These reversing chains are potentially dangerous

Once again, a FIXE chain link breaks. The DAV safety research recommends replacing previously installed chains from the manufacturer with the "INOX" mark or temporarily backing them up. In this context, we draw your attention to another warning in connection with bolt plates from FIXE from 2017 (LACRUX reported).

A message from the German Alpine Association DAV

Already in the summer of 2015 DAV safety research was sent a torn FIXE chain link to a FIXE equalization anchorage. At that time, the manufacturer checked the problem and published the recommendation that the problem could be solved cost-effectively and without great expenditure of time by backing up the top link with a Maillon Rapide. The found cracks in chains of the manufacturer were based on the phenomenon of stress corrosion cracking. In order to be able to be connected to the hook flap, according to FIXE, the top chain link must be separated and rewelded manually. This handmade weld is susceptible to stress corrosion cracking. The DAV informed about it on his Home.

Current claim

Now there is another cracked chain in the FIXE FIBE safety research, in which apart from the first, hand-welded, also the second, mechanically welded chain link is broken (see photo 1). The manufacturer confirmed that this was obviously a "bad material choice".

The upper links of this FIXE leveling anchorage were each secured with the aid of a Maillon Rapide, as recommended by the manufacturer. But as the second chain link broke, the deflection was only on one side in the wall. Two of the three fragments could be found with a metal detector.

The FIXE leveling anchorage where two links are broken. Photo: DAV Security Research
Photo 1: The FIXE leveling anchorage where two links are broken. Photo: DAV Security Research

 

Which deflection chains are affected?

Fortunately, FIXE was able to inform the DAV in an addendum dated October 31, 2018 how the affected chain links can be identified: they are all marked with "INOX". This marking can be found on the hook plate of all products made from A2 steel. Only products with this label are affected by the warning and should be replaced.

Fixe has now published a statement on his homepage.

Recommended actions

Due to the problem described, DAV safety research recommends that all previously installed FIXE chains with "INOX" marking be replaced immediately. The top priority is the deflection devices of the compensation anchoring type.

Deflection chains from FIXE with the label "PLX" can continue to be used according to the manufacturer. FIXE continues to attribute the problem to stress corrosion cracking and says that the problem does not exist in climbing gyms that are not in the immediate vicinity of sources of influence such as swimming pools, industry, busy traffic routes, agriculture, etc.

As a makeshift solution, affected chains can be temporarily secured with a quickdraw, which is suspended in the bolt and in the ring parallel to a chain strand (see photo 2).

Photo 2: Example of a temporary makeshift backup. Photo: DAV Security Research
Photo 2: Example of a temporary makeshift backup. Photo: DAV Security Research

 

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