered as very knowledgeable about the production of these bolts but maybe not an expert. I am in a lucky position to know many experts in various fields of Titanium supply and fabrication as well as experts in corrosion and mechanical/chemical testing.
    I am not an expert in the detection of SCC and I have not told John that it exists on Kalymnos. What I have said is that there is an apparent rapid corrosion problem on the island.
    In case you are wondering, my connection with John is that I have supplied him with Titanium bolts on two occasions and that is it.
    I am happy to give massive amounts of my time to the production, quality control, mechanical testing and supply of these bolts on a non profit basis to the good people that also give massive amounts of time towards rebolting what were previously dangerous routes.

    I have had 6 extremely enjoyable climbing trips to Kalymnos over the last 12 years with the latest being about a month ago. The quality of the rock and variety of rock is fantastic. Bolts are often close together and well placed. However, I feel that replacing corroded Stainless steel bolts with more Stainless steel bolts is not the answer for a truly long term and sustainable answer. Even when higher grades of Stainless are used. It is my understanding that all Stainless will corrode but at different rates.
    As John mentioned, we have used this grade of Titanium for 14 years and there are no signs of corrosion at all.

    Aris wrote : “2. The second and third photos in this post do not appear to be from Kalymnos. There has never been a problem with stainless steel hangers in Kalymnos, especially the Raumer pictured here, which is used extensively. In addition, in these photos the hangers are caked with salt –also something we’ve never seen on Kalymnos. If these photos were taken on Kalymnos, can you please name the route?”

    I’m afraid that it IS a Raumer hanger in the photo. Details below.
    I took the 2nd and 3rd photos last month (3rd is just a close up of the 2nd). My intention was definitely not for them to end up on here or any other public place. If that was my intention, I would have made them public myself.
    I didn’t scrape any of the crusty stuff from the hanger in the photo to have in analysed. It was my guess as I scratched it with my nail, that it was not salt but more likely water seepage near the hanger leaving rock deposits/crystals on the hanger.
    These were not the only bolts I saw in such a state and I left a note of the bolts/areas that need attention with Steve at the Glaros Bar as I believe they make a massive amount of bolts available for bolting new and rebolting old routes through their bolt fund.
    I did take about 6 photos of badly corroded bolts from different routes but I’m 99% certain that the bolt pictured above was on the anchor of a great 7b by the name of Sevasti at Iannis sector which I believe you bolted 9 years ago.
    Many thanks to you and many others by the way for all the hard work you have put in to making Kalymnos one of the best sport climbing venues on the planet.

    Aris wrote : “3. Titanium is not fail-proof. In a test of five titanium bolts by DAV, three out of five titanium bolts failed at only 10 kN. The norm is 25 kN.”

    I have tested a sample from every batch of bolts produced. They have been pulled to failure at 30 to 32kN in both extraction and radial (downward) tensile tests and the material has been torn apart. In no case has a weld failed in any bolt I have had produced. I have tested samples from other companies that were clearly not good with manufacturing Titanium products!
    From what I understand, the bolts tested by the DAV may have been some sort of counterfeit product produced in Russia.

    Alan Jarvis wrote : “As far as the comment about “bad” titanium bolts that were tested by the German Alpine Club (DAV), to my understanding the problems were due to poor welding. And also in the size used. They tested Titanium Grade 2 (nothing very special with regards to strength) and there’s not much room in 10mm stock for grooving to get the glue to bond.”

    My bolts are also 10mm Grade 2 Titanium. The reasons for that grade are too many to mention here – I’m happy to discuss that to anybody that wants to know by the way.
    I would agree about the poor welding comment.
    10mm is plenty big enough to get great purchase even with very shallow grooves at only 0.25mm. I know because I have used RE-500 to ‘glue’ them in to steel blocks with smooth holes drilled in them. The bolts pulled to failure over 30kN and I could not even get out the broken shaft with a 5 ton press. Clearly, any rock is more porous than steel and I would of course expect even better adhesion.
    I have to heat the steel block until the resin sets on fire and melts to extract the broken shaft.
    I only recommend Hilti RE-500 with these Titanium bolts. Other great Epoxy resins are obviously produced and may even be better but we have used RE-500 for many years (10 or more – Josh please confirm) with no minor problems never mind a failure.

    Alan also wrote : “The Thaitanium project is getting United Titanium to weld their bolts: a very good company, but good welds cost money, so the final cost is not cheap. But you DO get a good bolt. That lasts a LONG time.”

    As far as I know United Titanium has only produced one batch of bolts for the Thaitanium project. I have had mine produced in China for the last few years and tested at 2 different labs in Sheffield, England (where I live)

    Joe Ross wrote : “I don’t know the cost of titanium bolts but in areas where corrosion is an issue it may be cheaper to use a removable bolt such as the Fixe Triplex bolt or the new ClimbTech sleeve anchors which are designed to be removable which aides in replacement or inspection.”

    These Titanium bolts are very reasonable at about $9 each including the testing that I carry out. I say ‘about’ because the price of Titanium varies, thus, so does the ‘cost price’ of the bolt. Plus the price of the resin approx $1 each bolt.
    Fixe Triplex are only 304 grade and $8.85 on Fixe’s website. Plus the price of a hanger.
    ClimbTech sleeve anchors are $10.65 on their website. Plus the price of a hanger. I’m not sure what grade Stainless those bolts are.

    Emanuele wrote : “We had some issues with some glue a few years ago in a climate similar to Kalymons. As far as we know, two crags in Sardinia, two in France and one in Sicily have been re bolted after C150 from Hilti, after a significant number of years, started to de-polimer.”

    I only recommend the use of Hilti RE-500 . It’s tried and tested for over 10 years in the most corrosive environment (regarding climbing bolts) I know of and know best, which is Thailand.

    Emanuele also wrote : “Just to know: where can any of these titanium glue ins be bought in Europe?”
    I can get them for you. Feel free to get in touch.

