We were informed overnight from Fixe that they have detected some unusual oxidisation of certain hangers in marine environments.
We are currently checking our own stock and contacting our customers who have purchased the potentially affected equipment.
The full detail from Fixe is as follows in the attached PDF and explanation below (note that we have inserted our own email address so as to more quickly address any local concerns):
At FIXE, we have detected a tendency towards oxidation in marine environments that is very high and unusual in some shipments of FIXE-1 PLX hangers. The detected products have a batch number between 0116 and 2216. The first two figures are between 01 and 22 and the last two are always 16.
PLX hangers are manufactured using Duplex stainless steel, a material that, due to its chemical composition and internal structure, displays very high anti-corrosion properties.
List of products that contain FIXE-1 PLX hangers: 038D-10PLX, 038D-12PLX, 211D-10PLX, 211D-12PLX, 036PLX, 603KD-12PLX, 603D- 12PLX, 363PLX, 363D-12PLX, 363KD-12PLX, 738PLX, 738D-12PLX, 037PLX, 037D-12PLX, 392PLX, 392D-12PLX, 460PLX, 460D-12PLX, 044D-12PLX.
Consequently, if you detect oxidation or you have FIXE-1 PLX hangers (or belays and rappels that contain them) installed or that you intend to install in marine environments, with a batch number between 0116 and 2216 inclusive, please contact us via the email address:
How did you detect this?
Some customers contacted us about instances of FIXE 1 hangers showing signs of corrosion. In all cases, the hangers were installed in areas very close to the sea. This was a completely unexpected occurrence since this material is highly resistant to corrosion.
Based on the detected incidents, we began an internal and external investigation, checking the qualities of the material in the laboratory, repeatability of the manufacturing process and conducting a corrosion and stress test.
The most conclusive test was the corrosion and stress test. 3 samples of each batch were tested for 720 hours in salt spray according to ISO 9227 (ASTM B117) and a traction test was then performed according to standard En959.
The results revealed that the batches prior to 2216 showed signs of corrosion and lower resistance, while the batches subsequent to 2216 showed no sign of corrosion and their resistance was not affected either
Could a PLX hanger be affected from a batch other than the one indicated?
No, because we conducted tests on the different batches and only those with the numbers indicated present signs of corrosion.
What is the difference between one batch and another?
Apart from the date of manufacture and the batches of raw materials, we significantly changed the way in which we produce the FIXE-1 hangers after batch 2216:
The batches prior to 2216, inclusive, had a system for manufacturing the material that resulted in a poor surface finishing that significantly degraded the anti-corrosive properties of the material, tests revealed.
In the batches after 2216, the system for manufacturing the material changed completely, obtaining an optimal finish to guarantee the high anti-corrosive capacities of the product.
Is any other PLX product affected?
No, the other PLX products are manufactured using a process different to the one we used for the hangers. We also included the other PLX products in the corrosion and stress test, and none of them showed signs of corrosion or lower resistance.
Is the detected safety risk really so great and critical?
At FIXE we believe that any unforeseen risk is critical regardless of degree. That is why we are asking you to contact us if you have hangers with one of the affected batch numbers, so that we can study it and replace it.
We apologise in advance for any inconvenience and worry caused by this corrective action.
As always, we are fully committed to the safety and protection of our customers and climbers.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Expedition Equipment, on firstname.lastname@example.org