Author Topic: Motor oil contamination  (Read 919 times)

Offline Gollum

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Motor oil contamination
« on: April 16, 2019, 07:47:51 pm »
I was hanging from a traverse line today and noticed some dark patches on my cows-tails which I later learned were from an engine oil spillage in my boot. After my initial shock and retrieving to safety I checked out various sites about my predicament and there was much confusion. I tried to contact Lyon but not received a response as of yet. My thought is get rid of everything that may have been contaminated (even my brand new harness :( ).
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Offline Tseralo

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 08:06:53 pm »
Metal work should be fine I would lob all the soft goods.

£100 isn’t worth the risk

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2019, 08:18:51 pm »
A friend once told me of a publication detailing the affect of various chemicals on climbing ropes.

I recall him saying that diesel would have no detrimental affect on a rope, but urine wad very bad.

If my friend was correct in what he said and I have remembered correctly, this would suggest that engine oil is probably harmless.

I will see if I can find a reliable reference...
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Offline Madness

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 08:29:14 pm »
A friend once told me of a publication detailing the affect of various chemicals on climbing ropes.

I recall him saying that diesel would have no detrimental affect on a rope, but urine wad very bad.

I recall seeing something like that, possibly the same article. I'm sure it was online somewhere.

Offline Tseralo

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 08:34:08 pm »
A friend once told me of a publication detailing the affect of various chemicals on climbing ropes.

I recall him saying that diesel would have no detrimental affect on a rope, but urine wad very bad.

If my friend was correct in what he said and I have remembered correctly, this would suggest that engine oil is probably harmless.

I will see if I can find a reliable reference...

https://eu.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_GB/qc-lab-acid-harness.html

May be what your thinking of

Offline royfellows

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 09:28:29 pm »
I would identify the oil type and take research from there.
Most modern cars of recent manufacture use a fully synthetic oil. Older vehicles may be serviced with semi synthetic or even mineral oil due to cost.
Common sense dictates that there would not be any corrosive ingredients, the idea is to preserve the engine not ruin it!
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Offline blackshiver

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 11:03:25 pm »
Check out "compatibility charts" for Nylon and synthetic / mineral oils and then decide for yourself whether its worth just hand washing the fabrics in a mild detergent and risk using it.

Personally; being a chemist - if it was new oil and it had happened to me I would be OK with washing + using it - but it's my life and not yours........and I have done some very (very) silly things in the past.
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 11:11:54 pm »
Older vehicles may be serviced with semi synthetic or even mineral oil due to cost.
Sorry to go off topic, but got to pull you up on that statement Roy. Older engines often actually prefer a thicker mineral oil, which is now much harder to get hold of and therefore more expensive than this super-slippery synthetic stuff.

It also smells much nicer and feels much nicer on the skin, so in a totally non-scientific way, I bet it has to be better for a rope   ;D
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Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 11:29:53 pm »
I imagine you are going to replace your cow's tails, if nothing else.
If you can get them to somebody who can drop or pull test them it might provide information that would be useful in the future.

Offline Speleotron

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 12:30:07 am »
I would identify the oil type and take research from there.
Most modern cars of recent manufacture use a fully synthetic oil. Older vehicles may be serviced with semi synthetic or even mineral oil due to cost.
Common sense dictates that there would not be any corrosive ingredients, the idea is to preserve the engine not ruin it!

Not necessarily, something can be harmless to metal but corrosive to nylon. As with anything in chemistry the answer is 'it depends' but for the cost of SRT kit compared to the inconvenience of failure you might as well  bin the fabric to be on the safe side.
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Offline Madness

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Offline Gollum

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2019, 08:43:11 am »
Just got a reply from Lyon and as I thought they advise to replace both harness and cows-tails because oil is corrosive to nylon that harness and ropes are made from so will most-likely affect the strength of the materials.
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Offline Badlad

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 08:56:10 am »
Thanks for posting that.  It is a good reminder of the dangers of contamination and to look after your ropes and harnesses during transport and storage.  IRATA, the industrial rope access association, give plenty of advice on this in annex J of their code of practice.  I've not got a link but you may be able to find it yourself.