    Francis wrote : “Whilst the titanium bolts given to me for pull tests, featured cut notches, they failed at reasonable loads i.e around 20kN. Failure occurred at the weld so this simply reinforces many posts above concerning the need for manufacturing by those skilled in titanium fabrication.”

    Can you give us more details of what tests were carried out and where the bolts came from? I would like to see photos if you have any to email to me?
    All metals require correct manufacturing procedures to create a reliable product so yes I agree that Titanium products must be produced by those skilled in Titanium fabrication.
    I’ve had samples produced in China by other manufacturers over the years and it’s clear to see that not all people that say they can produce a good quality product actually can!

    Also : “I’ve found the same glue in bolt, placed in the same rock, failing at 20-25kN with HY-150 yet unmoveable when fixed with RE-500. Loads were hovering around 50kN and at that point the strongest links I had were snapping.”

    Good information to back up the RE-500.

    John wrote : “The second photo was taken a few weeks ago by a friend.”

    I have had bolts produced for John and that’s as far as it goes. I am no friend, especially with respect to his statements heading this page. At most I’m an associate. This is the second time I have have had to reply to postings from John with the first being on another forum.
    Most of what John writes I believe is fact but some is not.

    John, I do think your intentions are to help climbers for the long term but please stick to writing facts.

    Aris wrote : “We did not notice any traces of failure or crack and the resistance was above requirement. It is an interesting result and it means that with a regular replacement and maintenance, from the collected hangers we tested” – Previously written by Petzl I believe.

    It would have been nice to get the full picture and test the hangers AND bolts in situ.
    Do you have photos (before and after test) of the hangers tested to compare the corrosion with the one pictured at the top of this page? That would be interesting.

    Aris, I did write on your forum 3 months ago but so far have not had a reply from you.
    It was entitled ‘Titanium bolts for Kalymnos?’

    Wow! I hope the last 2 hours have been well spent in writing all that and thanks for bearing with me. Sorry if I drifted off topic a bit.

    If it seems that I am promoting a product that I have produced then this is because I believe that it is the best long term solution for environments where Stainless bolts, hangers and chains are corroding.
    Replacing Stainless with higher grades of Stainless I guess will extent their usable life. Sometimes a little and sometimes dramatically.
    Grade 2 Titanium bolts have been in use for 14 years now and no sign of any corrosion at all.
    I have not yet found a metallurgist that would disagree with the statement that these bolts would last less than hundreds of years from a corrosion point of view.
    Of course if the arey used for directly toproping through with a sandy rope they will burn out long before that!
    I have witnessed the various generations of rebolting in Thailand and what a mess it makes of the rock over my last 20 visits in 18 years.
    In my mind a bolting solution that lasts 3, 5, 10 or even 20 years is just not good enough. This rock that we all love so much has been here for many millions of years.

    In corrosive environments — Either use a removable bolt, replace the hanger and reuse the hole or use a good quality Titanium glue in bolt with good quality proven Epoxy resin.

    Sorry if a lot of this sounds like a sales pitch. This is all just my honest opinion.

    Climb safe people :-)

    Martin
    martroberts@hotmail.com

  23. Emanuele Pellizzari May 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    Dear Martin,
    I emailed you 2 May, bit I did not get reply.
    If you need to get to know when I emailed 12 months ago, I need to check out my server.
    For some of your doubts/thoughts: I left my climbing gear in Kaly so it means I will return there before the irish airline company shout down their flights (within October). I just bought this at the cheap prince of euro 1180 plus 21% taxes: http://www.gebfissaggi.com/prodotti.aspx?fam=FSED&cat=ESTR020
    The 7b you spoke about at Iannis will be tested, all hangers, and rebolted.

    I disagree with you that glues are a good long term solution (titanium). if they were, Hilti would warrant for more time. Somebody should take the burden to warrant what they do. Hilti doesn’t.

    In case it matters, not a problem in Kalymnos, but check out my article. Be all readers free to use the article anywhere you want without any permission
    http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=40417%20

    Best,
    E

    OT: I do not know about real rock, but I have a significant very long experience in bonding rubber (climbing shoes): less porous (polished) is usually better than porous, since the surface area for glue to stick, is bigger.
    I also understood that your bolts are made in China? If Yes, I this is a problem. Nothing against chinese people, but I believe something must be left in western world to do, beside trading stocks; can’t you find anybody in Europe to do it?.

  24. Martin Roberts May 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Hi Emanuele,
    I’ve just checked my email again and I have definitely not received an email. I can’t be contacted by the ThaitaniumProject by the way if you have been using that address? It’s the hotmail one that’s in my post above.
    It would be a real shame for Kalymnos if RyanAir stop flights to Kos!

    I’m really interested to see photos of the bolts on that route before and after testing and video if possible. I know that would be tricky to arrange and would need two people as I do a lot of recording of tensile testing myself but it would be really interesting to see.
    The tester you have bought only goes up to 20kN though.

    I firmly believe what I said about good quality Titanium bolts fixed with good quality Epoxy resin is the best and longest lasting solution to corroding bolts.
    I have talked to Hilti UK and Hilti in a few other countries to get a worldly view and it seems they do not want us to use any of their products for rock climbing. I think it may be down to the skill needed in placing a good bolt in good rock and the variables that it may create. Maybe they just don’t want the possible liability?
    What has been proved over the last 10 years or more that where RE-500 has been used there has never been a problem.
    I don’t know how else I can convince you.

    Nice article by the way. I really like to see and hear of people doing such testing and especially making the information easily available to all.

    Personally I don’t like to see carabiners of any sort on anchors. Whether they are ‘leaver’ biners that may or may not have been dropped from a great height or even purpose made anchors. Even the latter wear out much faster than a ring that is free to rotate. I like the practice of using ones own equipment for lowering off until it comes to the last person to thread the anchor to minimise wear.

