November 21, 2019, 08:13:41 PM
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Topic: safety of climbing rope left near sulfuric acid container  (Read 303 times)

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Offline Burke512

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safety of climbing rope left near sulfuric acid container
« on: August 05, 2019, 11:50:25 PM »
Hello!

I hope this is the right place to ask. I am an occasional rock climber and some months ago, I left my nylon climbing rope, along with some dyneema/spectra slings, on a table in my basement maybe six feet away from a shelf containing a closed bottle of drain cleaner, MARC 55 Heavy Duty Drain Cleaner, which contains "inhibited concentrated virgin-type sulfuric acid, over 90%". I got the idea later that it might be possible for a bit of acid to evaporate from the container and possibly damage materials nearby. I know that nylon is highly vulnerable to sulfuric acid. Once this worry occurred to me, I checked to see how tight the bottle was. It was tight enough not to leak at all when inverted, but when I opened it, it took very little effort to do so. So I am not sure if anything could have been evaporating.

The basement is fairly large, so any vapors should have diffused over a fairly large volume. And the bottle is at a position higher than the rope.

Any reason for me to think my rope might now be unsafe? Or am I just being excessively paranoid?

I'd appreciate any thoughts on the matter!

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: safety of climbing rope left near sulfuric acid container
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 04:30:01 AM »
Yes, paranoid. Sulphuric acid isn't volatile.

Offline wildfyr

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Re: safety of climbing rope left near sulfuric acid container
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 09:21:48 AM »
8/10 would be kind of scared to whip, even though I know sulfuric acid isn't volatile. The only known case of a rope breaking without there being some kind of sharp edge or extenuating circumstance was at Stone Summit Atlanta where someone dropped a rope in a parking lot a few months earlier, and it became contaminated with battery acid (H2SO4). They took a fall a few bolts up at the gym and the rope fell apart. They fell ~40 feet and were seriously injured.

As long as you are confident there was no liquid leaking near the rope or slings, there will not be damage. If you have any doubts, retire them. Your life is worth more than $200 of gear.

Offline Burke512

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Re: safety of climbing rope left near sulfuric acid container
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2019, 12:25:11 AM »
Thank you both for your thoughts! I'll probably retire the rope just to be safe.

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