Tap bolts and structural bolts are considered to be quality fasteners. They’ve been used in the equipment assembly industry for years, but...
How To Decrease The Risk Of Bolt Failure: Use A Torque Wrench
No one wants to talk about bolt failures. Bud despite being the smallest element of a structure, bolts play a critical role in ensuring your application is reliable, safe, and secure. Failing to follow the manufacturer's guidelines and correct bolting practices can cause bolt failures, which may lead to breakdowns, leaks, fires, or fatal accidents.
A torque wrench is one of the best fastening tools that significantly reduce the risks of bolt failures. It is used to check and adjust bolts, screws, and nuts of various sizes and shapes across industries.
How Does a Torque Wrench Decrease Bolt Failures Risks?
A torque wrench is a fastening tool used to apply and control torque (twisting force) to fasteners such as screws, nuts, or bolts. It is an advancement of the basic wrench. The latter indicates the amount of force being applied to its handle with a clicking noise, a gauge, a needle, or an electronic window.
Why is it important to know the amount of twisting force being applied? Fasteners or fastened parts may be distorted or damaged. For example, over-tightened lug nuts on the wheels can cause brake-rotor warping, premature brake wear, inconvenient stuck lugs, and ineffective stopping. They can also cause wheel studs to nap off.
On the other hand, if your fasteners are too loose or tightened too much, parts may also back off. Loose lug nuts may also make lugs loosen and cause the wheel to fall.
Can Torque Wrenched Bolts Fail?
Torque is one of the best and safest methods of fastening bolts. However, the bolts may fail due to factors such as improper torque, overload, improper manufacture or design, and metal fatigue. Incorrectly torqued bolts may fail due to fatigue under any of the following situations:
- Design fatigue or material defects
- Human errors by overstretching or overloading the bolts beyond the threshold
- Bolt corrosion or galling
- Exposure to extreme temperatures
- Intense vibrations may loosen the bolts
- Too low or high preload value resulting from incorrectly calibrated tools
How Can You Reduce Fatigue-related Bolt Failures?
- Verify that the torque value specified in the manufacturer's design is appropriate for the bolt's alloy and diameter.
- Choose high-quality bolts with the appropriate toughness and strength.
- Use additional supports to minimize fastening stress and vibrations
- Ensure the fastener's hole is corrosion and dirt-free because they may affect the torque readings
- Use lubricants or adhesives to ensure the bolts do not become too loose
- Avoid human errors such as misalignment, rough surfaces, and high-speed installation
- Use fine (rolled) threads instead of cut threads that are likely to induce compressive stress
- Use the most appropriate torque wrench to fasten every application
- Ensure the fasteners are not overstressed and are appropriate for the application
- Minimize hole clearance in the bolted joints
Although several tools can be used to tighten or adjust bolts, the torque wrench stands out as far as the safety of the bolts and the joints are concerned. Torque wrenches come in different types, each with different operating principles. They include; a dial indicator, a digital clicker, and a beam or deflection indicator. The choice of the best one entirely depends on specific mechanical requirements.
Big Bolt Can Help
Are you concerned with bolt failures regardless of the root cause? Big Bolt is properly equipped to help you! We are the most prominent fastener manufacturer in the Midwest, with clients across the United States and across the world. We are ISO-certified and have more than 50 years of experience in the field. We’re manufacturing high-quality fasteners for critical industries such as government & military, transportation, construction, and aerospace, among others.
Contact us today to get a quote today.