    I think I’m right about my comment on adhesion of epoxy resin being better than if ‘glued to steel’ but I’m open to correction if anybody knows better.

    Yes my bolts are currently made in China. If I understood you correctly, you say this is a problem? Please explain.

    I spent months going to meetings with various companies in and around Sheffield before I made the decision to produce so far away. I could have them produced here in my home city but they would be more than twice the price.
    After weighing up the pros and cons, I decided on getting them produced over there and have them independently tested in Sheffield.
    I have spent all my spare time over the last few weeks visiting companies I think could be right for making other products related to climbing. All of these are within an hour or two drive.
    I have yet to find one that can do a quality job for a reasonable price to warrant moving production so far.
    Something has to be learned by many people, businesses, politicians here I feel. So many times I have arrived at an extremely expensive looking building with car parks full of extremely expensive cars to be told that my die will cost something in the region of £10,000 to manufacture before anything is even produced.
    I’m not sure if you are aware but Sheffield’s history is rich in the production of Steels. I have grown up here and it would please me greatly to have a quality product made here for a reasonable price.
    I am still trying and have spoken to 3 companies at length just today.
    There are a lot of Chinese companies producing cheap rubbish, this we all know but there a lot which are capable and prepared to produce a great product for a great price, not just the samples but batch after batch, year after year and I am lucky to have found one.
    My contacts are getting better all the time in the supply, production and testing areas over here and I’m quite hopeful to move production back to UK

  25. Emanuele Pellizzari May 10, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    Dear Martin,
    I re sent email.

    I know Sheffield very well, actually not the town, but the peaks (and some business for the company based in Tideswell I am sure you know). I come usually twice a year. I know the long line of empty building that used to be factories.

    Articles easily available is no a warranty that people read them (or understand what you talk about). In fact, yesterday I stole at my local cliff three of those carabiners from belays.

    The tester is expensive but we share costs with Italian Alpine Club (CAI) which I frequently collaborate. We need first to see if it works. Since I expect nuts to be locked to bolts thus:
    a) torquing force can break the bolt.
    b) there must be enough space in the tester to place a Quicklink if we test with hanger.

    Most of people do not like to untie. I agree with them; still, carabiners are a very convenient preposition that need maintainance. Most of climbers needs to understand that climbing gear do not grow on trees and need to pay for it, so CONTRIBUTE, with whom equip cliffs. That’s why I sell bolts (stainless) at almost zero margin to help equippers (I earn my living selling clothing). But it appears that average climbers, give nothing back to who prepare the routes for them and still has to complain.

    I have not against China. I do the big part of my business with Far east made products. However I strongly believe in Europe we must produce something; I strongly believe we gave to competitors (China) technologies at no cost. Saying so, it’s unlikely, unless forced, I will use and buy the very few remaining products that can still be made here from “delocalizated” production facilities. Look at carabiners: they are most made in Far east now.

    Best,
    E

    PS: if you do not get my email, let me know. Will not publish it to avoid tons of spam.

  26. Martin Roberts May 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Hi Emanuele,

    Firstly I did not get your email. You must have the wrong address. Correct address is martroberts@hotmail.com

    The majority of climbers may not read your pages but it’s great information and well worth making available for the few that do. That information filters down through friends over time and does spread awareness.
    Please get in touch next time you are over near Sheffield if you have time for a chat.

    You wrote “That’s why I sell bolts (stainless) at almost zero margin to help equippers (I earn my living selling clothing)”

    Well that sounds familiar. I have been making these Titanium bolts on exactly the same basis and for the same reasons. I earn my living as an Electrician, Property renovator/landlord.
    My passion for creating safe bolting/anchor solutions at the lowest possible cost is ever growing and keeping me very motivated. My specialty is Titanium and that’s how it’s going to continue for the foreseeable future.

    With regard to testing. you wrote : “I expect nuts to be locked to bolts thus:
    a) torquing force can break the bolt.
    b) there must be enough space in the tester to place a Quicklink if we test with hanger.”

    My view is that the hanger and bolt MUST be in place during the test otherwise it is a waste of time.
    The torqueing force you mention is the bolt and hanger in normal use and is EXACTLY how it should be tested. Exactly as it is positioned in the rock.

    Something else I think that is extremely important is using a strong steel cable with a turfor (or a 3 Ton block and tackle) and a load cell with a display (or crane scales) to pull two bolts together so you get a real test of how strong an old hanger and bolt really is in a shear pull – directly down as in a fall.
    The lower bolt must have it’s hanger turned upside down of course.
    Block and tackle :
    http://www.liftinggearprod.co.uk/lifting_gear_products_hoists-hand.htm
    Tirfor :
    http://www.liftinggearprod.co.uk/lifting_gear_products_tirfor.htm
    Crane scales :
    http://www.msiscales.com/theproducts/3460prodinfo.html

    I believe Petzl took away the hangers for testing and did not test the bolts at all which sounds like only doing half the job to me. Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong.

    To satisfy my and other peoples curiousness, it would be great to see video of the testing on those bolts.
    If you do go back to Kalymnos this year as you mentioned then I’d be happy to meet you there to help out and maybe be bring out some testing kit.

    Aris,
    I would still like to hear from you.

    Many thanks,

    Martin

  27. Emanuele Pellizzari May 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Martin,
    Emails will be forwarded to Admin, who will email to you.
    Please apologize I write in a foreign language.

    Kalymnos testing: I let you know dates in advance if you want to join. When Ryanair is cheap anyway…
    Anybody else wanting to join the test (help always welcome), let me know.

