Traddies, don't take your gear for Granite

Placing a cam? Slotting a nut? Slinging a tree?
Bruisebrother
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Traddies, don't take your gear for Granite

Post by Bruisebrother » Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:13 pm

If you plug cams for fun, you need to check this out: Gunks.com-Discussion-General Climbing-Accident at the Uberfalls, page 4 !

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Post by Stewy911 » Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:30 pm

U need to check out the picture of the came that broke. That is crazy. But as someone explains, the cam was placed in a weird spot. Testing on these cams is only to pass UIAA specifications, cams need only be tested in the type of placement and direction of pull for which they are designed. This was not a designed placement. Thus it was vulnerable to failure. Us traddies need to think about our placements and not just plug and go!

Very Freaky though.


Condolences to his family and friends!
Who Me? I gotta hitch hike god damn 18 miles to get a god damn beer......that's bullshit.

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Post by jcwhite » Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:03 am

sometimes you have to plug and go :twisted:

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Post by TradMike » Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:31 am

That's very unfortunate. I personally think it was the cam manufacturer’s negligence. They should not have sold such an inferior product. Who in the hell would think die cast cam lobes would be acceptable. That is just stupid. That is what they do to make hot wheels. To do it right, you mill cam lobes out of big sheets of stock material not die cast. The small cross sections of the lobes are too susceptible to air voids or other imperfections of the die cast process. Plus you are limited to more brittle material for the die cast process. It just wouldn’t work to satisfaction. There’s no place in a high risk sport for cheap hardware. I think they sell for $10.
Last edited by TradMike on Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by SCIN » Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:47 am

For those who don't want to navigate to that page:

Tom Klaasen, 53, died in hospital in Poughkeepsie Tuesday November 9, after
falling in the Gunks on Saturday November 6. Tom sustained serious head
injuries in the fall, and never regained consciousness. He was buried near
his home in New Jersey. As Tom's friends and climbing partners, we wanted
to make the facts of this terrible accident available to the climbing
community and to thank everyone - fellow climbers, Mohonk Rangers, and
volunteer ambulance crew - who did all that was humanly possible to get Tom
to hospital.

Tom fell on the crux move of Boston. Boston's not a particularly difficult
climb (5.4+ or 5.5, depending on which book you look at), but the crux is
tricky and difficult to protect. The climb was well within Tom's
abilities.
I had just climbed Sixish with him, and he led the 5.6 first pitch and the
third pitch. He was in good shape, climbing well and thoroughly enjoying a
beautiful warm Fall day in the Gunks. Tom chose to lead Boston while other
friends were top-roping the 5.10 next door. He was wearing his helmet.

The big off-width crack on Boston is hard to protect. As a result, there's
only one piece (or more if you back it up) between you and a ground fall
once you start on the crux. Tom put a cam (a small Cassin unit without
integral cam stops) extended with a 2' sling in the crack out to his right,
and started up. When he slipped, this piece pulled out and Tom fell to the
ground. The two pieces he had put in at the start of the climb were too
close to the ground to be of any use. His weight never came on the rope.

It is not completely clear why the cam pulled out, but the most likely
explanation may be that it "walked" back as the rope flicked it when Tom
climbed up, and umbrellered out. When he fell, it blew. The cam itself is
heavily damaged. We plan to get a professional assessment of the cam, and
then maybe there'll be a better explanation, but this is what we know at
this point.

The response of fellow climbers was immediate and unbelievably efficient.
There were two EMT's on near-by climbs, and there took charge of the
evacuation. The rescue stretcher at the Uberfall is right there. There is
nothing more that could have been done to get Tom to hospital, for which we
are all deeply grateful.

In climbing term's there's one big lesson. If there's one piece between
you and the ground, back it up, even on short, relatively easy climbs.

This accident has taken a dear friend and climbing comrade from us, a man
who got as much pleasure from helping others with his gentle words of
encouragement as he did from his own successes. Tom was interested in, and
knowledgeable about, a broad range of topics. Climbing trips with Tom
were often almost as memorable for the talk in the car trip to the crag and
back as they were for the routes we climbed. A Lutheran minister and an officer
in the Air National Guard, Tom came out of (to put it mildly!) a somewhat
different background and experience than most of his climbing partners.
But Tom led us to revel in that difference as the road to a deeper
companionship and an understanding of our commonality.

Tom will be missed by all who knew him and climbed with him. But we also
know that he died doing something he loved, in a place he loved, and with
people he loved.

Tom! Climb On!


Andy Buchanan
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Post by TradMike » Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:20 pm

Here's the cam that failed.

Image

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Post by Crankmas » Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:02 pm

that looks like a carbon copy of a WC flexible friend

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Post by weber » Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:31 pm

TradMike wrote:That's very unfortunate. I personally think it was the cam manufacturer’s negligence. They should not have sold such an inferior product. Who in the hell would think die cast cam lobes would be acceptable.. .
I can appreciate your concern, Mike, but die casting can actually be a superior process when done correctly. Black Diamond and several other cam manufacturers die cast their cams.

