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General Climbing Discussion

i think ive invented something

master of drung
3:26:23 PM
does anyone know anything about the manufacture of climbing gear, i am exploring an idea for a safety device i have been playing with and there is a few things that would be useful to know.
just to set an approximate scene, it is a no moving parts simple to use ascender or hauling device roughly the size of a figure 8.
These are a few things i'd like to know but any other comments welcome.

- is most climbing gear cast (i assume but not sure)
- what is it typically made of
- is there standards for the size of edges rope is allowed to pass over (i know ropes are tested over a 5mm radius edge)
- is there a minimum breaking strength for all types of gear.

I have searched the UIAA site and found some useful stuff but not a lot, they keep refering to a CEN standard that you have to buy details of and i am not yet at this stage.
Basically i want to make some reasonably accurate prototypes rather than the rough as guts steel ones i have at the moment to see how functional this device is in the field and for this i need more information.

3:56:56 PM
>- is most climbing gear cast (i assume but not sure)

The most common manufacture methods for metal gear would be forging and machining. Complex shapes are possible through hot forging (ie some of DMM's biners). Less complex shapes can be cold forged. In every industry other than the climbing industry people seem to recognise that cold forging produces a stronger product through better grain alignment in the metal. It may be that the complex shapes hot forging permits allow a mechanically stronger product to be made even though the metallurgical properties are technically inferior to cold forging. Components may be CNC machined either as a process in itself or as an adjunct to a forging process. AFAIK machining is generally done only on essentially 'flat' components like cam lobes but I could well be wrong on that.

I don't know of any cast climbing components.

>- what is it typically made of

Heat treated aluminium alloy. As to which grades... Depends on the application. Cam lobes are produced using at least 3 different grades of aluminium, each of differing hardness. 6061-T6 would be the most common alloy used though


7:29:32 PM
Adding to what Tim has said

There are a few cast items used in climbing equipment, but not many. Things like the tradition Jumar ascenders are cast, as are the spelean whaletales*

* this may have altered, since I bought mine, some time ago.

Castings are quite safe, when the casting process is done correctly, but mast casting aren't done through bottom casting at a low velocity. Poor casting techniques can lead to heaps of mechanical properties.

For prototype development, it might be cheaper just to get the equipment machined. There are a couple of manufacturing that might be simplier (although I don't know the costs) to do investment (lost wax casting) or to get the prototype HiPPed (metal powder heated and compressed)

10:20:24 AM
go the hack and use 7000 series aircraft aluminum .. i made a big cam a few years ago and its the only way to go .. there is nothing hard about making gear so dont be scared .. if you want i can look at your proto and give you a ruff guess at time and cost .. it would be cheaper to machine a few for testing than to forge or cast ..

master of drung
1:07:17 PM
thankyou all i will probably bend something up for starters and once i have a fairly clear idea will machine out of reccommended aluminium thanks latheboy i will try at home first i have some equipment let you know if this is unsuccessful.
i also should have asked if there is anybody commercially making climbing gear in australia.
2:26:50 PM
Did you get my PM?

7:53:52 PM
There is an aussie mob called SRT, they make mostly industrial rope access gear, but also make stuff for climbing too.
Web site here

Oh the "products" link appears to be kaput, just add -> /products.htm to the end of the home page url

8:02:30 PM
On 10/03/2006 master of drung wrote:
>i also should have asked if there is anybody commercially making climbing
>gear in australia.

Im also really interested in this - are there any more other than SRTE in Australia, even in Victoria that anyone knows about??

8:14:17 PM
Spealan who are the distrubutor for a heap of the gear found in the shops, used to produce some of their own gear, including the original whale-tail. I'm not sure if they still manufacture (technically the stuff was made for them by by local engineering worshops.

8:25:54 PM

brisbane based manufacturer of climbing/rigging gear

master of drung
12:51:36 PM
On 10/03/2006 Changie wrote:
>Did you get my PM?

no sorry is this a feature of this site or do you mean via email

There are 11 messages in this topic.


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