    How Petzl tested is a guess for me. But I could not care less.
    I explain the issue: I frequently test gear. I put the best examples here (in Italian but numbers are numbers):
    http://kinobi.forumup.it/viewtopic.php?t=177&mforum=kinobi

    Pulling in situ bolts is a nightmare:
    a) tester bought from HIlti a decade ago was useless. It is made for Bolts and not strong enough (peaked at 15kN).
    b) pulling hangers is a nightmare since you are at 20 meters from the ground, and it is not fun. I only have one life and I use it for climbing and family and work.
    c) this new tester appear to be “stronger” but still the space you have between the cell and the hanger is not enough to use a regular quick link. Hanger will deform and I can bet money, the tester will run out of excursion, so we will not have “destructive” results. French tried, no fun…http://calanques-escalade.chez-alice.fr/equipement%20sormiou.htm
    c.1) I expect we can extract hangers for 12 kN then tester give out; for me plenty, but a very low force for the result we want. Is it a good guess of they are strong enough? Most climbers still reading this topic, will want to know exactly if these bolts are “safe”, and 12 kN is “weak” for them.

    d) torquing force is something we need to talk about. Pitting get worse on Stainless if you “pull” the metal. Tighting the nut, pulls the bolt, increasing pitting. Yeah man. If you don’t tighten the nut, hangers rotate and people get scared. Evidence show that a barely hammered into bolt, give the same “cut” strenght that a tightened bolt. Tighting the correct torquing force give the best strenght only in extraction. Most bolts work on “cut”, not extraction. Still, you need to tighter the nut, which means you “pull” the bolt so increasing pitting.
    Back to testing: if a nut is rusted, you will need to apply significant force to open it, significantly possibly “over torquing” the bolt. Over-torquing is the quickest way to break a bolt. But if we do not remove the hanger, the tester will run out of space.

    With these explanation, do not expect too usefull datas unless we are a crew of 10 willing to work one day instead of climbing. Take for granted: people will climb.
    Ciao,
    E

  28. nicolas de la vega May 10, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    i have seen quite a lot of corroded bolts myself in 2 trips in kalymnos, on panorama, sikati, secret garden…i vote for titanium

  29. Martin Roberts May 13, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    Hi Emanuele

    I have to repeat that to properly test the bolts then they must be tested in situ as they are.

    If you are going to rebolt the route anyway then you will be hanging from new bolts so nothing to worry about being 20 Metres off the ground.

    I don’t think 12kN is acceptable. It must hold in excess of 20kN in an outward pull according to UIAA and 25kN downward. The rules are there for a reason.

    Maybe you could extend the legs of your tester?

    Martin

  30. Emanuele Pellizzari May 13, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    @Martin: May be I did not explain well. I come from 2800 km away from Kalymnos, (as majority of climbers). I can book the “rest” day to rebolt and test bolts. I am not going to have all my holidays testing bolts. Re bolting a 30 meter route and test each anchor, it’s about staying 5 hours hanging on a harness. Usually you do not walk properly for a couple days after such a task. Trust me.
    This is why most climbers, complain a lot, but act very little (close to nothing).
    Ciao,
    E

  31. Aris Theodoropoulos May 14, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    I have just found the time to post photos from the bolts at route ‘Sevasti’, which I took on Friday 10 May 2013.
    ‘Sevasti’ was equipped by me in April 2004 using six RAUMER (304) bolts and hangers, two PETZL (316L?) bolts and hangers, and one RAUMER chain lower-off with 2 bolts.
    I inspected all bolts on Friday 10 May 2013. You can check out a full album with my photos from ‘Sevasti’ here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/112713661226599375215/albums/5877786449277422081

    Overall, I found everything in great shape as you can see in the photos. Only a few washers have a bit of rust: http://www.google.gr/imgres?imgurl=http://www.kmproducts.co.uk/images/repair-washer-8mm.jpg&imgrefurl=http://thedailypulp.blogspot.com/2006/02/pacenti-headed-to-rehab.html&h=380&w=416&sz=37&tbnid=1uf3586NSqSkKM:&tbnh=132&tbnw=144&zoom=1&usg=__EaxLKiU-cD-ouKJAo_lodeLz3hE=&docid=7iRavcCakhHnEM&hl=el&sa=X&ei=hRuSUdChH–g7Abh34G4CQ&sqi=2&ved=0CGgQ9QEwBg&dur=10
    As Emanuele argues, this is primarily because the quality of the washer is different than the quality of the bolts and hangers. For me, these bolts are as good as new and can probably last at least 10 more years.

    On the lower hanger of the lower-off, there is some surface rust and grime looking like salt, because of the washer and the milky water that stems out from the rock there. It rubbed off just be cleaning it a bit with my t-shirt and my wrench, and hangers look fine: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/112713661226599375215/albums/5877786449277422081/5877788645692952194

    Also, I unscrewed all nuts and hangers to check out the state of the bolt carrots (just photos of the first and last):
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/112713661226599375215/albums/5877786449277422081/5877788704003806226
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/112713661226599375215/albums/5877786449277422081/5877786567840007858
    They all seem to be in excellent condition.

    I left everything in place for a future test from Emanuele, but I think the results will not be much different compared to new bolts.
    I still feel that this ‘warning’ against Kalymnos was intentional slander by John Byrnes and Martin Roberts to promote titanium, even despite the claim that they had no intention to publish the photos and that they are indeed not friends: http://www.climbing.co.za/2013/05/kalymnos-bad-bolts-warning/#comment-89174

    The numbers are too big to ignore: Kalymnos = at least 30.000 bolts Χ 10 euros each, equals 300.000 euros.
    For your information I post here a recent quote about Kalymnos by Dr. Dimitrios Karalis (National Delegate in the Safety Commission of UIAA since 2000; PhD in Mechanical Engineering from National Technical University of Athens; Lecturer in the Hellenic Naval Academy, Mechanics and Materials Division, Marine Materials; Certified Mountain Guide):

    As far as Kalymnos is concerned: Kalymnos is probably the only place in the world where annual inspection takes place and 95% of the installed bolts are in accordance with UIAA-123 standard (only a few bolts were not AISI 304/304L or 316/316L). There are not so much humidity and high temperatures. Nowadays 2,300 routes exist or….34,500+ anchoring points. The number of failures in Kalymnos is very very small compared to the number of anchoring points. And as far as I know no failure has been thoroughly investigated until now by an expert or a laboratory on the basis of the international failure analysis protocols. Thus, we cannot conclude that Kalymnos is a place where SCC breaks the bolts. Any place that has so many anchoring points will present some failures sometime.
    My opinion is that we can continue to use AISI 304/304L or 316/316L bolts in Kalymnos because of the effective cost, the ease of installation and their lifetime. But we have to be vigilant and ensure that all equippers strictly use the same Kalymnos standards: http://climbkalymnos.com/?page_id=2#equiping, and not 303 (Rockland) or non-stainless steel equipment.
    As for titanium bolts, in my opinion they should be considered in future if the following issues are resolved:
    1. Certified production by an official manufacturer plus EN and CE certificates for the bolts.
    2. Official lifetime warranty of the glue.
    3. Realistic cost.
    At the end of May the Safety Commission of UIAA has a meeting at Chamonix and they will speak and give norms or instructions about the bolt matter. Let’s wait and see what they have to say.

    • nicolas de la vega Aug 21, 2013 at 12:29 am #

      aris you shouldn’t be hanging so hard on your position, people are gonna get injured from breaking bolts soon are late in kalymnos;
      it looks like it’s only your pride talking and you know better than anybody with real corrosion experience.
      kalymnos is gonna look like crap after many rebolting and it will be your fault.
      thaitanium is the answer

  32. Martin Roberts May 15, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    I’m amazed that the lower hanger on the Sevasti anchor cleaned up so well. Especially with just a T-shirt and wrench because it looked really bad when I saw it a few weeks ago – photo 2nd down on this page.
    The photo 12 of 13 from Aris’s post is not from the Sevasti anchor though, the hanger is different and the rock is different.
    I’m shocked and disgusted that it’s suggested that I intentionally slandered Kalymnos. Please have a read through my very lengthy first post. I love the Island, it’s people, the climbing… pretty much everything really!
    I wrote “I have had 6 extremely enjoyable climbing trips to Kalymnos over the last 12 years with the latest being about a month ago. The quality of the rock and variety of rock is fantastic. Bolts are often close together and well placed”

    My Titanium bolts are not 10 Euros as quoted by Aris above. They are $9 as I stated in my first lengthy post, which is about 6.97 Euros according to Google today.
    I repeat, I do not sell them for a profit. In actual fact I am out of pocket in a financial sense. Also I have been happy to give many hundreds of hours in the very careful development, research, production, quality control, testing and shipping of these bolts. I was testing in the lab today.

    I have stated facts. I have slandered nobody. I’m not a lawyer but Aris’s accusation certainly feels like I’m being slandered or at least having a go at dragging my name through the mud.
    I would appreciate a public apology from Aris about his public accusations.

    Fact is that Stainless steels of various grades will corrode near the sea at different rates for different grades. Grade 2 Titanium will not corrode.

    Regards,
    Martin

  33. Emanuele Pellizzari May 15, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    @ Martin
    To import Titanium in Italy from China you need to pay:
    Duty TARIC 8108909099 is 7%.
    I assume shipping expenses (fixed 60 euro for custom declaration, each shipment) are about 10% of value from USA, no clue about China.
    21% VAT (Italy).
    Producer needs to add some declarations in the invoice.
    So 6,97 + shipment + duties + VAT I assume we end up to 9,64. I doubt it’s only 10% shipment However. Glue is about 1,5 euro each hole plus VAT. If you buy 200 units 60/200 is 0,33 euros.
    9,64+0,33 you can do math.
    Each point for consumer should be close to 12,5 to 13 euro.
    If we skip VAT (but with invoice it’s impossible) calculations can be done easily. Shipping VAT is doable only for very limited quantities (test).
    Ciao,
    E

  34. Martin Roberts May 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    My Titanium bolts are 6.97 Euro and are sitting in my house. That cost already includes importing them from China.
    As far as I know I can send them to anywhere in Europe without the buyer having to pay any tax.
    If I recess these bolts in to the rock I can fit 25 bolts from one pack of resin which is less than 1 Euro per bolt.
    These bolts are just as strong whether recessed in to the rock or not. If they are not then the cost of resin will be even lower.

    Regards,
    Martin

  35. Bruno FARA May 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    “I’m amazed that the lower hanger on the Sevasti anchor cleaned up so well. Especially with just a T-shirt and wrench because it looked really bad when I saw it a few weeks ago – photo 2nd down on this page.
    The photo 12 of 13 from Aris’s post is not from the Sevasti anchor though, the hanger is different and the rock is different.”
    stop the lies, you want to sell your produce titanium OK but your means … are fucking means!

  36. Emanuele Pellizzari May 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    @ Martin
    I am not arguing on this point. I am just explaining.
    If I ask you an invoice, you will have to charge me 6,97 minus VAT used the UK because we talk about INTRASTAT regulation, or add VAT. In any case you need to provide a receipt with legal value, with VAT divided from amount. So, either the price is 6,97 with VAT, or it’s without VAT that somebody has to pay.
    It’s NOT realistic people buys significant quantities without invoice, at least in my country.

    I take your suggestion for “less than one euro” per Bolt. But to me it appear on the very low spectrum of the cost since one nozzle (tube) cost on ebay 0,85 cents each (VAT included), and with my extremely limited experience with glues, is that with warm temperatures, you need to use more than one Nozzle for a route. HIlti has TGel time at 20C of 30 minutes.
    http://www.us.hilti.com/fstore/holus/techlib/docs/3.2.4_HIT-RE500-SD_p91_128r30_1.pdf
    One tube (small size) of HIlti RE500 cost about 50 euro here (vat Inclued).
    Ciao,
    E

  37. BAbycoat May 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    My! what a discussion.

    There seems to be two parallel conversations here – one specific to Kalymnos, and a second concerning general comments on bolts, glues and testing. My contribution regards Kalymnos; general bolting comments may be better hosted in a separate forum.

