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Armed Robbery's 25 year old 3/8ths Rawl 5 Piece bolts with tons of hard falls on them.
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Mar 23, 2014
These bolts were replaced yesterday 25 years after I placed them. Both have had many fifteen to 20 foot whippers on them. The first two photos show the bolt my buddy took a 20 footer on just before replacing it yesterday. The last two photos show the bolt most people fall on. There is about 30-35 feet of rope out so the falls can be hard.

The shiny bit near the head is a result of unscrewing them while hanging on the hanger.

Rust level seems light considering it is in a wetter environment by AZ standards, north face with annual stream below. Just surprised at how good they look. I would give this another 25 years. But they have been replaced with ASCA 1/2 inch rawl 5 Piece bolts. Check those in 2114!

These images make me feel safer as the durability of these things seems good. It would be nice to do some scientific testing of these since we have a pretty good history on these. Better to trust science rather than faith, anecdotal evidence and my personnel hunch.
Minimal rust for a 25 yr. old bolt.
Minimal rust for a 25 yr. old bolt.


Near the head where the force of the falls impacts...
Near the head where the force of the falls impacts the bolt shaft.


This bolt takes the bulk of falls on this 45 foot ...
This bolt takes the bulk of falls on this 45 foot route. Damage to hanger is due to my trying to remove it and the parts below surface. That didn't work out so I drilled another hole.


This shows the impact area of the hanger on the bo...
This shows the impact area of the hanger on the bolt. Again it is shiny from unscrewing it with weight on it.
1Eric Rhicard
Joined Feb 15, 2006
8,638 points
Mar 23, 2014
One Way Sunset
mountainproject.com/v/armed-ro... Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Joined Aug 15, 2006
77 points
Mar 23, 2014
Toofast
Nice Eric!

I am glad to hear they were in good shape. If you want to pull test those things at my place I would be glad to help.
Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Joined Jun 7, 2006
3,344 points
Apr 1, 2014
Licking the cat with googly-eyes.
Ah... That bolt held my first big whip. *Sniffle*

Thanks for doing a fantastic bolt job the first time, EFR, and for going back to spiff it up again!
Eric Sophiea
Joined Aug 30, 2012
292 points
Apr 1, 2014
Eric, send em my way & we'll get some tests run. A good friend of mine at Colorado State has just developed a testing rig and we're looking for replaced bolts of a known vintage to test. The hope is to get enough data to be able to get a sense of when to start replacing bolts. I've unscrewed about 200 Rawls like the ones in the pics to swap out cold shuts for commercial hangers & most looked like the ones in your pics, not exactly rusted out yet. You can reach me at my work email - tod.anderson@cms.hhs.gov & we can arrange other details. Tzilla Rapdrilla
Joined Jan 20, 2006
1,062 points
Apr 1, 2014
BD Fuel
Were these bolts installed without the washer? rocknice2
From Montreal, Quebec
Joined Nov 27, 2006
2,993 points
Apr 2, 2014
No washer, haha. With the SMC Hanger the washer didn't always fit.

Will PM you Tdzilla.
1Eric Rhicard
Joined Feb 15, 2006
8,638 points
Apr 2, 2014
Mixed metal(SS and plated steel); 25 years old; 'a wetter environment by AZ standards,' etc.

These bolts seem to be a good demonstration that all the hype surrounding 'galvinic corrosion' is just that. Hype.
Bruce Hildenbrand
Joined Apr 18, 2003
828 points
Apr 2, 2014
In the traverse section, double rainbow in the bac...
Bruce Hildenbrand wrote:
Mixed metal(SS and plated steel); 25 years old; 'a wetter environment by AZ standards,' etc. These bolts seem to be a good demonstration that all the hype surrounding 'galvinic corrosion' is just that. Hype.

Nowhere does it say the hangers nor bolts are stainless. 25 year old vintage seems likely that both are plated. Galvanic corrosion is a scientific fact, not "hype".
Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
Joined Jan 14, 2011
377 points
Apr 2, 2014
Alex,

the SMC hanger is indeed stainless steel. I have been using them on FA's for over 25 years.

Yes, 'galvinic corrosion' is a scientific fact. However, the concern in the climbing community that it will occur rampantly with mixed metal is, IMHO, hype. Again, take a look at Eric's bolt. All of the conditions for supposedly causing galvinic corrosion and only minimal rust. That's also scientific. It's called proof of concept.
Bruce Hildenbrand
Joined Apr 18, 2003
828 points
Administrator
Apr 2, 2014
A Very Not Snowy Christmas...
Bruce Hildenbrand wrote:
Mixed metal(SS and plated steel); 25 years old; 'a wetter environment by AZ standards,' etc. These bolts seem to be a good demonstration that all the hype surrounding 'galvinic corrosion' is just that. Hype.


There are some bolts here in CT that were mixed and placed about 5 years ago. When we unexpectedly rapped down to them no one in our party would dare clip them. The flaking metal and horrendous rust was plenty evidence for us that it's not hype. At least certainly not in the Northeast.
Morgan Patterson
Joined Oct 13, 2009
8,420 points
Apr 2, 2014
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
thats practically a brand new bolt --- arizona isnt exactly a wet area though, so unsurprising. Good on ya for replacing with new bolts though!! rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Joined Dec 20, 2009
253 points
Apr 2, 2014
Stainless hanger and non stainless bolt. It is interesting that some mixed metals have the reaction visible on the nut or washer and others seem new until you pull the hanger off and see the bolt down in the hole where it is rusting. I don't think we have nearly the problems here that other climates have. 1Eric Rhicard
Joined Feb 15, 2006
8,638 points
Apr 2, 2014
the man was smart
yeah I would think water would be the obvious catalyst for corrosion to occur, similar to joining copper pipe to galvanized in your house.

AZ= the driest state in the union
T Roper
From VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
Joined Mar 31, 2006
1,057 points
Apr 2, 2014
the man was smart
Morgan Patterson wrote:
There are some bolts here in CT that were mixed and placed about 5 years ago. When we unexpectedly rapped down to them no one in our party would dare clip them. The flaking metal and horrendous rust was plenty evidence for us that it's not hype. At least certainly not in the Northeast.


shit dude you were hanging on them
T Roper
From VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
Joined Mar 31, 2006
1,057 points
Apr 2, 2014
Vanagon
What you don't see is the cone or the sleeve, which has significant less metal to corrode. The bolt hardly looks affected but I would be more concerned about the condition of the cone.

EDIT: Thanks for doing the work of replacing this and any other bolts you may have done!
dameeser
From denver
Joined Sep 1, 2009
171 points
Apr 2, 2014
The problems I have seen with excessive rust (I really am careful not to call it galvinic corrosion since this is a pretty rare occurrence) is with bolts of low quality carbon steel.

Rawl/Powers 5-piece plated bolts are made of Grade 5 steel which is not the highest grade of carbon steel, but it is up there. The problem I have seen with excessive rust is with wedge bolts. There are so many different makes and in all different qualities of steel that it is really hard to make a blanket statement about what's happening with wedge bolts.

If you are doing FA's and use wedge bolts, I would strongly recommend stainless (they are only about $1/bolt). If you can't afford that, then try and buy the highest quality steel wedge bolts you can find.
Bruce Hildenbrand
Joined Apr 18, 2003
828 points


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