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Gear4Rocks Plastic Nuts Review
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By John Maguire
From Boulder, CO
Feb 1, 2011
Bastille Crack Final Pitch
Phil Lauffen wrote:
I could probably use an instron machine, but I'd have to build a grip for it... And I'm feeling lazy.


And you'd hurt your nuts...

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By Ivan Rezucha
From Fort Collins, CO
Feb 2, 2011
At Glacier Point in 1980 at 28 years old, but look...
As someone above says, plastic nuts aren't a new thing. In the mid 70s I had a couple blue single-cable plastic wedges that were made, I think, by Forrest. I also had a black cylindrical nut with tapered sides and a textured surface (like a plastic Peck Cracker?). That nut was a little sketchy. I remember a couple of times it wouldn't quite go into a crack, so I tapped it with my hammer (we carried hammers in those days) to get it to pop past a crystal. After doing that I wondered, if I could get it to squeeze past a crystal so easily, what's to keep it from coming out the same way?

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By Dane Casterson
From Boulder
Feb 2, 2011
More fun inside the Crackhouse.  Attempting to tur...
Its true, Phil hardly cried at all during the test. And we were on Mr Natural rather than captain natural. Nice job on the review Phil.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Feb 3, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Nice review Phil. You should consider submitting it on the companies website, even if only in text. They have a form for that below the product and it has no reviews.

I'm a little surprised of the speculation here on material property Vs temp and wear but nobody even asked what the polymer is.
The Gear4rocks site also doesn't say.
Phil, since you are in touch with them, would you consider asking?

My suspicion for type of failure would not be that I'd break one or pop it out, but rather that I'd shear a small amount of material in a margina placement whereas a small amount of material was in actual contact with the rock. Again, this could be something where knowing the material (and it's properties) could answer my question. If you shave off a small section of the plastic and give it to me, I can get FTIR and SEM/EDX on it and identify the polymer/co-polymer and it's filler if it has any. Curiosity is killing me. I guess I could go order my own, right?

I took a look at the site- Noted the basic cams were $30 each and the dual axle cams (like 1 down-level generation of camalot) were $40 each. No shipping no tax? Hmmm... well time will tell, but I suspect that this company will sell gear well enough across the pond. Maybe if their rep solidifies, they'll do well here too.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Feb 3, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
PS - Nice job on Kloof, clean or not, it's hard, isn't it!

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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Feb 3, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan
Tony B wrote:
Nice review Phil. You should consider submitting it on the companies website, even if only in text. They have a form for that below the product and it has no reviews. I'm a little surprised of the speculation here on material property Vs temp and wear but nobody even asked what the polymer is. The Gear4rocks site also doesn't say. Phil, since you are in touch with them, would you consider asking? My suspicion for type of failure would not be that I'd break one or pop it out, but rather that I'd shear a small amount of material in a margina placement whereas a small amount of material was in actual contact with the rock. Again, this could be something where knowing the material (and it's properties) could answer my question. If you shave off a small section of the plastic and give it to me, I can get FTIR and SEM/EDX on it and identify the polymer/co-polymer and it's filler if it has any. Curiosity is killing me. I guess I could go order my own, right? I took a look at the site- Noted the basic cams were $30 each and the dual axle cams (like 1 down-level generation of camalot) were $40 each. No shipping no tax? Hmmm... well time will tell, but I suspect that this company will sell gear well enough across the pond. Maybe if their rep solidifies, they'll do well here too.


Yea, I also wonder if a knife edge on one/both sides of the nut would shear through it. I should have brought it to the BBnight! I can definitely give you a sample to do some testing.

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By S.Stelli
From Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 3, 2011
Isn't there enough plastic crap laying around in the world? Now we will have plastic nuts stuck everywhere someone took a whipper or three?

Nice write up on the product though, scientist Phil.

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By Price
From SLC, UT
Feb 3, 2011
Most likely a type of Nylon, no?

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By CJ Coccia
From Boulder, CO
Feb 4, 2011
Acid Test at Paynes Ford
One thing I would be interested in is how more likely these pieces are to compress and squeeze out of a constriction. Though if you have a continuous constriction it will eventually catch despite how much it compresses, I am curious on how much it would slide down compared to a metal nut of similar size and placement. In other words would these have a higher possibility of compressing and slipping outside of constrictions that are not so long and continuous?

