Titanium Bolt Failure.

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BKW

Mountain climber
Central Texas
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 3, 2008 - 04:44pm PT
On July 30 2008 a Ushba titanium bolt broke while in use at the Seismic Wall in Austin, Texas. Link to thread on erockonline.
The bolt had been in place for 3 years and 8 months in the roof above Diving For Rocks and saw frequent use.
Photo of broken Titanium glue in;

Just thought you might like to know in case you are considering these for your next project.
Anyone know of other titanium bolt failures?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Aug 3, 2008 - 04:58pm PT
Looking at that photo, it appears that the bolt was placed upside down, and that it was knott seated all the way.

WTF?
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:03pm PT
Good points knotty.

Plus there is no view of the cross section, so it's impossible to guess about failure mode.

By that I mean, was it a manufacturing defect that contributed (agree about the installation being wrong) or what?

BTW, it's Ushba.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:07pm PT
Good point HK,
and from the looks of the bend, there must have been serious leverage issues with its placement.
Lucky someone wasnt hurt or worse.
I would not blame the piece rather the way it was placed.
Titanuim is brittle compared to mild steel.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:15pm PT
well that link says the bolt was in a ceiling and that people would clip it and hang and twist on it (this went on for years and frequently they say) while they figured out the crux to get out the roof.

Metal fatigue anyone?

Titanium is no different from a coat hanger in this regard. If you stress either one over and over in the same way, eventually, they break. It just takes longer to break the titanium.

locker

Trad climber
Joshua Tree Ca
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:16pm PT
"Dear Folks;

Yesterday the glue in titanium bolt in the ceiling above Diving for Rocks broke.

Today Luke Bowman, Evan Jackson, Austin Meyers and I attempted to install another bolt.

We were unsuccessful. The rock in the ceiling is too soft for a "normal" Powers 5 piece bolt.

We will have to return next weekend with the proper epoxy and another glue in bolt.

Please pass this on.

Thanks.

    
Tommy Blackwell "...


"Go Dog Go!


acrackmonger"

View Member Profile Aug 1 2008, 10:11 PM Post #2


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Hey Tommy, have to know, did the bolt break or did the glue fail. or the rock fail to hold the glue?



Maybe you guys could drill all the way through the roof and put a long eyebolt through the roof and then put a
BIG fender washer and a couple of nuts on it. It would require some digging on top to get to the rock but....

.....Just a thought...

Hey people laughed at perma draws also





------------


"All men dream, although not in the same way. The ones who dream by night in the dusty shelters of their minds, wake up the next day and discover that it was just vanity; but the ones who dream by day are dangerous men, because they can represent their dreams with the eyes open to make them possible."
Lawrence, T. E., 1922


Tommy

View Member Profile Yesterday, 05:27 AM Post #3


Hooray for DLS!


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Member No.: 2



It broke!

It was a Ushba Tortuga titanium glue in bolt from Fixe. Cost $11!

It should have lasted forever.

Here is a small picture that the guy sent with the report of the break.

They guy wrote that he climbed out, clipped the bolt, weighted it and then heard a "ping" and the next thing he knew he was below the diving for rocks crux!

Attached File(s)
Ushba.jpg ( 27.14K ) Number of downloads: 6




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Go Dog Go!


Soy Cabron

View Member Profile Yesterday, 08:42 AM Post #4


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MAN! That's pretty frickin' scary. Probably some kinda commie plot. WTF? Body weight break.....!?!



Maybe one of the lads can examine it closer under one of their fancy scopes and see if there is any tell-tale weirdness. It doesn't appear from the photo that there had been any hammering or other abuse of the bolt's eye. Will you get a chance to inspect it? Doesn't titanium make a more brittle metal than most stainless recipes for steel?

What about posting on one of the larger climbing forums to see if any other people have had similar experiences with the titanium glue-ins?

Soy Concerned



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I never knew a man could tell so many lies
He had a different story for every set of eyes
How can he remember who he's talking to?
Cause I know it ain't me, and hope it isn't you.


Tommy

View Member Profile Yesterday, 06:21 PM Post #5


Hooray for DLS!


Group: Admin
Posts: 1,346
Joined: 17-December 05
From: Austin
Member No.: 2



I sent the reportee an email.

I explained that we would like to examine the bolt.

He hasn't answered, but he may .

I have noticed that it was used as a "dogging" bolt.

For the last 3 years and 8 months, folks could gain some altitude above the chains above Diving and clip this bolt and then hang.

Contemplating the rest of the roof to the Lonesome chains.

Originally, I was not going to install this bolt.

I didn't need it and was opposed to making a clip in the middle of a 5.11 crux.

Just go clip the chains was my idea.

Calmer, better heads convinced me that shorter folks who don't happen to be 5'1'' and have a + 3 inch ape index, might need the bolt in the ceiling.

Ok so it got set.

So, it is my conjecture that for the past few years alot of folks have hung from this bolt and contemplated the rest of the ceiling.

To hang there and then look over one's shoulder will cause rotation.

Carabiner against an eye bolt rotation.

Year after year.

I think the instance on Thursday night was the straw that broke the camel's back.

One time added to a thousand, or ten thousand times and the bolt broke....

Maybe we'll get to examine it. and maybe we 'll learn more from other sites....




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Go Dog Go!


Overweight Climb...
Overweight Climber

View Member Profile Yesterday, 09:10 PM Post #6


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It was quite a ride when it let go.