    The facts as I understand them are:
    - Kalymnos has some sub-optimal bolts using carbon steel, stainless 303 or faulty “Rockland” components. There have been failures in these bolts. However, these sub-optimal bolts are a small fraction of the bolts on the island
    - There is an ongoing (voluntary?) program to re-bolt using stainless 304 and 316 bolts.

    => at a minimum, this suggests that visiting climbers be aware of the potential for carbon, 303 or “Rockland” bolts.

    Now for my opinions:

    1. The original report seems to mistakenly reference SCC in Kalymnos. According to @Aris, the first picture was rusting of a carbon steel bolt, and the second was galvanic corosion of the washer.

    2. Kalymnos has a Mediterranean climate (duh!). So it won’t get the extreme corosive stresses of tropical Thailand or CaymanBrac; corosion is more likely to follow the South African and Australian experiences. SA has seen SCC failures in SS304 expansion bolts (well documented in these forums); Aus too, apparently. I’m concerned that Kalymnos could start seeing similar failures in a few years’ time. @Aris, is there any reason you’re still using SS304, instead of the longer-lasting SS316 ??

    3. SCC failures are typically in the bolt itself, not the hangars. I’m not sure whether Petzl’s tests of sample hangars will give any indication of weakness in the installed bolts … but I’m not a materials engineer.

    4. The second picture is clearly the lower hangar of Sevasti, and corresponds to photos #11/13 and 13/13 (but not 12/13!) posted by @Aris. Apparently only the washer suffered galvanic corosion, but the bolt, nut and hangar were fine. If I came across that setup while climbing I’d be very nervous – it’s impossible to tell whether any of the critical components (bolt, hangar and nut) are OK without a detailed disassembly of the anchor. I’d also be nervous that the prior corosion may have started a long-term weakness in the critical components … but again, I’m not a materials engineer.

    @LeeCujes’ “open letter” is less sensational than @JohnByrnes’. Both point to the potential for SCC in Kalymnos, and nothing posted here thus far convinces me that the island isn’t succeptible to SCC. I guess that, as with all sports climbing, bolt failures are just another objecetive risk to manage.

    Confession: I received the original report second-hand via a trusted friend I passed it on to Justin for posting here as a valid concern for the SAClimb community. I don’t even know Martin or John, and have no vested interests in titanium, Kalymnos or other.

    PS – @Aris, your bolting efforts are much aprreciated. Here’s a public commitment that when I *finally* make it to your beautiful island, I’ll contribute time and money to rebolting a route or two.

    PPS – @Bruno, please at least try to make constructive contributions to this thread.

  38. Emanuele Pellizzari May 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    @BAbycoat
    At the moment in Kaly they use 304 or 316. Big chunk is 304. Reasons were dictated by price and availability. RAUMER uses 304 and it’s the most used brand. Big super big majority of bolts in Kaly has been paid by individual climbers. Which means that price was also considered. Up to 1 year ago, few companies made 316 that could be bought in a price sensitive market. Said so, neither 304 not 316 are a “definitive” solution in long term. HOw long is long? No clue. There is significant literature that can explain the issue, but I suggest page 39 of http://www.us.hilti.com/fstore/holus/LinkFiles/hilti%20corrosion%20resistant%20fastening%20manual.pdf. 316 is better, but still issues arises.
    Said so, extensive researched done by centroinox (centre for the promotion of inox in Italy), put down that unpolished 316 is as good (or bad) as 304 polished. Text is in Italian. But I am sure you find equivalent results in English too http://www.gruppofrattura.it/pdf/ext/AIM/Anno%202005/5/005.pdf

    Best,
    E

  39. Bruno FARA May 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    @BAbycoat

    This year I have rebolted three old routes (from 1999 …not inox i think … the bolts where rusty … but so hard to break!), I bolt for years, all my routes on Kalymnos in 316 (12mm), So when a person starts a post on Kalymnos by advancing lies as arguments, faking photos … I think normal to be angry! Especially for the reason that it seems that he try onmly to promote his trade of titanium!
    I added that inox 316 is also declined in 316L and 316T (the best i ask somme info on the price at Hilti),
    Also about the glue, the product I use in France for equipment! RE500 is the best … it is a very fluid product … which makes it difficult to use in the overhangs! The main trouble for using glue on kalymnos is that this product has a limited shelf life, and also a problem of conservation (heat or cold), also it is very expensive (more than 50€ …for About 10 seals) and mainly get this product to Kalymnos is probably very difficult!

  40. Martin Roberts May 21, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    Bruno,
    I have not lied about anything and I have not faked any photos.
    Are you suggesting that I have or somebody else?
    RE-500 is much cheaper in UK and other parts of Europe, maybe you could source it from there?

    Best regards,
    Martin

  41. Francis May 21, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to everyone’s comments individually. Everyone has an opinion here and there is obviously a great wealth of knowledge amongst us all.

    I will certainly send you the images of the titanium bolts load tested to failure using RE 500 resin. I think they may well be old Ushba era bolts but I have a video of the pull test. My puller was custom built by Jim Titt, is man portable (i.e can test on the rock face) and will load up to 80kN.

    The HY – 150 tests were conducted using Jim’s resin bolts; 8mm * 80mm, 316 grade and held the EN / UIAA test but are ridficulously strong with RE 500. The choice is a no brainer really. I have pull test videos of that too.

    Hilti have certainly never ‘endorsed’ their resin systems for use with rock climbing anchors. I started bolting when I was 14 in the UK and that was definately the stance Hilti UK had then. The BMC however in their funded abseil station / lower off program in conjunction with DMM, used Hilti then so I have no particular concerns in that regard.

    Whilst I use 316 resin bolts with RE 500, I am interested in your titanium bolts because in comparisons, Ti will outlast stainless in terms of metal resistance to nasty environmental factors.