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Feb 4, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Well, if you know the modulus of the material you can answer that question...

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Feb 4, 2011
Tony B wrote:
Well, if you know the modulus of the material you can answer that question...


Not really. It is quite a bit more complex than a single number.

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By CJ Coccia
From Boulder, CO
Feb 4, 2011
Acid Test at Paynes Ford
id imagine it is also influenced by the shape/curvature of the nut as well as the difference in side frictions between the two materials

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Feb 4, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
DannyUncanny wrote:
Not really. It is quite a bit more complex than a single number.

Of course it depends on the shape and material anisotropy, yes, I understand. And also the point of material failure.
But you can get a very good idea if is is close to AL or a small fraction of it.
My point is that if you know the material, all else follows.

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By Tim Hadfield
From Steamboat Springs, Co
Feb 4, 2011
Easy stuff at Rifle
Great review! I would probably use these nuts based on what I've seen here so far. I was wondering if these little wonders would be ok in areas that have an ethical standard of knots, slung horns and threads? Not that I will be traveling to any place like that in the near future. Just curious.

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By Adam Paashaus
From Greensboro, North Carolina
Feb 4, 2011
After you get done climbing be sure to head up to ...
CJ Coccia wrote:
In other words would these have a higher possibility of compressing and slipping outside of constrictions that are not so long and continuous?


Most likely the reason they only come in the bigger sizes.

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By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Feb 4, 2011
Whaaaat?
My guess is UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight) polyethylene.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-hi...

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By Niki
From Joshua Tree, CA/Healy, AK
Feb 7, 2011
climbing
Nice job! Have you tried out their cams?

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By Craig T
From Chicago, IL
Feb 8, 2011
What about UV damage and overall shelf life? I think it would ease a lot of people's mind if they listed their materials.

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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Feb 9, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan
Well, the answer I got back from gear4rocks regarding the material is that they are a polyamide, which many people here already guessed.

Regarding UV damage I think that the safe thing to do would be to treat them as all other gear and retire them if they have been in the sun too long.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Feb 9, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Could be Nylon-6, could be Nylon-6,6, could be Kevlar.
FTIR would make it obvious if it had the benzene response.

Same offer as before- with a shaving of it, I could tell you.

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By crackers
Feb 11, 2011
Tony B wrote:
Could be Nylon-6, could be Nylon-6,6, could be Kevlar. FTIR would make it obvious if it had the benzene response. Same offer as before- with a shaving of it, I could tell you.


Nah, it couldn't be Kevlar as the stuff falls apart with UV exposure. (check section II, page 13 of the linked .pdf...)

My bet would be straight Nylon-6 but making some from UMWPE would be funny...Maybe if I get bored next fall.

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By Pete Spri
Mar 3, 2011
We use a material called Delrin in my job for keels in prosthetic feet. This is used for a mid-grade foot and can withstand many, many cycles before it breaks. Here is a link to it under its chemical name. I think it fits the description very well.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyoxym...

"POM is characterized by its high strength, hardness and rigidity to -40 Celsius. POM is intrinsically opaque white, due to its high crystalline composition, but it is available in all colors. POM has a density of = 1.410 - 1.420 g / cm3.[2]"
"These units resist chain cleavage, because the O-linkage is now no longer an acetal group, but an ether linkage, which is stable to hydrolysis."

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By Brian Adzima
From San Francisco
Mar 3, 2011
somewhere in WV
How accurate do you have to know the modulus? Getting a modulus greater than 2 or 3 GPa is pretty unheard of for a pure polymer.

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By Ogre
Mar 3, 2011
NNEEEEEEERRRRRRRDDDDSSSS!!!!!

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Mar 4, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Brian Adzima wrote:
How accurate do you have to know the modulus? Getting a modulus greater than 2 or 3 GPa is pretty unheard of for a pure polymer.

Tony B wrote:
If you shave off a small section of the plastic and give it to me, I can get FTIR and SEM/EDX on it and identify the polymer/co-polymer and it's filler if it has any.

"polymer/co-polymer and it's filler if it has any."

That's the big question.
Many of the polymers thrown out there as suggestions here have common fillers.

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