ALL metal components will ultimately fail when stressed beyond their strength limits. We don’t know the load that this cam was subjected to. It could have far exceeded the cam’s rated strength. I am NOT defending Cassin when I say that their cams are UIAA and CE certified. But, this is an important consideration. A Google search will give you the strength requirements both of these certifying bodies require of cams.

Although the photo suggests that the cam may have failed because it was too “brittle”, we would be wise to reserve judgment until all the facts are presented.

Proper design of cams, or any climbing equipment requires Topgun metallurgical engineering. There are some pretty sophisticated alloys and processing used in the manufacturing of climbing gear.

Casting? Hot Forging? Cold Forging? Cutting from plate stock? Let’s read what one expert has to say about metals and processing used in cams and other climbing gear. This was published in RockClimbing.com. This engineer works at Black Diamond, which is not affiliated in any way with Cassin.

“It's not that simple. And it's not a matter of costs. Really. The way we design and build things at BD is very pragmatic. We build stuff, we break it. We think of lots of ways to break stuff, then we do. There is a wide selection of processes out there for making different parts. We look at and try quite a few, subject them to intense scrutiny and make a very careful choice. We are always aware that if we make a bad choice, the company could belong to someone else, tomorrow...

"We use castings because they allow us to design components with complex geometry and function. Generally casting is cheaper but not always. We have been using castings for many years and have learned a great deal about the problems and issues that must be delt with in order to feel confident in the parts. As Tom points out we test a tremendous amount during prototype and production to ensure that nothing will go wrong. We do not always succeed with this (note some previous history on Black Prophet head castings in 1992) but we do very well in my assessment.

"So why do we use castings? On occasion, they are the best choice. The Powder Metallurgy pieces on the Cam Jr's are not really a casting, they are more a sintering process, but they do suffer a little from being somewhat brittle. They do not suffer from voids as cheap castings do. We have hundreds of thousands of parts in field with very, very few failures ( this side-loaded failure is the first I have heard of, though Chris may know of others ). We also break several hundred of that particular part a year in the QA process, so we have a very good pragmatic understanding of how these things break.

"Even expensive castings have shrink voids. We have to design parts to minimize the impact of this fact. All the single stem camalots use a cast tailpiece and the #1 uses a cast crossbar. I have never seen a failure of a cast camalot part. I have seen one other failed Camalot Jr. 0.75 that appears to have failed from a similar bottoming placement not in the direction of the fall. It broke at the cable and had major damage and abuse from being removed after being stuck for some time (it is mangled from hitting with a nut tool and severely corroded). The surfaces of the cable ends are smashed from handling and there is no evidence of any defect that I could see with an optical microscope.

“The other castings we use are the stainless steel investment cast heads of the ice tools. We have some problems with them not meeting dimensional specs from time to time, but otherwise we see few problems with these parts.

“We have used forged parts from time to time, but, quite frankly, they're very overrated. We make Figure 8s and ATC's with them. These obviously do not get stressed really high, but we do some thorough testing of them as if they do. We have to inspect them pretty carefully. Sometimes when the dies are not quite right, the metal does not flow correctly and you end up with surface flaws and flow flaws. These are rejected. We also make hot forged biners which don't suffer from the same problems because the metal doesn't get pushed around as much. But forging is not a very precise process, and these things require a lot of hand work to clean up the forgings, and thus they become real expensive.

“Biners are made by bending and cold forging ( hitting it with dies ), then heat treating. Since Biner's are a bending problem, this is the best process for making them. As far as "micro cracking" and "hidden flaws in dropped gear", as far as I know its a myth. Official company line is "use your own judgement", and I can't really tell you that the biner you dropped off ElCap is fine. But I can tell you that those ones Todd and Paul dropped off the Salathe broke at full strength. We generally use ductile materials that don't "micro-crack", rather than high tech ceramics that might have this problem.

“Only the ones that were not visually damaged were full strength. Those that were visually damaged broke lower.

“I hope this answers your question. Let me assure you that I am an unlikely person to be spewing the company line, but as far as our thoroughness of engineering I am very happy to spew.
Jratus ( amazing the things you learn when you get a real job ) Utahnus
( [email protected] - the harness guy ).

“Chris Harmston ([email protected]).
Quality Assurance Manager. Materials Engineer BS, ME.
Black Diamond Equipment Ltd. “

Rick
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None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by batguano » Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:08 pm

As far as I know, BD machines their lobes. Casting steel seems to be more common in the climbing industry, but aluminum (like cam lobes) is normally cut and/or formed.

