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mshore


Nov 21, 2002, 12:22 PM
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Pete suggested I set up a seperate post since this was a topic worthy of one. I invite everyone to share pics of broken gear/stories they might have.

My cassin fifi hook is trashed and I am wondering how this happened. No falls but I went to hook into a piece and I noticed it was bent out of shape. Is this common or just some rare metal fatigue?



Thanks for any info on this. Also - if I bitch to cassin - will they send me a free one? This is like the equivalent of at least two Old E's.light blue

[ This Message was edited by: mshore on 2002-11-21 14:41 ]


Partner philbox
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Nov 21, 2002, 3:40 PM
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   Now that I`ve seen the pic and you have described the minimal use and no falls on this fifi I would have to suggest that this particular piece has somehow slipped through the manufacturing process without it being hardened.

Typically most metals are worked on soft and then near the end of the process they are placed in a furnace and heat treated. This cements the metals memory so that it retains its shape, more precisely the metals molecules are all aligned so that the metals tensile strength is enhanced. however if a piece of metal doesn`t get the required amount of heat treatment then it may be too soft, if it gets too much heat treatment it will become brittle.

I`m thinking that the manufacturer will be very interested in your out of shape piece of gear and will gladly replace it for you. Fortunately fifis aren`t part of the critical safety system, they are merely there as a work positioning system with the main rope serving as the critical safety system. Mind you I`d still hate my fifi to fail midway up a hard aid pitch but then one can always problem solve and use a biner in lieu.

...Phil...

P.S. no doubt we`ll have a metallurgist climber come on here and give a much more accurate and detailed description of the manufacturing process and make me look like a complete dill (which I am when it comes to explaining stuff like this).


passthepitonspete


Nov 21, 2002, 5:29 PM
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Doo-HUDE!

Straightening hooks is fundamental to aid climbing! [Though I have never straightened a fifi, I have chewed through more than my share as you can see in one of the photos linked below]

You can click here to see a photo of one of my [many] straightened hooks, and you can click here to see a photo of a fully-deployed Screamer and nearly-cut sling!

Mike is right! Everyone around here must have some cool photos of trashed gear! I have a sawed-off baby on my keychain that has been bashed so many times, it has split!


apollodorus


Nov 21, 2002, 6:11 PM
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I get to be the metallurgist.

First of all, it is correct that some climbing gear is formed from soft metal that is then heat treated to increase its strength and hardness. Pitons, skyhooks, and carabiners are made that way.

But, that Cassin fifi hook was stamped from a pre-hardened sheet of aluminum alloy. The chance that the sheet was not properly heat treated ("artificially aged") is pretty slim.

More likely, some guy in France designed it forty-plus years ago for 135 lb. French climbers and it was never updated to reflect modern use.

I have a picture of one in a book published 1971, but the pic looks even older than that. Plus, I have two of those things and they are definitely not bomber hooks.

[ This Message was edited by: apollodorus on 2002-11-21 18:15 ]


sushislayer


Nov 21, 2002, 6:48 PM
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I think it's because you wrote on it with a sharpie - we've all been told not to do that to our gear lol.


mshore


Nov 22, 2002, 6:12 AM
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Those damn sharpies! I knew I should not have done that. And where did the rest of you learn that stuff about metal? Some true engineers I suppose. Thanks for your input. I will try to contact Cassin but I don't want to let go of a cool piece of beat gear so we will have to see what happens!


quickclips


Nov 22, 2002, 7:29 AM
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I'm studying Mechanical engineering right now, and am actually in a material science class. you can tell what kind of break it is bye looking at the fracture. If it is a clean, smooth break then the material was to brittle for its use. If the fracture is "coned" which means it has valleys and peaks, it was a ductile fracture. If its ductile, look at the wear of the break. If you can see color/texture striations then it was a fatigue failure. And that means it was simple loaded and unloaded to many times. The number of times a material can be loaded/cycled depends on the magnitude of the load and the time it was consistantly stressed. If you have any questions you can PM me.

Thats my 2 cents,
Chris


cdb1386


Nov 22, 2002, 9:28 AM
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Ohh quickclips, you are bringing back memories of those engineering classes in collge. I'll have to dig out my materials book and take a look.


smallwallmonkey


Nov 22, 2002, 2:50 PM
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Though I know nothing of advanced material science, I do know that one of my partners completely tweaked that same model of fifi on Lurking Fear this summer. His Cassin fifi was sort of twisted (extremely) and other, more experienced aid climbers, were aghast at the sight. I know I'll stick to good ol' BD fifis....


sparky


Nov 26, 2002, 12:59 PM
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i got me a broken oval, picture coming soon


mountainmonkey


Nov 26, 2002, 1:11 PM
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The cassin fifi could have been loaded near teh tip of the hook causing a much greater moment and stresses where it deformed. Still I am surprised it happened, the metal must have been softer that it was designed for. For aluminum to behave that ductile it would have to be softer that what is generally used.


wlderdude


Nov 26, 2002, 1:28 PM
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It is possible (althoug not likely) that the aluminum used for that ancient fifi hook has undergone the phenomina of overaging. Get out that old materials science book and you can read up on how some aluminum alloys grow stronger over time, but after a certain point, they start getting weaker. A metalurgist without the foresite to think this fifi might be used for decades might have aged the alloy too much in heat treating, and then it over aged while still in use.

Just speculation, but isn't it fun?


mother_sheep


Nov 26, 2002, 1:51 PM
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Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder has a nice display case full of broken gear. Some of it is really old. Its back at the climbing counter. Cool stuff.


jerrygarcia


Nov 26, 2002, 1:58 PM
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Quote:
Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder has a nice display case full of broken gear. Some of it is really old.


The Gendarme at Seneca Rocks has a showcase of broken gear also.


johnhenry


Nov 29, 2002, 12:34 PM
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Broke the same fifi!!!

I took a whipper on the sixth pitch of the South Face of Washington Coloumn(I know, I know, A1 Dude but at least I lead the whole wall) and this sucker snagged something on the way down and snapped.

I don't think aluminum is heavy-duty enough for Fifi's.

I can't figure out how to paste the piture in. Help??? John



okieterry


Nov 29, 2002, 2:29 PM
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A buddy of mine fell when a fifi hook broke while we were putting up a route down in mexico last month - actually he was hit by a 13 foot palm tree that he had lassoed and was pulling up on. The tree hit him and the cassin fifi hook he was on broke and I caught everything (my bud and the tree).
Fifi hooks aren't designed to hold falls, just body weight.


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