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EN 12572 Artificial climbing structures


Easy to understand European standards for artificial rock installations

With the popularity of sports climbing, there seems to be a growing interest in the industry standard for artificial rock walls. In the process of planning or constructing a sports climbing facility, you often encounter questions about how to understand and apply these standards.

We've created a document that makes it easier to understand this European standard. We hope the following description will help you understand this standard, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team.

Q. What is the nature of the European standard EN 12572?

A. The industry standard that is currently highly cited internationally is the European Standard (EN). This EN 12572 standard is divided into three parts, each addressing the safety requirements of a rock wall, bouldering wall and climbing hold for rope climbing. As can be seen from the expression'Safety Requirements and Test Methods for Artificial Rock Walls' in the standard, the minimum conditions related to safety that an artificial rock wall must have are defined, and a standard method for testing these minimum conditions is suggested.

Also, as it is a European standard, it is a rule that must be followed when establishing rock wall facilities in Europe, but other countries have no obligation to follow it. However, since this standard presents an internationally recognized standard, this standard is acting as a standard in the design, production, and construction of artificial rock walls. In other words, it can be seen as a practical and universally recognized international standard in this field of industry.

EN 12572-1 Part-1: Safety requirements and test methods for artificial climbing structures with anchor points

Part 1.Safety requirements and test methods for ACS with protection points

Any artificial rock wall that is tall enough to use a rope will meet this standard. Here, the expression secured point refers to the hanger (quick draw) installed on the wall and the anchor that the uppermost rope hangs.

This standard mainly regulates the following items.

(1) Installation location of anchors-distance from the floor, distance between anchors

(2) Conditions of upper securing

(3) Completeness of structure-structure calculation and test, load test on securing point, surface impact test, panel insert test, etc.

The key to the specification is the stability of the structure, and you need to understand this. First of all, in order for an artificial rock wall to be constructed, there must be a structure in which the rock wall can be assembled. For example, if you are constructing a rock wall on the wall of an existing building, the structurally important thing at this time is not the rock wall, but the wall of the building. And the structure that connects the wall and the rock wall is also important. So, the main test is to check whether the rear structures such as buildings, walls, and connecting structures are completed and have stability. In the case of an artificial rock wall of independent form, the most important stability factor is the foundation of the floor and the structure formed vertically from the foundation.

An important part of understanding this specification is that it is'for completed artificial rock walls'. In other words, it is possible to check how each individual rock wall complies with this European standard, but it is not possible to say that a specific rock wall company has a European standard certification. So, to be very easy to understand, this standard can be viewed as a standard for a kind of completion inspection. When a specific rock wall is completed, it is requested to a testing agency to check whether it meets the conditions required by the standard to determine whether it conforms to the standard.

EN 12572-2 Part-2: Safety requirements and test methods for bouldering rocks

Part 2. Safety requirements and test methods for bouldering walls

As you can easily see from the title, this is the standard for bouldering rock walls. The rock wall dedicated to bouldering does not require rope climbing, so there is no need for structural elements for the installation of anchor points, so a more concise standard is presented.

(1) Specification of bouldering rock wall-height

(2) Floor mattress specifications and requirements

(3) Floor size requirements, installation location requirements

(4) Completeness of structure-structure calculation and test, surface impact test, panel insert test, etc.

In bouldering walls, it is very important to install shock absorbing material on the floor so that if the climber jumps to the floor, the shock is sufficiently absorbed. Therefore, this standard is devoted to the requirements of the floor material, test method, installation method and location, etc.

EN 12572-3 Part-3: Safety Requirements and Test Methods for Climbing Holds

Part 3. Safety requirements and test methods for climbing holds

This standard stipulates the part of the hold for climbing. In the case of a hold, it may lead to a climber's fall when it is locked or broken during a climbing activity. Therefore, it must have adequate strength, use a material that is safe for the human body, and the surface treatment must not be dangerous. In the case of hold, it is possible for manufacturers to test and obtain certifications on products.

(1) Hold material and surface treatment

(2) Fixed resistance and fracture resistance requirements

(3) strength requirements

Q. Who is the test body for European standard EN 12572?

A. There are very limited institutions that can test against these European standards and have confidence in the results. There are many industry-related test institutes in Korea, and each institute can only conduct tests for its specialty. Some of these specialized agencies are capable of conducting tests against European standards. These are institutions with public confidence that must maintain the status of inspection bodies recognized by national governments and international organizations.

In the past few years, Discovery has inquired about whether it is possible to perform tests against EN 12572 standards with several domestic testing institutes, but unfortunately, we have not yet met any possible organizations. In addition, it should be noted that it is the role of an inspection agency with public confidence as mentioned above to determine whether an artificial rock wall conforms to this European standard, and it is not possible for individuals or companies to arbitrarily test and determine its suitability. There is.

Q. What is an artificial rock wall company certified according to European standards... ?

A. Unfortunately, such a company cannot exist. As can be easily seen from the preceding description, parts 1 and 2 of the EN12572 standard for artificial rock walls are the nature of the safety standards for individual rock installations. Therefore, it is possible to say that an artificial rock wall conforms to the EN standard, but it is not possible that the company that produced it has the certification.

Whether individual rock walls comply with EN standards are also difficult to implement in Korea. The European standard basically aims to secure the safety of artificial rock walls in the European region, so there are test institutes that measure it and review its suitability as it is a regulation that must be observed in Europe. However, it is difficult in reality to test it in Korea.

Q. How is EN 12572 applied outside of Europe?

A. As mentioned earlier, this standard is intended to be applied in European countries, so it is not applied as a legally mandated industrial standard outside of Europe. However, since EN 12572 is the most widely known related standard and has been recognized for its public confidence, it can be said that it is a practical phenomenon to refer to and apply it in most cases.

For reference, the standards of each industry are made by the respective national system. Therefore, this European standard also goes through a procedure for initiating its validity in the relevant national agency, so that the relevant country codes such as BS EN~(UK), NF EN~(France), DIN EN~(Germany) must be applied. It has meaning. Korea's industrial standard is KS, and KS expects to be able to stably apply it as a standard for artificial rock walls will be made in the near future.

Q. Are the artificial rock walls constructed by Discovery compliant with EN standards?

A. As explained earlier, Discovery has been in contact with testing laboratories for many years to test conformance to this standard, but we have not yet been able to find an institution that can test it in Korea. Therefore, none of the rock walls found by Discovery have been tested to EN 12572 standards. However, Discovery maintains the quality standards to ensure that the panels and holds produced and the designed and constructed artificial rock walls fully meet the requirements of EN 12572. So, in practical terms, we can say that the artificial rock walls we designed, produced and constructed maintain this international standard. We have been able to expand our horizons by accumulating various construction achievements in overseas countries over the past 20 years, thanks to the stability of our artificial rock walls. In the future, we will continue to strive for safer and higher quality artificial rock walls.

※ This content is the interpretation and opinion of Discovery CS, but it is described from the most objective point of view. If you have a disagreement, you can raise an objection, but we politely refuse to disparage or advocate a specific company.

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