Loctite - Analyzing Thread Treatment Options

Our thanks to Loctite for allowing us to reprint the following article.
By Andy Bardon, Senior Application Engineer, Henkel Corporation

Proactively treating threaded pipes and fastener with thread treatment products is critical to efficient and cost effective manufacturing. A major cause of industrial equipment failure, threaded fastener loosening results in millions of dollars of unscheduled downtime costs each year. Similarly, more than a billion gallons of industrial fluids are wasted through leakage each year. Beyond the value of lost fluids and gases, leaks affect toxicity, emissions, safety, contamination and personnel.


Threaded fasteners set and hold tolerances on assemblies ranging from light-duty equipment to heavy machinery. To ensure reliable performance, it's imperative that the specified tolerances hold during the equipment's entire service life. To lubricate, protect, seal and hold threaded fasteners to their original tolerances, various forms of thread treatments are used to increase an assembly's reliability. Thread treatments are placed into three categories: thread sealants, thread lockers and anti-seize materials.


Threadlockers


Threaded fasteners continually receive various types of differential stress. Stresses such as vibration and shock, thermal expansion and contraction, and micromovement of the fastened parts all can reduce clamping force and, ultimately, cause machine failure. Many mechanical devices such as spring washers, wire retainers and locking bolts were created in an effort to prevent uncontrolled fastener loosening. These mechanical locking methods add significant cost to the fastener assembly, yet can't reliably prevent loosening due to the side-sliding motion that causes self-loosening. They also don't seal or prevent corrosion within the assembly and must be sized appropriately for the specific fastener...


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