    Obtaining an EN or UIAA rating as I understand involves sending samples to DAV and their tester subjecting the samples to the specified loads. I have been told that gaining ‘stamps’ requires sufficient samples tested and that was always a challenge for a titanium product due to the cost.

    I’ll pm you anyway.

    Thanks all,

    Francis

  42. Francis May 21, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    An issue with HY-150 is that it gels so quickly that the bond with the rock wall inside the hole can be compromised if gluing is done in warm conditions or if the foil pack is already warm. I’e the resin can’t flow around the bolt and rock. The size of the aggregate is also similar to the size of the stamped grooves on Fixe’s glue in bolt so I would certainly avoid using this resin with that type of bolt. I had lower pull results with that bolt too as compared to RE 500.

  43. John Byrnes May 22, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Hi BAbycoat. A good post. Please pardon me, but I’d like to respond to it in order to keep people THINKING about the issues and facts instead of closing their minds.

    @Babycoat: “1. The original report seems to mistakenly reference SCC in Kalymnos. According to @Aris, the first picture was rusting of a carbon steel bolt, and the second was galvanic corosion of the washer.”

    Unfortunately it’s quite difficult for a lay-person to tell the difference between rusting carbon steel and the visible corrosion associated with SCC. Look at the photo of the “rusty” Kalymnos bolt reposted below. See the bubbly rust-covered section on the hanger? Compare that to the bubbly rust-covered section on the hanger from Cayman Brac, right. This 304L hanger has SCC confirmed by formal metallurgical analysis, as I posted earlier.

    Stress Corrosion Cracking

    Between myself and several of the Thailand equippers, we’ve seen many thousands of corroded stainless steel bolts of all grades, manufacturers and designs. So take another look at the photo of the Kalymnos bolt. See that black bubbly ring between the hanger and the washer? See it repeated where the bolt comes out of the nut? That “Black Stuff” is a black flag waving. Take a closer look at several of the Sevasti bolt photos.

    The Black Stuff does not mean that the bolt will break tomorrow. It could be several years before it’s actually unsafe, but you can’t tell. I’ve had several dozen bolts break while re-bolting (just using them to hold me close to the cliff) and most of them looked better than the Kalymnos bolt pictured. Personally, I would not trust it.

    @BAbycoat: “2. Kalymnos has a Mediterranean climate (duh!). So it won’t get the extreme corosive stresses of tropical Thailand or CaymanBrac; corosion is more likely to follow the South African and Australian experiences.”

    True. Thailand saw high-grade stainless bolts break in as little as 9 months. That’s extreme! On the Brac, 18 months. On Kalymnos, apparently, about 10 years. Why? Kalymnos is significantly cooler as you say. It also gets less rainfall and runoff from rain is a key ingredient for all corrosion. Thus, corrosion reactions proceed more slowly. This is why I said we had been anticipating finding SCC in Kalymnos for years.

    @BAcoat: “SA has seen SCC failures in SS304 expansion bolts (well documented in these forums); Aus too, apparently. I’m concerned that Kalymnos could start seeing similar failures in a few years’ time. @Aris, is there any reason you’re still using SS304, instead of the longer-lasting SS316 ??“”

    A good point. Yes, 316 and 316L will last longer. But they will still fail eventually. Here’s an out-take from a formal analysis of a 316L hanger.

    Stress Corrosion Cracking closeup

    A question that must be asked, if you replace stainless with stainless, is how many times do you want to rebolt? When your children are climbing and there’s 5 “rusty” bolts for each clip all connected by webbing, or there’s so many old holes that the latest bolt can’t be reached from the best clipping stance, what will you tell them?

    @BAbycoat: “3. SCC failures are typically in the bolt itself, not the hangars. I’m not sure whether Petzl’s tests of sample hangars will give any indication of weakness in the installed bolts…”

    Obviously, as in the photos above, hangers definitely do crack from SCC. Whether the bolt or hanger cracks first cannot be predicted. At least not right now. I’ve seen hangers break and the stud look fine. I’ve seen studs break off when the hanger looks perfect.

    @BAbycaot: “@LeeCujes’ “open letter” is less sensational than @JohnByrnes’. Both point to the potential for SCC in Kalymnos, and nothing posted here thus far convinces me that the island isn’t succeptible to SCC. I guess that, as with all sports climbing, bolt failures are just another objecetive risk to manage.”

    A good attitude. Management requires knowledge and I hope this post educates you about some things to look for when you go climbing.

  44. Martin Roberts May 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi Francis,
    I can’t see a PM so maybe I’m not fully registered on this site, I’m really not sure.
    I think it’s best if you email me at the hotmail address in one of my previous posts.

    I agree, Hilti never have and still don’t endorse their products for climbing. I have had many discussions with various people at Hilti for years about that but they are not going to budge it seems.
    What they do offer is a “life expectancy” of 50 years for RE-500.
    It seems like common sense to me that if Hilti are advertising that they expect it to last 50 years, then they actually expect it to last longer with safety margins etc. It also seems sensible that it would last an extremely long time given that it is waterproof and chemically inert once cured after 24 hours or so.
    In my most recent email from Hilti this week, it was written :
    “I do not see any concern about referencing our approval to establish the longevity of the resin mortar. It can be argued that when the resin is used for installing reinforcing bars, that is using it with a rod from another source with the resin and that is what you are doing.”

    The bolts you tested were probably one of the Russian copies that were around between Ushba and mine. As far as I know, Ushba ones had their name printed on in black.
    I’ve been really happy with the welded P bolts based on the old Ushba design and I’ve never had a failure with the same company I’ve been using for the past few years. I’ve got an ever increasing bag of pulled apart bolts, test results, photos and video. I have not gone to the expense of having them EN certified. It’s just been to pass them on to friends and friends of friends on a non profit basis so far.
    Right now I’m going down the route of having a new, more complex and better designed Titanium bolt produced right here in Sheffield and it is my hope that it will be going through certification. It won’t be the cheapest bolt around but it will be the longest lasting.

