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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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By 1Eric Rhicard
Mar 23, 2014
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo

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


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 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 bolt.  Again it is shiny from unscrewing it with weight on it.
This shows the impact area of the hanger on the bolt. Again it is shiny from unscrewing it with weight on it.


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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Mar 23, 2014
One Way Sunset

www.mountainproject.com/v/armed-robbery/105927598


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
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.


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By Eric Sophiea
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!


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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
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.


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By rocknice2
From Montreal, Quebec
Apr 1, 2014
BD ice tool fusion2

Were these bolts installed without the washer?


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By 1Eric Rhicard
Apr 2, 2014
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo

No washer, haha. With the SMC Hanger the washer didn't always fit.

Will PM you Tdzilla.


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By Bruce Hildenbrand
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.


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By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
Apr 2, 2014

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".


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By Bruce Hildenbrand
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.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Apr 2, 2014
Stoked...

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.


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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Apr 2, 2014
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protect between Bolt 2/3 just post crux . <br /> <br />Picture credit goes to eric Singleton, and many thanks to Josh Bagget for the great belay.

thats practically a brand new bolt --- arizona isnt exactly a wet area though, so unsurprising. Good on ya for replacing with new bolts though!!


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By 1Eric Rhicard
Apr 2, 2014
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo

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.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Apr 2, 2014
modern man

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


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Apr 2, 2014
modern man

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


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By dameeser
From denver
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!


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By Bruce Hildenbrand
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.


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