With so many brands manufacturing hundreds of models, it can be a real challenge to choose the right model.
The material used for lighter carabiners is an alloy of aluminum and zinc, although some are also manufactured with steel. The aluminum provides lightness while zinc provides strength.
There are two different ways to give them shape:
A. Forged in cold
This cold forged, as its name indicates, gives shape to the carabiner in cold and with the help of a press. Then it heats up to 800 ° C. This warming allows it to be molded to its desired final shape. Once all this process has been completed, it is warmed again for approximately 3 hours with a subsequent tempera to strengthen its hardness.
This method of training is easier and cheaper but the carabiners that are obtained are heavier.
B. Forged in heat
The hot forged one consists of a first phase of warming and its later modeling. As the metal is hot, it is easy to shake it. In this way, more complex forms are achieved than cold forged. This also includes a later tempera to make the metal harder. This process is more common in metals such as steel, where the cold forging is more complex.
The carabiners resulting from this process are lighter and more elaborate, although also more expensive.
RESISTANCE OF CARABINERS
The carabiners are designed to work on its main axis and with the hook closed. If you work with the open hook or on its smaller axis, it will not be working with its maximum potential.
In the photograph you can see the resistance of the carabiners. The first number refers to the tensile strength in its main axis, in kN (20 kN are approximately 2000kg). The 7 kN (700 kg) refer to its tensile strength in its lower axis. Finally, the 8 kN refers to its tensile strength in the main axis with the open trigger.
It is important to know that what gives resistance to a carabiner is, in most cases, the form that it has and not the material of which this fact.
TYPES OF CARABINERS
• Basic or type B
It is the most common, due to its lightness, resistance and great opening range of trigger. It is the carabiner that we will usually see on the tapes.
• HMS or H type
They have a pear shape. This type is exclusive for use with rapelators or insurers. It is not good to use them for everything, since they tend to load the weight away from its main axis, reducing its resistance.
• Klettersteig or K type
They consist of an automatic closing and are designed to make ferrata. To facilitate the activity its range of aperture and its resistance in the main axis is greater than in other models.
• Directional or type T
They are designed to steer the load in the right direction. Avoid misuse in the minor axis.
• Oval or type X
They are the first ones that were there, but they are not as resistant as other forms. They are not designed to withstand a fall, but their symmetry allows them to use them to make abyss.
CARE OF YOUR CARABINERS
- Check regularly for cracks, sharp edges or corrosion.
- Make sure they are not bent
- Watch for the trigger to open and close as necessary
- If a carabiner has fallen or it has taken a good blow, it may seem intact but it is damaged in its interior. If there are any doubts better directly do not use it.
- If necessary, clean the trigger by blowing the dust. If it gets sticky, wash it with soapy and hot water, rinse it thoroughly and let it dry. It is advisable to do so after it has been in a salty environment.
- If applicable, you can apply a lubricant. It is important to get rid of all excess lubricant.