Loctite Essentials

Standard

And when I say “Essentials”, I really mean “Essentials”! Although adhesive as a chemical and bonding as technology is pretty ancient, engineers may still have concerns when deciding to bond versus other, more traditional methods.

One of the concerns is often related to by now a common belief that selection of the right adhesive for a job is a very complex process, that there are too many options and too many factors to consider, that even the tiniest change in either manufacturing or operating conditions in which a certain piece of technology is used, affects the adhesive choice.

Which is true. For a fairly small number of very, very specific, sensitive cases. And in those cases you’ll want to talk to an adhesive expert and rely on his or her support every step of the way. But even in those very specific cases, you’ll often conclude that, although complex, adhesive is still your best bet as the traditional methods limit your design and / or your operating conditions far too much.

Nevertheless, in the huge majority of very standard cases, your choice of adhesive comes down to selecting between about a dozen of very standard, very available and very easy to use products. Companies normally like to boast with the variety of products and a huge range they offer – and we are no different, make no mistake!

But there is a time when you want to make things simple for your customers, respecting the scarce time they have on their hands. Which is where the Loctite Essentials come in: 14 products that will cover over 90% of all your adhesive needs. Even better, you’ll most likely cover 80% with the first seven, and you’ll be able to do so with hardly any guidance.

And among the 14 products, it’s not even just adhesives. You’ll find your most commonly used cleaner, a lubricant, primer for hard to bond plastics, your emergency repair product, your basic sealants and gasketing products and – for when you absolutely must weld – your spatter protection!

All very straight forward and easy to navigate, but still, if you do have any questions, we’ll be happy to hear from you.

How traditional does plumbing have to be?

Standard

Plumbing is likely one of the oldest and more traditional jobs in the modern society. And yet – still one of the most indispensable ones. And when putting down pipes – they need to be sealed, because whatever happens to be running through them, you want it to stay inside. The technology of sealing threaded pipe fittings changed very little throughout the history of modern plumbing. However, there are certain new methods that make any plumber’s job quicker, cleaner and easier. Most importantly – they guarantee you’ll only need to do the job once and there will be no claims and call-backs.  

The usual go-to choice for most of the plumbing jobs is in many cases still either PTFE tape or the combination of hemp & paste. And sure enough, they will mostly work fine, but they definitely have certain downsides as well.

One of the downsides that the plumbers feel most frequently and most acutely is probably the impossibility to turn back the joints once they have been tightened, without risking the leakage. And people who are not in the business of laying pipes, probably never even think about how often the need to turn back the tightened joints occurs. Can be just to align the pipes and get the overall better aesthetic appearance, get the right geometry, but also to align the fittings to respect the direction the next pipe is supposed to follow. Meaning that if you’re unable to turn back, the right angle must be achieved at the first try.

With Loctite 55 as an alternative to PTFE and hemp, the joints can be turned back up to 45 degrees, safely and with no danger of leaking. Unlike the PTFE tape, Loctite 55 sealing thread will not shred, so there is also no risk of contaminating the fluid downstream.

And that’s just some of the advantages. You can see more in this simple animated comparison:

Or if you compare the time it takes to apply hemp & paste properly, to the time Loctite 55 takes, the difference is quite obvious:

You can find more product information and comparison videos here, including the leak tests after 45 degrees turn back of the sealed joints.

LOCTITE 263 ensures rider safety for cycle giant

Standard

When a failure of your product happens far away from your production plant, it doesn’t make the consequences of it any less painful for you as the manufacturer.

For the largest manufacturer of bicycles in India, exactly this kind of challenge happened when threaded fasteners started loosening while the bicycles were running. And that means there was a person on them at the moment of the failure, whose safety and wellbeing depended (among other things) on that bicycle staying in one piece.