    I look forward to your email.

    Kind regards,
    Martin

  45. Emanuele Pellizzari May 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    @John Byrnes

    A few thoughts…
    The 5 (five) cases of SCC in Sardinia (on an extimate 5000/7000 Routes) appeared on yellow rock. So rain appears to be a positive thing since it “rinse” the bolts. May be too much rain is just too much. As far as I know no issues on grey (rain) rock.
    In Europe we use mostly 304 for these reasons:
    a) so far, number of SCC roptures is a very minor number.
    b) Fixe and Raumer makes their hangers with 304 to name the bigger producers.
    c) the companies making 316 (Petzl) sell them a such a high price equippers cannot afford them. Simply put, that’s it.

    @ Martin
    Do not confuse EN norms with CE certification. CE certification is a pricely procedure that cost around 1500 euro once, plus something like 250/300 euro each year. It depends on lab (notify body). EN norm cost nothing (if you fullfill the norm).

  46. Francis May 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    Hi Martin,

    I’ve sent you an email to martroberts@hotmail.com but you haven’t received it?

    Ping me at francishaden@yahoo.co.uk

    Cheers

  47. John Byrnes Jun 4, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    @Emanuele Pellizzari

    In Cayman Brac any rock that is less than vertical and receives direct rain, is also grey and is also so f**king sharp that you don’t want to climb it. Some of the early routes went into the grey rock, and those bolts were completely corroded and broke in 4-5 years.

    Rain is pure, and yes, it can rinse off the bolts. However, once rain comes in contact with limestone and dissolves some of it, it becomes corrosive “runoff”. Mg, Ca, Na, Cl ions, among several others, are carried down the surface of the rock in the runoff and end up on the bolts. As the rain evaporates, the ions recombine, and Mg and Ca concentrate the Cl much more highly than Na (regular salt). SCC eventually follows.

    Is your yellow rock overhanging like our white rock?

    One thing to understand is that, in general, the further the runoff travels down the rock, the more highly concentrated the corrosive elements become. Thus bolts lower down on the rock are exposed to more highly concentrated Mg and Ca salts. Unfortunately, these low bolts are also the ones who see higher fall-factors.

    Also, bolts in overhanging rock have a tendency to divert the runoff onto themselves. This can also cause one bolt to become cracked while others nearby are okay.

    My opinion is that, since you have SCC there, eventually all the bolts will corrode and break. With so many factors involved (alloy, rain, temperature, rock composition, vegetation, local geometry, etc.) it’s impossible to say when they will break, but I think they will.

    My recommendation is, when it becomes necessary to rebolt, to use titanium bolts. They will cost about the same as 316 stainless, and will be safe when your great-great grandchildren are warming up on 9a.

  48. BAbycoat Jun 13, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    @Emanuele Pellizzari

    bolt-products have 316 bolts at reasonable prices (and great customer service!). I use them regularly. Might not last as long as Ti, but they’re a load better than sticking to 304.

  49. Emanuele Pellizzari Jun 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    @ John: I was in Sardinia. So far, places bolted about 10 to 15 years ago, appears to be “ok”. Some Zinc plated glue ins showed some signs of rust at Masua, a place that it gets a significant spray from the sea. Hangers were “whiteish” from salt. I agree with you that one day they will break. I do not think they will be rebolted with Titanium given the experience they had with glue ins. I would expect 1.4529 bolts and hangers.

    @ BAbycoat: I know Titt’s products. As far as i could see, he does not make any hanger. Their bolts in 316 are significantly more expensive than 304, and one day, will break anyway. A significant number of people does not want to use glue-ins.

    • Jim Titt Jun 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Our 316 bolts (actually dual certified 316/316L) cost 5% more than our 304 bolts, hardly “significantly” more expensive especially considering the material is 22% more expensive.
      I doubt we will see a lot of people using 1.4529 bolts unless the price drops considerably, they currently cost 20X the price of a 316 bolt and no compatible hangers are available. The raw material itself is more expensive than grade 2 titanium.

  50. Emanuele Pellizzari Jun 29, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    @ Jim Titt: good to hear.

    Your bolts in 316 are significantly more expensive than cost of 304 bolts in my market.

    My cost for 1.4529 is 8X the cost of 304. You can do math on 316.
    I couldn’t find anybody making hangers, of willing to make a “reasonable” quantity of hangers in that material, which prevented any further discussion. It looks like the issue is “minimums”. At given stage, cost of a bolt plus hanger in 1,4529 could be about the cost of a glue ins in T2 (including glue, gun, etc). Cost is not the issue, hassle is the issue with glue ins.
    I expect till UIAA does not make any classification according to their web site, there will not be development on this field. Saying so I am back in Sardinia in fall and will bolt a multipitch route ground up on the sea with 1,4529 plus hangers in any material, to see how corrosion evolves..
    Ciao,
    E

    • Jim Titt Jun 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      We must be talking in cents here as a price difference unless there is someone doing some incredible discounts in Italy! The cheapest other bolt I know of is the Raumer Superstar in 304 which goes for €3.50 each or €3.35 for 50 or more here whereas my 316 bolt costs €3.62 each down to €2.90 for larger orders.
      You are right about the 1.4529 bolts, I was looking at the price I would pay for them both, not the retail price, right now around 8 to 10 times the cost of a 316 bolt-in to the end user (no idea about 304 bolt-ins as we don´t sell them).

  51. Emanuele Pellizzari Jul 1, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    @ Jim:
    On a web site: Glue in RAUMER old 304 10X80 is 2,70€. Bolt M10X86 in 316L is 1,80 €. Glue in RAUMER 8X80 316L is 2,50. Vat 21% included.
    Ciao,
    E

  52. Martin Roberts Dec 13, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    For people interested in certified Titanium bolts feel free to visit :
    http://www.titanclimbing.com

    Have fun and climb safely people,
    Martin

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