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How to Keep Bolts from Loosening

Posted by ASMC Industrial on 5th Oct 2023

Why Do Bolts Loosen and How to Keep Them Tight

Bolts, the humble yet vital parts of our machinery, play a crucial role in binding together various mechanical systems. Despite their significance, the discussion around bolts often falls in the background until the moment they become loose. Understanding why bolts loosen over time is essential, as is knowing how to prevent this unwanted eventuality and ensuring the longevity of our machinery and equipment.

Why Bolts Become Loose Over Time

Bolts can become loose due to a variety of reasons. The most common cause is vibration. In machinery, the continuous motion creates vibrations that can lead to the gradual loosening of bolts. Thermal expansion and contraction also play a role. As the temperature fluctuates, materials expand and contract, causing bolts to lose their grip. In addition, the application of incorrect torque during the installation of bolts can also result in them loosening over time.

Understanding the potential pitfalls of unsecured bolts is critical. A loose bolt could compromise the functioning of a machine, thus posing numerous safety concerns. In extreme instances, a single unsecured bolt could inflict significant harm, leading to costly repairs or even replacement of expensive, important equipment. Therefore, the importance of bolt security extends beyond preserving machine efficiency; it is also a crucial safety measure.

How To Keep Bolts Tight

The good news? There are some things you can do to keep bolts tight.

Using washers with your bolts is important. Washers distribute the load of the bolt over a larger surface area, reducing pressure and helping to maintain the bolt's tightness.

Another method involves the use of nuts, specifically locknuts, which are designed to withstand loosening effects caused by torque or vibrations. Their self-locking design guarantees a firm grip, reducing the chances of bolts coming loose.

Additionally, thread-locking fluid or threadlocker is an excellent solution for preventing bolt loosening, leakage, and corrosion. This single-component adhesive is specifically designed to be applied to the threads, providing a secure and reliable bond. When applied before installation, the fluid hardens to form a seal, preventing bolt loosening due to vibrations or temperature changes.

Finally, proper torque control while installing bolts is crucial because too much torque can strip the threads, leading to loose bolts. While applying too much torque is bad, not applying enough torque won’t provide enough tension for the bolt to stay in place – this will also lead to bolts loosening. This can be alleviated by using a torque wrench, a tool that will ensure the right amount of force is applied to fasten the bolt securely to keep the bolt from coming loose.

Bolts are important components of machinery and it’s important to understand how to keep bolts from loosening. Knowing why bolts loosen and how to prevent it from happening can save you from potential dangers, expenses, and inconvenience. With the right knowledge and tools, your bolts will remain tight, keeping your machinery running efficiently and safely.

Browse Our Bolts and Fasteners

Bolts are widely preferred in numerous industries due to their convenient dismantling feature. However, this very quality also exposes them to the risk of self-loosening and loss of preload. Loose bolts can damage expensive equipment and there are also safety concerns with bolts that keep coming loose. If you’re in need of quality bolts and caps to fasten and secure anything from wood to metal to plastic, ASMC Industrial has everything you need.

At ASMC, we offer a wide variety of wholesale bulk bolts and screws , a huge inventory of wholesale nuts and bolts, and different sizes and styles of wholesale washers . We have over 100,000 products in our inventory and our online store is stocked with every type of bolt or screw you’ll need. Our extensive range of products eliminates the hassle of finding those hard-to-locate sizes and makes your work more efficient. When you buy wholesale bulk screws and bolts from ASMC, you not only get a high-quality product at an affordable price but also experience outstanding customer service.