Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 410–418 | Cite as

Marine Atmospheric SCC of Unsensitized Stainless Steel Rock Climbing Protection

  • A. Sjong
  • L. Eiselstein
Case History---Peer-Reviewed


A failure investigation into the root cause of fixed austenitic stainless steel climbing anchor hardware in tropical marine climates has been presented. The incident 316L climbing anchor was fixed in a seaside limestone cliff in southern Thailand and underwent transgranular chloride stress corrosion cracking (TGSCC) after 10 years of service. Since stainless steel does not normally undergo stress corrosion cracking (SCC) at ambient temperatures, the conditions known to promote ambient temperature TGSCC of austenitic stainless steel are reviewed. A mechanism that may give rise to TGSCC in limestone climbing anchors in warm marine environments is postulated.


Austenitic stainless steel Corrosion failure analysis Stress corrosion cracking Failure mechanism 



We thank Greg Barnes at American Safe Climbing Association ( for providing us with the sample and details on the corrosion and Jacques Rutschman for his initial inquiry into the corrosion of stainless steel.


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sjong Consulting, LLCBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Exponent, Inc.Menlo ParkUSA

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