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Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:41 pm
by Justin
Do bad bolts make you climb harder?

Picture the scene:
You're approaching the crux, feeling good, you grab the good hold and clip the bolt above your head in preparation for the crux.
You pull up and come face to face with something that resembles a rusted blob of metal (with a shiny hanger attached).

Do you:
- grab the draw
- down climb
- pull harder and make sure to clip the next bolt!

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:47 am
by brianweaver
Personally, I'd have to say it would depend on two things: am I about to onsight the line (is it within my ability to onsight) and how high about the ground am I? If it's near the ground and the line is supposed to be outside of my comfortable onsight limit; I might climb into the crux and then downclimb once or twice. But if the bolt is high about the ground and the fall is safe I'd just go for it and hope it holds :)

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:46 am
by Licare
Justin wrote:Do bad bolts make you climb harder?

Picture the scene:
You're approaching the crux, feeling good, you grab the good hold and clip the bolt above your head in preparation for the crux.
You pull up and come face to face with something that resembles a rusted blob of metal (with a shiny hanger attached).

Do you:
- grab the draw
- phen375 scam
- pull harder and make sure to clip the next bolt!
hmm.. that scenario made me think. for me, i will pull harder and make sure to clip the next bolt. doing such a climb is not a joke so there is no reason for me to stop climbing. i'll just continue it with a mind thinking that i can surpass it. whatever it takes!

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:33 pm
by BAbycoat
Downclimb, no questions asked.

It's not about this bolt ... it's about all those above, and all those below.

Rusted blob + shiny hangar = probably galvanic corrosion. Which means poor hardware selection. And if this bolt is affected, it's entirely possible that the rest of the route is affected.

I'd rather lick psychological wounds than lick physical wounds.

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:35 am
by mokganjetsi
or if you're desperate to try the route, scope out if it takes some trad gear to supplement the bolts with - and make sure the gear is good & spaced enough to keep you off the ground....

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:02 am
by Justin
Below is a pic of one of the bolts on Thruster...
Safe or not? What do you think.

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:07 am
by Old Smelly
The carabiner looks quite bad... :jocolor:

The bolt looks ok - this seems to be the good side of galvanic corrosion - the bolt is sacrificing the hanger. It would be interesting to see if the hanger is a form of stainless - generally it is hard to get something that is not.

This is what I would do:

Replace Hanger with a stainless one. Put a hard plastic washer between the nut and the hanger. Use a stainless Nyloc nut to hold everything in place. Torque the Nut until it is really tight (maybe a commonly accepted Torque is required here - I found the value of 25Nm when I did a web search but that is very high).

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:57 am
by Justin
The biner is getting on, but its a good workhorse.

Well called Old Smelly!

The bolts actually appeared to be in good condition. So for better or for worse, we (thanks Ryan) replaced the three remaining old bolts on Thruster (I still need to go back and replace two of the hangers - as I was short on the day). The old 'Fixe' hangers appear really bad in appearance.

I did try and crank one of the hangers off, and despite some serious pulling down could not break the bolt off.

Bolts and new hangers sponsored by the Montagu Bolting Fund.

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:43 pm
by Marshall1
It looks like normal rust. Google shows that Fixe makes steel electro plated hangers. This is the likely scenario in Justin's pic.

The other possibility, Fixe makes 304 SS painted/powder coated hangers.

SS corrodes, the corrosion forms a layer that protects(slows down) the SS from further corrosion. Painting or coating SS interferes with the formation of the protective layer leading to less corrosion resistance.

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:12 pm
by Justin
Here is a closeup of the hanger - note the metal at the bottom of the hanger - the hanger (and bolt) is +24 years old!

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:04 pm
by mokganjetsi
Old Smelly wrote:The bolt looks ok - this seems to be the good side of galvanic corrosion - the bolt is sacrificing the hanger.
does this not make a good case for using hangers that are more prone to rust than bolts? my understanding is that the bolt will last longer, and one can just replace the hangers every few years?

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:21 pm
by Justin
mokganjetsi wrote:Does this not make a good case for using hangers that are more prone to rust than bolts? my understanding is that the bolt will last longer, and one can just replace the hangers every few years?
I'm no expert. I have only seen these particular Fixe hangers giving this problem (possibly a bad/different batch/environment) - that said, it could be the bolt affecting the hanger?
Which is why we have a standard for bolts in ZA - we don't have a standard for hangers.

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:52 am
by mokganjetsi
It is a question of the nobility of the bolt vs the hanger, as raised here:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=14402&p=66205&hili ... ire#p66205

what I'm wondering about is whether or not it really is such a bad thing if the wearing part of the anchors are of a lower nobility - my understanding is that the bolt will rust even less if that's the case. One can then simply replace the lower grade hangers / chains every few years. Or is there a reason why this is a bad idea?

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:43 am
by Old Smelly
The way I see it the best solution is matching like to like.

Electroplating/ galvanising is very low grade and will always rust badly (particularly near the sea - when it will only last months) - stainless will not rust at anywhere near the same rate, so given that you may have salt laden moist air I still think the best is to match the two because then the galvanic side is eliminated and you only have NORMAL Corrosion - no electro chemistry at all.

I suspect that in truly coastal sites one needs 316 all round and one should not go to a 316 bolt with 304 hangers but that would be the better way around. Even better still would be to put in the plastic washer between the hanger and nyloc bolt and apply the right torque.

In the world of Engineering one would love to only use 316 components and Nordlock washers...


What a wonderful world that would be...

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:04 am
by Justin
I asked a friend who knows about things that are metal...

I think the hanger was originally plated (galvanized), and you're seeing the steel underneath it now after the galvanizing has finally been used up protecting the hanger.
It will continue to corrode, and eventually be too thin to support a big fall.
If you look at the photo, it LOOKS like coating, eh?

And Fixe does make galvanized hangers.
http://www.verticoutdoor.co.uk/fixe-fix ... _store=esp

I think the bolt is probably stainless steel: 304 I bet.

You can confirm that, by seeing if the hanger is strongly magnetic.
And if the nut is not very magnetic.

Steel is very magnetic, and 300 series is only weakly magnetic.

I don't think it's because of a galvanic reaction per se, although sure, it wasn't GOOD for it to have the two dissimilar materials in contact.

The worst case is brought about by the relative surface areas of two dissimilar materials, where the more "noble" (or cathodic) stainless steel is a BIGGER area than the least noble (or anodic).
This happens when you have a BIG surface area of stainless steel in contact with a SMALL area of zinc/galvanized steel.

That happens with a 304/316 hanger and a galvanized washer, nut or both.
That's VERY bad.

But this is the other way round, and it actually make the effect of galvanic corrosion somewhat less severe.

So I think you would have seen this even if a zinc coated bolt had been used.


I will go replace/retrieve the hangers and nuts (nuts should be somewhere!?)

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:39 am
by Old Smelly

Re: Bad bolt = pull harder

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:37 pm
by Justin
Old Smelly wrote: Here is an excellent article;

http://www.climbing.com/people/built-to-last/
:thumleft: :thumleft: