Author Topic: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?  (Read 552 times)

Offline Madness

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A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« on: April 14, 2019, 08:59:59 am »
As there seems to be a long standing issue with the availability of suitable anchors, why doesn't the BCA use some of it's considerable bank balance to develope a new forged stainless steel anchor?

They could even join forces with the BMC and jointly develope one.

Simon Wilson has developed a very good anchor, but I don't think that he has plans to make it commercially available.

If the BCA developed one, perhaps it could even be sold commercially to help recover development costs. Having said that, there shouldn't really be much deveopement cost as we already know roughly what's needed. The main up front cost would be in the tooling required to forge these.

A forging company may even be prepared to cover the cost of producing and maintaining tooling if they can be convinced that they will sell enough of the forgings.

It might be something worth looking into.

Offline Cripplecreeker

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 10:19:00 am »
There’s already a commercially available, forged, stainless steel anchor: https://m.petzl.com/US/en/Professional/Anchors/COLLINOX

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Offline Pete K

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2019, 10:57:17 am »
What's wrong with the BP anchor? We've got no shortage of them, I was sticking a load in under Derbyshire yesterday.

Online owd git

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 11:34:28 am »
Collinox guarantee 3 years? lots of re-bolting ad infinitum.  :thumbsup:
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Offline andrewmc

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 11:47:13 am »
As there seems to be a long standing issue with the availability of suitable anchors, why doesn't the BCA use some of it's considerable bank balance to develope a new forged stainless steel anchor?

Caving is far too small a market for this to be a serious financial investment, I think. We probably use far fewer anchors per (sport) climber than in climbing, and climbing is a much, much larger market for anchors than caving anyway.

The BMC would probably take the line 'excellent commercial anchors are available, why would we spend lots of money developing our own with all the requisite risks and commercial effort required? Why would we be any better placed to do this than the existing manufacturers?'.

I've never understood why anyone wouldn't like the BP anchor - it's cheap, it has a nice smooth clip-in, it's stronger (radially) than some anchors we use _even if you don't glue it in_ (due to the mechanics of the twisted legs untwisting), I haven't heard of any loose anchors in UK caves (unlike the home-grown product, which unsurprisingly as a new product has had a few), the twisted legs gives excellent glue bond but also enough glue mass for the resin to heat properly...

Oh wait - if you pull a (correctly installed, entirely fine) anchor out of a wall it makes a bit of a mess (because BP anchors really like to stay put. My solution - don't pull the bloody things out. In reality, this is never done anyway as it is far too difficult in practice; they get angle-ground off...

Offline Madness

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2019, 01:18:03 pm »
Petzl Collinox are pretty expensive at £12+ per anchor.

Bolt Products as has been said are not easy to remove and replace. It's all well and good grinding them off, but if you can't re-use the hole then sooner or later you'll run out of ideal placement positions or decent rock in which to put them. That's the case both above and below ground. Go to some of the sport climbing crags in the Peak and you'll see the evidence of climbs being originally bolted, then re-bolted a couple of times. It would be much better to pull an old anchor out, clean up the hole and re-use it.

If you look at what is currently manufactured by forging companies you'll find current products not a million miles away from what we'd need. Who knows, one forging company could already be making exactly what we need.

Offline gardouth

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2019, 01:27:26 pm »
You can find lots of information about BCA approved anchors here: https://cncc.org.uk/fixed-aids/

One of the reasons the IC anchor was produced was the requirement for a smaller hole. The various other generations of 'P' resin anchors required an 18mm hole whereas the IC anchor requires a 12mm hole. The advantage is that it saves a lot of battery power and a smaller drill can be used. They are also laser cut from a single solid sheet of stainless steel then finished by hand.

There is a lot of history of anchor choosing and testing, some of which can be found on the CNCC website. Although I am an IC and BP installer, I don't profess to be an expert in the history. Simon Wilson is there man for that, he has done huge amounts of research into anchors (and developed the IC anchor).
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Offline MarkS

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2019, 03:09:33 pm »
There is not a particular shortage of anchors available currently. There are significant stocks of BP anchors available in the different regions, and plenty of IC anchors in the Dales.

The BCA E&T group are currently also testing Climbing Technology Glue-In anchors, which also look to fit the general requirements for use in the anchor scheme. These anchors have only become available relatively recently.

If justification can be made for the financial cost of pursuing the design, testing and manufacture of an alternative anchor rather than buying those available, and if someone wants to put in the time to do all this, I'm sure they would be well supported by BCA.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2019, 03:20:24 pm »
Bolt Products as has been said are not easy to remove and replace. It's all well and good grinding them off, but if you can't re-use the hole then sooner or later you'll run out of ideal placement positions or decent rock in which to put them. That's the case both above and below ground. Go to some of the sport climbing crags in the Peak and you'll see the evidence of climbs being originally bolted, then re-bolted a couple of times. It would be much better to pull an old anchor out, clean up the hole and re-use it.

Except that nobody ever does pull out the bolts, precisely because it is a massive faff. When the CNCC in their infinite wisdom decided to decommission the (perfectly good) PECO anchors, they didn't pull them out (I can't remember if they ground them off or just hammered them flat and covered in resin). I don't think it even happens above ground, let alone in a cave. So pulling anchors is an irrelevant method of anchor removal, since it never actually happens.

I am entirely willing to be corrected if any large-scale removal of bolts by pulling, that weren't otherwise 'failed' anchors, has occurred in British caves. If the anchors are 'failed' then I suspect far less damage is done when pulling them out anyway?

You also can't necessarily re-use the holes anyway. For BP anchors if the hole is no longer an interference fit you don't get the benefit of extra strength (and dry strength if something has gone wrong with the resin), and for any anchor resin shrinkage will be an increasingly large issue. You _may_ be able to get away in the same hole, but that's not an experiment I would like to try without considerable testing or manufacturer approval. Getting the hole clean is critical to getting a good rock/glue bond; you don't want a good new glue/old glue bond instead...

Offline MarkS

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2019, 06:17:14 pm »
pulling anchors is an irrelevant method of anchor removal, since it never actually happens.

Extracting anchors by pulling them out does happen, and I believe this is how the majority of anchors reported as being loose in the CNCC region have been replaced. I have been involved in some of these myself. Simon Wilson has put a huge amount of work into developing effective extraction methods.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2019, 07:26:44 pm »
pulling anchors is an irrelevant method of anchor removal, since it never actually happens.

Extracting anchors by pulling them out does happen, and I believe this is how the majority of anchors reported as being loose in the CNCC region have been replaced. I have been involved in some of these myself. Simon Wilson has put a huge amount of work into developing effective extraction methods.

Then very much corrected I am :P

How much damage is done to the rock on extraction of a loose anchor? Are the holes re-used?

Offline gardouth

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2019, 08:04:54 pm »
How much damage is done to the rock on extraction of a loose anchor? Are the holes re-used?

In my experience of using the puller, the old anchors come out pretty cleanly. Sometimes there is a little damage to the hole edges but nothing major.

Yes, the holes can and usual are re-used. It's far better for conservation to do this than make new ones. There had been some issues with resin shrinkage when a 12mm IC anchor was used in an old 18mm hole however this has been resolved by an upgrade to the resin used.
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Offline MarkS

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2019, 08:36:39 pm »
There are some more details on Simon's website: http://www.resinanchor.co.uk/5.html

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: A new resin anchor for caving and climbing?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2019, 09:04:42 pm »
The concern about BP anchors causing large holes in the rock on extraction is due to the experience in testing them.  But it should be noted that:

a) the rock / resin / anchor bond was good; and

b) the test sites were all within quarries and thus the rock used was often micro fissured by the blasting.

Simon's test work on IC anchors was conducted on weather worn rock and thus could be construed as being favourable in respect of the rock state compared to BP anchor testing.  Extracting a BP anchor which has failed has yet to take place but I will concede that finding an anchor which replicates the shaft design of the IC anchor would be useful.

There had been some issues with resin shrinkage when a 12mm IC anchor was used in an old 18mm hole however this has been resolved by an upgrade to the resin used.

Have the results of testing the new resin been published?  I accept the manufacturer's material makes it look good.