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SQWUREL

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Bluu, May 21, 2015.

  1. Bluu

    Bluu

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    In case anyone was wondering how testing of the Sqwurel is going. I went to a local company set up to test things and ran a series of tests. The Sqwurel did well! Here are quick final thoughts from the tests. If you want to look the details over a bit more and muddle through my traditional style of writing too much I will have a PDF uploaded to the www.BG-Gear.com store soon.

    Quick final thoughts are..........
    The Sqwurel was released without formal testing. It was deemed ok to do so due to several prototypes being in use for over a year and going strong, the cross sectional area of the throat sides were designed larger than other devices and preliminary pull testing on prototypes showed favorable results. Today’s testing was aimed at getting a first look at the strength / safety of the final version of the Sqwurel V1 rappel device. Each test was run with a new segment of rope.

    A set of tests were done with the Sqwurel and 8mm dynamic rope which mimic the UIAA 129 which is an internationally recognized testing standard. The tests were mistakenly done at 6kN rather than the required 7kN. With the UIAA type testing done at 6kN the Sqwurel was still subjected to high forces and passed these tests with no damage and continue to function properly. Keep in mind that the UIAA 129 testing does not stress a device to failure so it gives limited insight about the actual strength of the device. Future testing may be done to redo these tests at the required 7kN. Testing to failure in subsequent testing will help provide insights about the overall strength and safety of the Sqwurel.

    Another set of tests were done with the Sqwurel set to standard rigging ready to rappel with 8mm static rope then the rope tensioned to failure. Each test in this series set the Sqwurel in a different Friction Level setting. The majority of Friction Level settings chosen were those that would be most likely to expose a weakness in the tail of the Sqwurel, which is the weakest portion of the device. In all tests the rope was the failure point at rope tensions ranging from 3260 lbf to 3540 lbf when static rope was used and around 2675 lbf when one test was run with 8mm dynamic rope. When all 3 Tail Holes are rigged and the rope tensioned to over 3000 lbf the tail was left bent by about 5 to 8 degrees, showed no visible signs of cracking or breakage and continued to provide the designed function. If the system is subjected to significantly high forces, ALL pieces of equipment should be considered for retirement rather visibly damaged or not.

    Another set of tests were run with 8mm static rope to test the lock-off modes, Soft Lock-off, Hard Lock-off method 1 and Hard Lock-off method 2. The Soft Lock-off method may slip a very small amount if a fall subjects the system to about 1300 lbf but will still continue to provide the lock-off function. Both the Hard Lock-off method 1 and the Hard Lock-off method 2 will continue to provide the lock-off function up to over 3100 lbf when the rope itself becomes the weak point in the system. Also of note when the Hard Lock-off method 1 and Hard Lock-off method 2 were tensioned to rope failure the Tail was compressed like an accordion but showed no visible signs of cracking or breakage.

    Another test was run to test tail flex / deflection. Using 8mm static rope the Sqwurel was set in Friction Level Simple-3 to utilize the full length of the tail. The rope was tensioned repeatedly starting at low forces and ramping up the force by about 100 lbf with each tensioning. Each time the rope was tensioned a straight edge was used to see if the tail was being flexed / deflected during tension. When the forces were high enough to flex / deflect the tail, the rope was released and the tail was re-measured to determine if the tail returned to flat or not to note if the flex / deflection of the tail was temporary or permanent. At about 1600 lbf the tail began to flex / deflect while under tension but returned to true flat after tension was released. At about 2745 lbf the tail was first noted to experience a small permanent deflection of less than 1/64th of an inch over the full length of the tail. The test was run up to about 2940 lbf with the permanent deflection still less than 1/64th of an inch over the full length of the tail.

    Another test was run using 8mm static rope and the Sqwurel rigged incorrectly on the spine of the carabiner. The test showed that the shape of some carabiners will cause the carabiner to right itself to proper orientation when force is applied. If however the system does become fully loaded with the Sqwurel set on the spine of the carabiner, the weak point in the system is still the rope failing.

    Just to see how strong the Sqwurel is when tensioned between the Throat and the Carabiner Hole a test was run using steel carabiners to pull apart the Sqwurel. Two tests ended when the steel carabiners failed at 9550 lbf (42.48kN) and 10,950 lbf (48.5kN). The Sqwurel is strong under a tensile load however in the field the Sqwurel should never experience a tensile load if used properly. This test offers little information about strength or safety under normal use.

