We sent Ben Winston to Utah to find out just how strong a Black Diamond wire-gate carabiner really is.
Posted: 17 April 2012
Just how strong is a Black Diamond wire-gate carabiner and how is it tested? We sent OM roving reporter Ben Winston to BD central in Salt Lake City, Utah to find out.
Lots more to follow in the next few days, but here's how the company tests its wire-gates - a sample from every batch manufactured is put on the testing rig to make sure it comes up to scratch. 'Scratch' in this case means CE approval and a closed gate strength of 20kN minimum, which is 4,496lb and, even with the gate open, 8kN or 1798lb of force.
In other words enough to handle some pretty major loads - put it in perspective, that's more than the weight of a small car with that minimal looking wired gate securely shut. Not that you should be hoisting cars using your quick draws anyway...
Why use a wire-gate instead of a conventional 'biner? Well, there's no loss in strength, there are fewer moving parts which makes them less likely to freeze or jam with debris, the gate opens slightly wider because wire is thinnner than a conventional solid bar and the reduced mass of the gate means it's less likely to open in fall if the biner vibrates under rope movement or hits the rock hard.
Sop it's slightly lighter, works better and hey, look, if it'll stand up to this sort of abuse, a paltry climbing fall should be nothing to worry about, right?
More Black Diamond info at www.blackdiamondequipment.com. More from our factory visit to follow shortly.