I had a cassin fifi hook one time that was cast, can't remember if it was Al or steel. I took a 2' daisy fall on it and it broke. I've not been to high on cassin ever since.
weather is occurring.

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Post by JB » Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:09 pm

Granted!!! Don't take it for granted. Granite is rock!!!

ex. "nuts can be bomb proof in granite, but i don't take the placements for granted."

[sorry to be the vocabulary police... but i get this one in so many papers that it has started to irk me]

further lessons from a grumpy college boy.
you're = you are
your = possession

they're = they are
their = belongs to them
there = a location

buy = purchase
by = pass
bye = leave

it's = it is
its = every other possible usage

JB
[size=75]i may be weak, but i have bad technique[/size]

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Post by Crankmas » Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:18 pm

did you say college or third grade, oh that's right we're in Kentucky

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Post by dhoyne » Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:01 pm

JB, it's a pun. :)

I am a metallurgical engineer. I know a whole shitpot about the different manufacturing techniques and the strengths/weaknesses of each.

Just by looking at the pic I could almost say it's not a casting defect. But this is only based off a picture on the net, so I can't really analyze it more.

Brittle is a relative word. So is strong. There's lots of room to play with those terms.
Sarcasm is a tool the weak use to avoid confrontation. People with any balls just outright lie.

[quote="Meadows"]I try not to put it in my mouth now, but when I do, I hold it with just my lips.[/quote]

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Post by TradMike » Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:13 am

weber wrote:I can appreciate your concern, Mike, but die casting can actually be a superior process when done correctly. Black Diamond and several other cam manufacturers die cast their cams.
I stand behind my statement that the Cassin Joss Cam is a piece of shit. It’s lobes are made from diecast 383.0F Aluminum. Almost all other cams’ lobes are made from 7075-T6 Aluminum that is CNC machined from 7075 aluminum extrusions. I would like to see the specs and the material that Black Diamond is using for Camalot Jrs. I hope they are not trying to make more profit at the expense of strength because diecast is cheaper.

Here are the specs on both materials with references.

Joss Material = diecast 383.0F Aluminum
http://www.matweb.com/search/SpecificMa ... m=MAC3830F
Ultimate Tensile Strength = 45000 psi
Tensile Yield Strength = 22000 psi
Elongation at Break = 3.5 %
Shear Strength = 27100 psi

Camalot Material = 7075-T6 aluminum extrusions
http://www.matweb.com/search/SpecificMa ... m=MA7075T6
Ultimate Tensile Strength = 83000 psi
Tensile Yield Strength = 73000 psi
Elongation at Break = 11 %
Shear Strength = 48000 psi

The extruded 7076-T6 is nearly twice as strong in ultimate tensile strength, won’t start yielding with over three times the load, deforms almost three times as much before failure and almost twice as strong in shear strength. The numbers speak for themselves. Granted we will never know how the cam was exactly placed and what actually happened but we can make some good assumptions. It’s obvious the cam held well enough to catastrophically fail the lobes. It appears that the neither the axle, the lobes, nor the stem is bent at all. I have seen plenty of pictures of failed cams from severe loading and nothing looks close to that picture.

This is a twisted 7076-T6 cam lobe with the axle failing at 2280 lbs.
Image

Here’s a photo of a cam that failed at 3000 lbs.
Image

I think the UIAA is also to blame. Their testing requirements need to be more stringent. "To pass UIAA specifications, cams need only be tested in the type of placement and direction of pull for which they are designed. They are not required to be tested in other types of placements, or pulled at other angles. A cam made of a more ductile material would be somewhat tolerant of deviations from designed placement and angle of pull, because the lobes will deform substantially before breaking. But the alloy in the Joss cam would deform only slightly before breaking, making it vulnerable to failure under bending or twisting forces on the lobes.” Other cams are, “much better able to take an unusual load and give to the point where other lobes might share the load before breaking.” The Joss Cam, “catastrophically failed (broke into pieces) under the weight of a 140 pound climber on a low fall factor fall.”

Trango
The cams lobes are CNC machined from 7075 aluminum extrusions
Aliens
Cams are machined from 6061-T6 Aluminium extrusions, a grippy alloy.
DMM
Sophisticated machining has allowed DMM to take away all the fat and keep the strength

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Post by wanderer » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:41 am

.” The Joss Cam, “catastrophically failed (broke into pieces) under the weight of a 140 pound climber on a low fall factor fall.”
The first post says his weight never came on the rope, which I assume came from the belayers testimony. So wouldn't that put the stress level at almost nothing? Is it even possible to come up with a weight that a piece could receive before the belayer would feel it?

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Post by TradMike » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:45 am

The failure picture for the Cassin Joss Cam also indicates that the cam was loaded properly. It's failure points are very consistent with what a finite element program indicates where the highest stresses are for an over or under cammed cam. The highest stresses are near the axle.

Image
Image

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