    A final test was run not aimed at testing the Sqwurel. Static ropes are rated with a tensile strength indicating how strong the rope may be. Dynamic rope on the other hand is rated in impact force indicating the forces seen by the load when dropped a specified distanced when tied to the rope. Curiosity set in wondering if the 8mm dynamic rope was up to the task of testing to failure. The dynamic rope does have sufficient tensile strength to conduct some test to failure but will not be as strong as static rope and offer less insight as a result. Also of note the amount of rope stretch is extreme and may complicate testing as equipment with long throws may be required.
    hank moon likes this.
  2. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    This was the quick version?:tongue: Looks like a great device, I plan on getting one as soon as I burn through all the piranas I have lying around.
  3. PJ82

    PJ82

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    Location:
    Southern Pines, NC
    Picking one up enroute through St George in a week…hopefully.
  4. Steven Cottle

    Steven Cottle

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    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. Bluu

    Bluu

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    chit, Chit, CHit, CHIt, CHIT, CHIT...............It's that time again.


    A new litter is running around in the wilds! Sqwurel V2, the addictively fun rappel device with a serious technical bite, is on the loose!


    Three minor tweaks have been made to version 2 but the basic function and friction settings remain unchanged. The first tweak is the rope retention nub in tail hole 3 has been moved to the rear of the opening which provides greater rope retention. As a result, the tail was shortened a bit making the tail of the Sqwurel less prone to grabbing onto things. The second tweak is the ear of the Sqwurel has also been shortened to reduce hookiness (is that a word?). The third tweak is the rope retention nub on tail hole 2 has been increased a tiny bit to provide better rope retention in tail hole 2.

    This time around there are two colors for the Sqwurel, the standard sandblasted raw aluminum finish with black labeling and a blue anodized version with white lettering. The standard Sqwurel will be available at BG Gear dealers who stock version 2 and the blue anodized version is a special edition and will be available only from the BG Gear web store (only 100 special edition units produced)

    If you want more information on the SQWUREL, head on over to www.BG-Gear.com to take a peek. There you will find the product listing as well as some extra information in the store sidebar.

    I am pretty excited to see the Sqwurel has had sufficient interest to warrant another run!

    SQWUREL!!!!!
    chit, chit, chit, chit……..

    Luke
    Anna, Rapterman, darhawk and 3 others like this.
  6. townsend

    townsend

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    Speaking for myself and others (with and without their permission!), we are excited for a second run, and with refinements. Luke, it would be great if you could publish here in this thread at CC a photo with version 1 and version 2 side-by-side to facilitate easy comparison. Regardless, thanks for your contribution to canyoneering hardware.:twothumbs:
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  7. Bluu

    Bluu

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    Yup good idea. Here ya go. ")

    Attached Files:

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    Deagol and townsend like this.
  8. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    It's a good tool...one I reach for often. Demonstrated it yesterday to a large group of Fire & Rescue personnel - single and double strand. They were very impressed with the ease of friction adjustment, especially when compared to the safety 8s they were using.

    Looking forward to the new version....problem is (to its credit) there's still plenty of life in v1.0.
    darhawk likes this.
  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Did a 360 foot mostly free-hanging rappel yesterday. The Sqwurel is the secret weapon. Thanks for the picture Luuke - a picture is worth a thousand words. I like all the tweaks.

    Tom
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  10. Nettaiya

    Nettaiya

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    Any recommended biners that work well with the Sqwurel?
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  11. townsend

    townsend

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    IIRC, Pirana, ATS, CRITR and SQWUREL all work well with a Petzl attaché and other biners of similar girth. The point is that the biner is supposed to fit snugly, so that the rappel device won't drop off during a watery disconnect (not only relevant for class C canyons, but simple potholes as well). Someone else will chime in with other biners of similar girth (e.g., Rock Exotica pirate, etc.)
  12. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    HMS design generally preferred for the large basket (EZ rope in-n-out) and small bottom (lower profile, ergonomics...), plus good for Munter usage. In sandstone canyons, it's good to have lots of metal in the carabiner basket to be worn away, so Petzl Attache (old model, with the 12mm rod stock) works well. The Rock Exotica Pirate uses this same stock, so is a good alternative (see this thread for discussion on Pirate screwgate). This all assumes rope in the 8-9mm range; for larger ropes, use a larger carabiner (e.g. Petzl William).

    For canyons with many successive rappels, I like an auto locking carabiner (only to attach the rap device to the harness, not for any other use). Petzl William Tri-Act or Rock Exotica Orca.

    Note: none of the above is SQWUREL-specific, but applicable to any fig. 8 spinoff device (CRITR, Pirana, ATS...).
    townsend likes this.
  13. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    What he said. Plus:

    I've been running my Sqwurel with the Petzl Attache, but it also works with the BD Rocklock. May take a little lubricant to get the biner in - spit works, or just water. I like the Rocklocks partly because they are inexpensive, and have a lot of material - however, they do not work with the Pirana.

    I acquired a supply of the Petzl Attache Hera as they are going out of stock, so I will have the old-style available (until they are not).

    Tom
    Rapterman likes this.
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