All manufactures of products are required to issue a material hazard sheet and that will tell you the raw ingredients, any additives etc.  Pass that onto the rope manufacturer and they are obliged to offer advice.  Obviously everyone involved is going to err on the side of caution.  Often you don't know exactly what the containment is and you need to consider the longer term effect if the gear remains in service.  It adds up to an expensive outcome and that's a bummer. :down:


Offline andrewmc

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 09:10:33 am »
Google suggests nylon is generally very resistant to organic compound like oil and fuel. Acids are what has lead to failure in the past. There may be other additives in the oil. Also I would not be surprised if adding lubrication to the rope reduced its stretch, causing it to break under smaller dynamic falls.

Offline Maj

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 09:30:23 am »
I you do decide to have your cows tails drop tested from an interest point of view, it might be worth storing them for a period of time to give any chemicals time to do their worst. 

It may be a little academic since the advice is take out of service chemically contaminated soft kit, and a non contaminated area failure might give the wrong message to someone.
If you do decide to test at a later date, store them as you would normally for your kit but ensure they can't get accidentally returned to service.
 
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Offline mikem

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2019, 09:52:31 am »
If the oil has got on the harness, you will be able to see stain marks. Other contaminants, such as petrol, wouldn't be so obvious & would be a greater risk.

Offline Cripplecreeker

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2019, 10:09:54 am »
Hi,

Here is a link to the Irata ICOP which Badlad mentioned above. The relevant bit is section 3, annex J.
https://irata.org/uploads/documents/International_Code_of_Practice_%28ICOP%29_-_English_TC-102ENG.pdf


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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2019, 09:04:33 pm »
I imagine you are going to replace your cow's tails, if nothing else.
If you can get them to somebody who can drop or pull test them it might provide information that would be useful in the future.

But what would that tell you? The used item(s) may fail at low load for some other reason.

It would be better to do a simple "controlled" strength test experiment with clean new nylon rope and oil contaminated new nylon rope. The difference in break strengths would give useful information about the effect of the particular contaminant. Replication of results would also then give more confidence in the findings.

Bob Mehew may be the best person to advise on this suggestion.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2019, 09:19:29 pm »
It would be better to do a simple "controlled" strength test experiment with clean new nylon rope and oil contaminated new nylon rope. The difference in break strengths would give useful information about the effect of the particular contaminant. Replication of results would also then give more confidence in the findings.
Good idea but I am busy with radon and CO2 data logger at the moment (and my wife reminds me we are away for almost all of May) so I won't be doing anything until sometime in June at the earliest.

I note the IRATA link did not work for me, try https://irata.org/downloads/2055 .


Offline mikem

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2019, 09:33:17 pm »
Could be worth cutting the cowstail to find out how far the oil has soaked through - I expect it's only on the surface...

Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2019, 09:34:14 pm »
I imagine you are going to replace your cow's tails, if nothing else.
If you can get them to somebody who can drop or pull test them it might provide information that would be useful in the future.

But what would that tell you? The used item(s) may fail at low load for some other reason.

It would be better to do a simple "controlled" strength test experiment with clean new nylon rope and oil contaminated new nylon rope. The difference in break strengths would give useful information about the effect of the particular contaminant. Replication of results would also then give more confidence in the findings.

Bob Mehew may be the best person to advise on this suggestion.


A couple of points:
I don't believe in looking a gift horse in the mouth when there is a chance to gain information.
All information is valuable so long as it is used wisely.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2019, 05:05:04 pm »
I agree with your last sentence.  :thumbsup:

If the contaminated cows tails are tested - and they fail at close to the expected strength of new rope - that would suggest that the contaminant hasn't had any great effect. But if they fail at significantly lower tension it'd not be possible to determine if this was due to the contaminant or some other reason.

I hope Bob sees this topic and it captures his interest.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2019, 06:10:49 pm »
I hope Bob sees this topic and it captures his interest.

3 posts up?

Offline blackshiver

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2019, 07:26:43 pm »
Just got a reply from Lyon and as I thought they advise to replace both harness and cows-tails because oil is corrosive to nylon that harness and ropes are made from so will most-likely affect the strength of the materials.

Surprise Surprise........ ;)
I have a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Motor oil contamination
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2019, 07:34:31 pm »
(Re Andrewmc's post just before Blackshiver's:)

Ah yes; that'll teach me to read all of a topic!   ;)

Bob's probably the best person to look into this, whenever he's got the time to address it properly.