Last year Petzl introduced a new anchor to the market; the removable Coeur Pulse.
This expansion anchor can be installed but then removed leaving nothing but the drilled hole, so clearly has the potential use in aid climbing and exploration without the need to use dubious rock-screw type anchors or 8mm spits. They cost around £45 each so clearly people aren’t going to be buying lots of them!
More info on the anchors can be found here: https://www.petzl.com/INT/en/Sport/Anchors/COEUR-PULSE
We had a chance to play around and pull test one of these a few weeks ago so I thought I’d share my observations.
To me the idea’s fantastic. To be able to drill a hole, place the anchor and move on, then decide later if that’s the ideal placement (I’d have thought the same hole could be used to house a resin anchor provided a resin gun rather than capsule is used, although some testing on this would be useful!) seems like a great idea. I’d have appreciated some of these during some aid climbing sessions I’d done in the past to get into long abandoned parts of mines rather than tentatively loading rock-screw type anchors or 8mm spits and hoping they’d hold!!
The Coeur Pulse needs a clean well drilled 12mm hole (there is an 8mm version but we used the 12mm). They conform to EN795 (which is more a rope access standard rather than a mountaineering/caving standard). That means they should not be subjected to a dynamic load in excess of 6kN so the manufactures documentation highlight (as “situation presenting as imminent risk of serious injury or death”!!) they should not be used where there’s a risk of a dynamic loading/fall.
The 12mm version is rated to be pulled in any direction, where as the 8mm only in shear (the way you’d rather load an anchor rather than pulling it directly out).
Here’s a video of us placing and then load testing the anchor to 6kN
Initial observations were that when placed properly with the yellow collar positioned correctly (which indicates the expansion section is working correctly) the plate still has a significant amount of play in it. That said we took the anchor up to 6kN in axial (pulled directly out) and it held fine. The plate had clearly lifted which gives concern to a leverage force being applied to the anchor.
Overall I still think these have great use but they need to be used with great care; holes well drilled and cleaned and an understanding that they should not be dynamically loading is really going to limit their use.