Wire cable failures in climbing anchor chocks

Jeffrey Vogwell, Jose Maria Minguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Anchor chocks are used in the sport of rock climbing for providing secure attachment to a rock face. They are used at regular intervals and must be light weight (since many are carried) and also sufficiently strong to withstand an impact force should a climber fall from a height. In chock design, steel wire cable is widely used for connecting the nut component, which is wedged into a rock crevice, to the free end which attaches, via a karabiner link, to the safety rope. However, the wire cable is vulnerable to failure as it can fray with use at exposed ends especially when folded into a loop using tight bends. Also, the ferrule end connections are considered a potential design weakness. In a research programme tests have been carried out on new and also some well used anchor chocks and has revealed very different, and some unpredicted, failure modes - depending on the state of the wire rope and whether the applied load at failure was static or impact. This paper presents the results of test failures for a range of chocks and discusses the benefits of using single lengths of wire cable with suitably swaged end ferrules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-168
Number of pages4
JournalAdvances in Composite Materials and Structures, Parts 1 and 2
Volume348-349
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Rocks
  • Nuts (fasteners)
  • Anchor cables
  • Impact strength
  • Failure analysis

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