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#44894 - 05/22/09 05:16 PM Re: More Alien failures [Re: chip]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
Originally Posted By: chip
the results...can only be applied to similar gear.


Which in this case means Aliens.
Age and prior use had nothing to do with Arics findings.

The braze on one unit clearly was not filled entirely.
The hardness of materials and their variability was disclosed.

Again neither these things were caused by age or prior use.
They are the cause of poor manufacturing techniques, and poor QC,

CCH never had a clue about QC, and Arics recent correspondence with them reveals (no surprise) the still dont and that they do no better in terms of general management.

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#44919 - 05/25/09 01:46 AM Re: More Alien failures [Re: Mark Heyman]
adatesman Offline
member

Registered: 07/13/05
Posts: 102
Loc: Philadelphia
Hey All,

Just FYI, the people over on RC are passing the hat to gather funds for me to test a bunch of new, never used Aliens. Short version of the story is that I'll be headed up your way on Tuesday and cherry picking the ones that look most likely to have issues from what's on the shelf @ R&S. I'll be bringing the puller along so Rich can witness the testing, but kindly don't bug him about it as I really hate dragging him into this mess (I had his number handy while on the way home from the NRR and not CCH's, so gave him a call). The collection thread on RC is here: http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2145520#2145520. If you have any questions or concerns post up as I'll be checking back fairly frequently.

-aric.

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#44923 - 05/25/09 05:12 AM Re: More Alien failures [Re: adatesman]
tokyo bill Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
I responded to the rc.com thread with a contribution. Seems like a worthwhile expenditure to me. Specific amount listed only on the rc.com thread, to simplify Aric's effort to keep track.

Looking forward to hearing the outcome of the testing, but quietly hoping that all the tested pieces pass with flying colors...

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#45831 - 06/15/09 01:48 AM Re: More Alien failures [Re: adatesman]
adatesman Offline
member

Registered: 07/13/05
Posts: 102
Loc: Philadelphia
Hey All, just FYI the results from the Rock & Snow testing just went live... Link


Edited by adatesman (06/15/09 02:15 AM)

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#45841 - 06/15/09 02:28 PM Re: More Alien failures [Re: adatesman]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thanks again for such a meticulous presentation. The results are straight forward and show multiple methods of failure below stated minimum strength ratings.

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#45867 - 06/15/09 06:30 PM Re: More Alien failures [Re: chip]
Leemouse2 Offline
addict

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 459
Loc: Rosendale, NY
Bummer. That's gonna cost me some money to replace, for sure. And it's certainly going to be a huge problem for CCH.
_________________________
It's hard to be brave when you're a chicken.

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#45981 - 06/16/09 08:57 PM Re: More Alien failures [Re: Leemouse2]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
What kind of loads are we talking about here? I weigh a buck fifty-five. The worst case scenario for me is climbing above a second pitch belay, placing an alien at 5 feet, climbing 20 feet past it, then falling. Is my skinny ass really going to generate the same kind of forces this machine is creating?

I'm starting to not like this company very much, but my Aliens are all VERY field tested, and it will take a lot for me to go out right now and plop down a few hundred bucks to replace them.

RR

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#45983 - 06/16/09 09:14 PM Re: More Alien failures [Re: RangerRob]
adatesman Offline
member

Registered: 07/13/05
Posts: 102
Loc: Philadelphia
Well, the Red that started this mess failed at ~4.5kN, which is ~1000 pounds-force and well within what can occur in a lead fall low on a route. The Black that had the head come off was ~6.6kN which is also in the neighborhood of a typical low-route lead fall, but that's what force the head broke at... it came out of the fixture at ~5.2kN.

The big issue here is that the multiple failure modes and wide distribution of the failure forces indicates a wide bell curve for potential failure forces, and given that there's no telling good from bad from outward appearance climbing on untested ones is a gamble.

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#45993 - 06/16/09 11:52 PM Re: More Alien failures [Re: adatesman]
jdw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 219
Loc: Connecticut
RangerRob - what you describe is a pretty severe fall with a fall factor of 1.6. A fall factor calculator I found online gave a force of 7.1 kN for your fall - so be careful out there.

But RangerRob brings up a good point - many people believe that their Aliens are OK because they've taken a few low impact force falls on them. It is understandable how this would lead to confidence in them. Fortunately, most lead falls ARE low impact falls, so the Aliens hold them. But one day, you make take that high fall factor whipper, and maybe that Alien wouldn't live up to its rated load, and breaks.

This is a case of a product with many desirable attributes, and also (it appears) serious quality control issues, yet it is successful - how? It is a successful product because nearly all of the Alien users never actually need to use them up to their full rated strength, and never discover their flaws.

JDW

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#45995 - 06/17/09 01:36 AM Re: More Alien failures [Re: jdw]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Thanks for the numbers. RG, how many kilonewtons would I generate in a 25' fall with a fall factor 1.7, and a typical 10mm dynamic rope? Remember, I weigh 155.

RR

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