Say goodbye to self-loosening of fasteners, say hello to zero downtime
Unplanned downtime can be tackled effectively with proactive maintenance, which minimises chronic failures and increases plant equipment reliability
Does frequent loosening of nuts and bolts give you nightmares on the shop floor?
Keeping threaded fasteners tight seems like a simple task, but the moving nature of the machinery makes it troublesome. 70% of failures that cause downtime in a plant are chronic in nature, and one of the major chronic failures is self-loosening of threaded assemblies. Some of the causes that lead to self-loosening of threaded assemblies are vibration, gasket relaxation and thermal expansion. These unpredictable failures lead to unplanned downtime, affecting overall equipment efficiency, throwing production schedules out of gear and leading to high maintenance costs.
How can you reduce unplanned downtime?
Let us understand the different levels of maintenance before we get to understanding how to reduce downtime.
Self-loosening of threaded fasteners is the foremost cause for machine downtime. The obvious way to tackle it is by re-tightening the nut and bolt with a new or better fastener post loosening. However, it can loosen again, leaving the machine vulnerable to repeated failures. Now, would it not be better to prevent these failures once and for all? The solution is pro-active maintenance which focuses on tackling the root cause of such unpredictable chronic failures.
Most companies generally practice either reactive maintenance, which means fixing after failure has occurred, or preventive maintenance, which means servicing the machine before breakdown occurs. However, to achieve a world class manufacturing set-up and avoid unplanned downtime, plants need to adopt proactive maintenance. This drastically reduces meantime between failures, minimizes chronic failures and increases plant equipment reliability, thereby reducing downtime.
Identify the problem
One of the key culprits behind self-loosening is air gap. Despite fully tightening to the required strength, there’s 85% gap between the mating threads of nut and bolt. Under vibration, this gap allows for relative movement between the nut and bolt, leading to loss of clamp load.
While mechanical methods, such as spring washers, nyloc nuts, and double locknuts are used to prevent uncontrolled loosening of threaded assemblies, they add substantial cost to the assembly and cannot prevent the relative motion that causes self-loosening. They also do not prevent corrosion within the fastener assembly and must be sized appropriately for the specific fastener, resulting in large and costly parts inventories.
What’s the answer then?
Anaerobic threadlocking adhesives are the answer. These are liquid engineering adhesives which make assemblies more reliable.
LOCTITE anaerobic Threadlockers are the most reliable and inexpensive way to lock nuts and bolts against vibrational self-loosening.
How do they work?
Liquid anaerobic adhesives cure in the absence of air and presence of metal ions. LOCTITE Threadlockers work on this technology. Being liquid, they completely fill the gap between the nut-bolt threads and cure to a hard thermoset plastic, thereby unitizing the assembly against vibrations. Take a close look at how these adhesives work through this video.
Why are they better?
Anaerobic threadlockers like LOCTITE are engineered to provide better overall performance under thermal and mechanical stress. They help in increasing the machine’s service life, preventing galling and corrosion, and saving on high maintenance costs through reduced inventory requirements. You can try a free sample from the LOCTITE store and see the difference for yourself.
Easy to remove
Most assemblies held together by threaded fasteners need to be dismantled for repairs, maintenance or adjustment. The good news is that all fasteners with application of Loctite threadlockers can be easily disassembled during maintenance. Different grades of threadlockers can be used depending on the task. There are low strength formulations for frequently serviced assemblies, medium strength grades for general purpose applications, and high strength formulations that offer the highest holding abilities. While assemblies locked with low and medium strength can be disassembled using standard hand tools, assemblies locked with high strength threadlockers may need localized heat before removal.
There's one for every need
LOCTITE Threadlockers have been designed to suit all your locking needs depending on the amount of vibration resistance, temperature resistance, application and strength required.
Zero downtime then, is possible, if you apply the right processes and use the right products. Say goodbye to the stresses of chronic machine failures and reap the advantages of increased plant productivity and a happier team! Learn how a paper mill and a mining operation tackled their problems achieving limitless operations.
It’s time to get started on your own zero downtime journey now! What’s more? Get up to 50% discount* on your first purchase. *Terms & conditions apply