FIXE COMMENTS to “Safety Issue with Anchor Chains from FIXE”

We want to clarify below issues from DAV public communication, published on www.alpenverein.de website on 29-10-2018:

  1. This last reported case, like all other reported failures (broken chain links) are due the Stress Corrosion Cracking(SCC) on A2 stainless steel material installed in potential corrosion areas such as Outdoor, swimming pools, extremely pollution urban areas. This last case was located in an outdoor gym, close to a swimming pool.
  2. The corrosion cracks problems came from A2 products installed in potential corrosion areas. It was the major raw material used for main climbing anchors manufacturers in the past. Like all other manufacturers, FIXE produced many products made of this material.
  3. On 2015 the UIAA recommended to avoid A2 products on areas of potential risk (ANNEX 1). The CEN will publish soon a new anchor standard including same kind of recommendations.
  4. After UIAA recommendation, FIXE stopped to manufacture A2 top anchor products. Since that date FIXE started producing it in DUPLEX material because it provides better properties against corrosion cracks.
  5. FIXE recommends to replace all A2 anchors installed in potential risk areas with Duplex or other Higher quality material anchor products.

Topics clarified on DAV Document Update on 31/10/2018:

  • First DAV document seems to ask for a completely replacement of FIXE chain anchors > It need to be focused to any A2 material installed in potential risk areas. Galvanized steel or A2 in non-potential risk areas could be used and no need to be replaced.
  • First DAV document seems to say that FIXE made a poor choice of material > FIXE used to use the same material like main anchor manufacturers and always recommended a better material like the A4 for potential risk areas.
  • First DAV document does not clarify the extent of the problem > the extent of the problem is in A2 materials installed in potential risk areas like UIAA and CEN recommended.
  • First DAV document does not clarify how to identify products under risk > All A2 FIXE material is marked as “INOX”. In case of belay or lowering stations the mark ”INOX” is on the hanger.

First DAV Document:

https://www.alpenverein.de/bergsport/sicherheit/warnhinweise/erneutes-sicherheitsprobelm-bei-umlenkketten-von-fixe_aid_32407.html

DAV Document UPDATE:

https://www.alpenverein.de/bergsport/sicherheit/warnhinweise/update-zum-sicherheitsproblem-bei-umlenkketten-von-fixe_aid_32421.html

 

Sant Quirze de Besora, on 31th October 2018

 

Table included on UIAA publication(2015): WATCH YOUR ANCHOR!
Corrosion and stress corrosion cracking failure of climbing anchors

Table 3 Proposed UIAA anchor classes and characteristics

https://www.theuiaa.org/documents/safety/UIAA-WARNING-ABOUT-CLIMBING-ANCHORS-FAILURES_Dec15.pdf



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