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andybr6

Looking after your 3 rings

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I was just reading the steel vs stainless steel thread and people were mentioning taking care of steel [as in the non-stainless kind] 3 rings. What is the recomended way to keep them in good condition. My rig has regular steel on the rings and all i do is keep it in a dry place adn dont seem to have any problems. Is there anything else i should be doing to ensure that they wont corrode?

------------------------------------------------

"All men can fly, but sadly, only in one direction"

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all i do is keep it in a dry place adn dont seem to have any problems.



That doesn't surprise me any. Plated carbon-steel hardware has served skydivers and the military well for decades. I have seen student and rental rigs with extensive use and no corrosion, because these were never abused. My standard practice for cleaning containers is by immersing them in mild soapy water and I've never had any corrosion problems after drip-drying these promptly. Of course, now that stainless steel hardware has gained in popularity, we're gonna start hearing the black death stuff about the "old" plated hardware.

Interesting note: the only rust I've seen on well-maintained plated hardware was caused by the outdated practice of spinning both of the upper 2 rings of the 3-ring assembly during each gear check to make sure this assembly was free to function properly. Yep, when I was a student, I watched a training video (we had video then) in which none other than Roger Nelson showed us how to do this. The practice was eventually discontinued because many years of spinning these rings against each other would wear off some of the plating and allow a thin, circular stripe of rust to form. The lesson here is to avoid any abrasion that might wear off the plating, and from what I've seen, I'm not convinced that normal contact with harness webbing will cause this.

S49

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The practice (of spinning the rings) was eventually discontinued because many years of spinning these rings against each other would wear off some of the plating and allow a thin, circular stripe of rust to form.



Lest those with stainless steel rings think it's ok for them to spin their rings:

Spinning the rings also works dirt into the webbing. Over time, this can accelerate wear and increase the possibility of a riser failure.

There is no advantage to spinning the rings. It's an outdated practice that serves no useful purpose.
-Josh
If you have time to panic, you have time to do something more productive. -Me*
*Ron has accused me of plagiarizing this quote. He attributes it to Douglas Adams.

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I clean my rings (ahem) with silicone spray when I service my cutaway cable and riser webbing. just to make em that little bit more slippery for when they need to move in a hurry.



You don't need them to be slippery, friction in the system is actually a good thing. Lessens the force transmitted to the loop.

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I thought it was an outdated practice in the early 1980's. The stated reason was to "break the set." Why spinning the rings (which will release small bits of metal and shine up the nylon on the riser) is better than actually flexing the 3-rings was always beyond me.

To me, something like that is deep into the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" category. You keep them clean. Is there dust where you jump? Dirt? It probably won't hurt, but why do it?

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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I dislike when someone tells me a practice is outdated without telling me why it's outdated. It's compounding the original problem: someone told someone else to spin the rings, and didn't say why, but told the student to just accept it on faith. Now the student is told to not do that anymore, and nevermind why, it's an old technique no longer necessary, and just accept it on faith.

It was my understanding that spinning the rings in the olden days was a good thing because the hardware was not tough enough to accept openings without deforming (stretching) slightly, and spinning the rings helped ensure the hardware deformed consistently around the entire ring. I suppose this would ensure the ring didn't stretch to breaking at x,000 jumps, it would either stretch to breaking at x0,000 jumps or it would just swell until it wouldn't release. ;)

The reason I was told not to rotate the rings nowadays was:
1. the cost is webbing wear
2. the previous advantage, distributing the stretching deformation around the entire ring, is gone because today's hardware is much tougher.

-=-=-=-=-
Pull.

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surely if you keep your 3 rings clean then rotating them wont do any harm?



You can keep them as clean as you want, but the metal-to-metal contact of the rings sliding against each other is what wears off the plating, and BTW, a small amount of dirt/dust will adhere to silicone-damp webbing and accumulate over a long period of time.

S49

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I dislike when someone tells me a practice is outdated without telling me why it's outdated.



Then maybe you ought to read more carefully.

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It was my understanding that...the hardware was not tough enough...



Since I didn't start that misconception, I'm not responsible for your "understanding." The metalurgy of plated carbon steel hasn't changed significantly in the past 35 years. What has changed is our confidence in the 3-ring system that has proven itself over time. I'm not convinced that there ever was a good reason for a daily habit of spinning the rings, regardless of what you were "taught."

You're using up a lot of brainpower trying to unlearn a habit you don't even have. You'll become a better skydiver if you can equally consider all the available information and give credibility based on some logic, rather than dogmatically pursuing the first thing you're taught.

S49

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Spinning the rings was never necessary. All you do when you spin the rings, is put salt from your hands on the hardware. By the way, each opening rotates the rings a little anyway. If you will look at cadmium plated middle rings with over 100 jumps on them, you will see a slight "compression" of the plating evenly all around the "back" side of the ring. Flexing the webbing was a good idea when we used 1 3/4" Type 12 webbing to attach the smallest ring on "large" 3-ring systems. (We've used 1" square weave for over 20 years now.) On mini-rings, flexing the webbing was never really necessary. We left it in the generic 3-ring instructions only because not all risers are made with the correct webbings, and it doesn't hurt anyway.

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Bill, when you say "On mini-rings, flexing the webbing was never really necessary." Are you just referring to the webbing on the small ring? Do you suggest flexing the riser at the middle ring attachment? That's where the most "set" seems to be.


Blue Skies,
Wags

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seal_S49

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I dislike when someone tells me a practice is outdated without telling me why it's outdated.



Then maybe you ought to read more carefully.

***....... I'm not convinced that there ever was a good reason for a daily habit of spinning the rings, ......

S49


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A long time ago, a basement rigger made 3-Ring risers with rings that were too soft. Those rings were softer than the MIL SPEC rings used by major manufacturers. Hard opengings bent soft rings into ovals or egg shapes. Spinning rings revealed rings that were "out of round."
That was the original logic behind spinning rings.

Like many senior jumpers (almost 40 years since my first jump) I tire of seeing junior jumpers being taught the same superstitious dogma (do this or you will die a dishonourable death) about old habits. Some of those habits are based on gear that is no longer in service. For example, I still gently coil AAD cables becaus Cypres 1 cables cracked easily. I am still gentle - with cables - even though Cypres 1 have all retired.

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