INSTALLING
BOLTS

A BOLT IS ONLY AS STRONG AS THE PLACEMENT

The site of the bolt must be chosen carefully to ensure it is placed in solid rock, away from edges and fractures. Always use the necessary PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), a non-exhaustive list includes safety goggles, dust mask, ear defenders, gloves, etc. Also it is of course very important to ensure no property or people could be injured by falling rock or equipment etc. Placing bolts, developing routes and re-bolting require a high degree of skill and experience. Should you not be confident and competent to carry out the tasks required in a safe manner, do not attempt installation as yourself and other will be placed in danger.

First, drill the hole 10mm deep and then drill a chain of holes directly below the first hole to the same depth to create a slot 10mm deep and 45mm long. Next, return to the top of the slot and drill to the full depth being the same as the leg of the bolt plus 5mm (tape on the drill bit can help ensure the correct depth). Finally, use the drill pointing down at 45 degrees or the 'pick' end of a wall hammer to remove the sharp edge between the deep hole for the shaft of the bolt and the channel to suit the curve of the Eterna bolt. Once drilled out, the hole and slot must be brushed out and then blown out. Brushing and blowing must continue until no more dust comes out of the hole. If any of the bolt installation process is not entirely clear, please ask for further instructions. The reason for the slot is to semi-recess the eye of the bolt to help ensure the strongest possible bolt installation for the given position. It also greatly reduces the effects of fatigue during normal use due to the increased stiffness which in turn helps to give the longest possible life of the installed bolt.

Once the hole is cleaned, the epoxy resin should be prepared and used as per manufacturers instructions and the hole filled to two thirds to three quarters full (counting the trigger pulls will help fine tune the exact amount of resin required). The bolt should be placed slowly in a twisting motion. As the bolt is inserted, resin oozes out of the hole to fill the back of the channel and then gently tapped home with a stainless steel hammer for the last 15mm for a tight interference fit.

Do not use a normal steel hammer as it will leave Iron deposits on the Titanium bolt and the iron will rust, which may cause corrosion issues with the titanium anchor itself. Either use a proper Stainless Steel climbing hammer or a wooden or plastic shim.

Note that studies by the German Alpine Club have shown that holes not properly blown out result in much weaker bolt placements. Even if you are a professional trumpet player, your lungs are not strong enough to do it properly! You really need to use a good blow out pump and brush.

The longest lasting bolt requires the longest lasting resin. We recommend Hilti HIT RE-500, G&B Fisaggi EPO Plus pure epoxy resin (that our bolts are certified with) or other high quality structural grade epoxy resin with an ETA certification (see Note below). They can be used in damp holes if necessary, are highly water resistant and chemically inert after curing (about 24 hours dependant upon temperature). The method of resin installation must be followed as per manufacturers instructions.

Removal and rebolting

Once the service life of our bolts is finally over after likely many decades and quite possibly a century or two, they can be heated to around 200 degrees Celsius with a blow torch to melt the epoxy resin and twisted out of the hole. Thus there is no need to drill new holes. The existing hole can easily be cleaned out and reused. Of course, all the correct safety equipment must be worn.

All our bolts are proudly made in Sheffield, the long standing heart of British manufacturing.

Note on ETA’s and EOTA:
ETA’s are the short-form for European Technical Assessment documents, and are issued by the European Organisation for Technical Assessment. They provide information about the product, and describe its intended use. See the website: www.eota.eu

Construction anchors that are used in “safety critical applications” where their failure can cause loss of life, or serious economic loss, are covered by ETA’s. This is very similar to climbing anchors, where a failure can also cause a loss of life. In addition, the EOTA document EOTA GD 002 (Assumption of working life of Construction Products in Guidelines for European Technical Approval, European Technical Approvals and Harmonised Standards) discusses what the design life time of construction anchors should be, and a “normal” lifetime is taken to be 50 years. See: www.eota.eu//eota-guidance-documents

Therefore we at Titan Climbing are making the same argument: Why can’t we have climbing anchors have a “normal” working life of 50 years? Or longer? We say that as long as the right material is used that can survive the environment on the cliff, an appropriate design is used that resists the loads due to everyday use, and that a matching resin is used that can also survive 50 years (or longer), then the climbing anchor itself should be good for 50 years. Or ideally longer.

It is still important to regularly inspect your anchors for wear and tear, however there is no engineering reason why you should not be able to reasonably expect to get 50 years from a well placed bolt, using the right material for the purpose, and the right resin.

Made In Sheffield
facebook Twitter youtube googleplus LinkedIn

© Copyright Titan Climbing 2013-. All rights reserved.

LINKS WE SUPPORT:

Thaitanium Project                                      Climb Pembroke                                      The Rock & Wall

Upskill Climbing                                          ASCA - American Safe Climbing Association