I replied to your email with my #. Let me know when you're available to meet up so you can examine the bolt. I've been carrying it in my pocket, but it'll probably hang from my harness forever.


acrackmonger

View Member Profile Today, 01:38 PM Post #7


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Thanks for the info and all the hard work Tommy.
Overweight thanks for the personal insight. Did you have time to wonder what the ping was?
Anyone have a photo of someone hanging from this bolt?
How about a photo of the wall. I thought there was one on this site but cant find it.








"n00b-A-licious"...
BKW

Mountain climber
Central Texas
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2008 - 05:18pm PT
Thanks for the spell check Dirt.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:30pm PT
I love the comment about titanium being brittle.

There are harder Ti alloys, but TI is most often NOT brittle, rather the opposite.

In fact, one of the selling points on the TI pitons (not that I can find em any more) is that they will follow the crevice like the old iron ones did.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:35pm PT
Locker - I think we're all capable of clicking on the link in the OP and reading that thread;
now we have to scroll through the whole thing again to read the subsequent posts here.
Can you please delete it? (and I'll delete this post - thanks).

Double D

climber
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:37pm PT
Can't imagine titanium bolts if they are in any way similar to the titanium pins I've tried BITD. There's zero malability in them! They have to carve out the rock to even stick. They would ring right off the bat and clean with one stroke.


Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:38pm PT
I'm calling bullshít on this "bolt failure". There's no way in hell that thing was installed properly. No way.

dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:46pm PT
DD, what brand were you using?
pud

climber
Sportbikeville
Aug 3, 2008 - 05:56pm PT
We frequintly use titanium fasteners on the larger gimbles we assemble in my line of work. I have seen titanium bolts break and low carbon steel fasteners elongate and not break under the same forces.
Not a guess.
Double D

climber
Aug 3, 2008 - 06:22pm PT
"DD, what brand were you using?"

They were Russian from a pair of climbers in the late '70's who, if I remember right, belayed with the rope just wrapped around their wrist and forearms. Anyway, they didn't work in Yosemite worth beans because they were way to rigid. I think we threw them away.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Aug 3, 2008 - 06:41pm PT
That's way different from the ones I bought from Ushba when they were still a going concern. Mine were very soft.

The ones I bought from Uralalp, later were still soft but htey had choices of harder if you wanted that.

But here's some info about Ti alloys from Ushba's old site.


ALLOYS: When discussing titanium, one must realize that Ti can take many different forms (alloys). Ti combines well with most metals and, depending on the recipe used to create the soup (alloy), Ti can exhibit any number of characteristics in a variety of applications. For example, the ‘commercially pure’ (CP) alloy, which is roughly 99% titanium, is relatively soft. Conversely, the alloy commonly known as ‘Ti64’ (Ti-6% Aluminum-4% Vanadium) is commonly used as a lightweight substitute for steel. While the strength of 316 stainless steel is about 70,000 psi, Ti64 has a tensile strength of approximately 135,000 psi. In short, a variety of Ti alloys are available, but selecting the proper alloy for a given application depends on the desired attributes of the finished product. The key to utilizing its unique properties is more in product design, rather than simply substituting titanium for another metal.

MECHANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: On average (depending on the specific alloy), Ti is as strong as steel, yet 40% lighter. It is immune to corrosion from salt water and most industrial and organic chemicals. Also, it is a "self-healing" metal, meaning that scratches/abrasions on the surface finish are immediately ‘healed’ in the presence of oxygen or water (no oxidation or rust). Depending on the product design, heat treatment, and alloy used, Ti can be soft or hard, flexible or stiff, as heavy as steel, or as light as aluminum. In short, it is a versatile material which can exhibit a variety of mechanical properties. For example, Ushba’s new Ti-Spec alloy offers an increase in strength which is nearly double of that found in previous Ti screws (65 ksi/450 Mpa for Ti-Spec compared to 35 ksi/240Mpa for generic Ti)!
Dr. Rock

Ice climber
Castle Rock
Aug 3, 2008 - 07:32pm PT
If you weld Titanium, you will probably lose any heat treating, to various degrees.
Some people re heat treat after welding, but this is an extra step.
I do not know how that thing was made, but if it is in a roof, why not use something that will handle the traffic?
Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Aug 3, 2008 - 08:12pm PT
I don't like Ushba products. A partner was solo top roping on an ushba ascender and had an unfortunate accident. He fell and the ascender did not catch him and he hit the ground breaking both feet.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Aug 3, 2008 - 09:19pm PT
Not sure what Ti alloy those Ushba bolts are made from, but if it's 6/4, that's not particularly brittle. Very expensive bike frames are made from that, as well as some components. It has a reputation for being strong, light, and comfortable/compliant. Not stiff/brittle.

That said, anything will fail given enough of a particular stress. Don't know that I would see this as anything other than an exception incident.
rick d

climber
tucson, az
Aug 3, 2008 - 09:27pm PT
so was it a sport climb?

if it failed, would you hit anything?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Aug 4, 2008 - 03:05pm PT
Nor Cal wrote:

I don't like Ushba products. A partner was solo top roping on an ushba ascender and had an unfortunate accident.
He fell and the ascender did not catch him and he hit the ground breaking both feet.



I have used an Ushba Ascender a good bit without incident, including top-rope soloing the East Wall
at Lover's Leap on a 400' static line, and top-roping the last pitch of Moonlight Buttress in Zion.
So I suppose I must be lucky to be alive. Still, it seems crazy to knott have some sort of backup,
as you are trusting your life to the device locking, and you are trusting your life to nothing else
going wrong, such as the carabiner getting cross-loaded and failing, ect - irrespective of
what top-rope soloing device is being used.

A simple backup––such as a Tibloc on a separate biner––would have prevented the accident described above...
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