The loosening started occurring due to some changes made in the design of the rear wheel hub assembly and the designers were facing one of the most common limitations in designing: reconciling efficiency, aesthetics and functionality. Experts from the Loctite team took up the challenge, and after a thorough analysis of customer requirement and risk factors implied, suggested Loctite 263.

Loctite 263 is a red, dual cure, acrylic dimethacrylate ester fluorescent threadlocker designed for the permanent locking and sealing of threaded fasteners. It cures between close fitting metal surfaces and prevents loosening and leakage from shock and vibration. It works on active metals (e.g. brass, copper) and passive substrates such as stainless steel and plated surfaces.

Application of Loctite 263 prevented loosening of fasteners, provided controlled torque to reduce bolt damage rejection, provided easy disassembly when required and enhanced the reliability of the bicycles. And the manufacturer could breathe a big sigh of relief.

Of course, apart from the Loctite 263, there are other grades and product options, depending on the needs of the particular application.

LOCTITE 243 helps resolve a steel plant’s water ingress issue

Standard

Continuing to speak about the big issues that even a tiny little loose screw can cause. Our team of Loctite engineers in India was approached by the steel processing plant in Jalna, where repeated and persistent loosening of the bolt on a gearbox caused water ingress into the gearbox itself.

Now, clearly, having water in the gearbox was not a desired situation, so the bolt had to be secured in some way.

Loctite 243 was the obvious and rather simple solution proposed by the Indian Loctite team. The plant maintenance staff was able to quickly secure all the bolts on the gearbox assemblies and prevent any further downtime.

This product is of medium strength and permits easy disassembly for maintenance, while securing the assemblies from self-loosening under vibration to which most of industrial assemblies are subjected.

It can be used in the same style on any metal, including passive substrates such as stainless steel, aluminium and plated surfaces. It resists aging, weathering and thermal cycling without hardening, shrinking or cracking. It is also used as a sealant and adhesive for assembly and repair of industrial furnaces, ovens, boilers, exhaust stacks, high temperature ducting, and heating elements in electrical appliances. And many more varieties of applications.

And where a different grade strength product is required, there are other choices as well, which you are free to browse at our Threadlocking website.

When a little bolt becomes a big problem for a screen printer manufacturer

Standard

If you have been following this recent series of articles, you’ll find that many of them have the same common denominator – customer satisfaction or rather – lack of it. That is the ultimate soft spot, the most vulnerable of all Achilles’ heels for every manufacturer of pretty much anything (including us, yes). Whether you make shoes or robots or – adhesives – you ultimately want your customers to be happy with your product and:

  1. Come back for more – sure, we all live on revenue
  2. Speak of you in superlatives if ever they do mention you, because – reputation is priceless!

Screen priner manufacturer

Which is why we all equally dread anything ever going wrong with our products once they are put to use. And for one of our eastern European customers manufacturing screen printers, that’s exactly what happened because of – you’re guessing by now, I’m sure – some bolts that kept coming loose.

The way that these large scale printers work exposes the bolts to a lot of vibration, causing side to side movement of the bolts, which the gap between the threads easily allowed. As most of us know, printing process is a rather hot business, too so there is plenty of thermal expansions and contractions that certainly do not help keep the assembly stable. In such conditions, it takes very few cycles before the bolts start loosening.

Applying medium strength threadlocker Loctite 243 in the production of the printers, quickly put a stop to all that. The manufacturer avoided any further customer complaints, while their customers from that point on enjoyed an increased production efficiency.

No more quality issues due to loose screws for robots manufacturer

Standard

When you manufacture something as high tech as robots, you certainly don’t want such a plain little thing as a simple bolt to become a big problem. Occasionally it does happen, though and it did happen to one of our European customers. Fasteners were frequently getting loose on their robots after they were put in service, causing leaks on hydraulic fittings and flange assemblies. And anyone who’s ever worked with hydraulics knows very well that you do not want your hydraulic liquids to be leaking all over the place.

Robots manufacturer

While for the users of the robots in question this was a maintenance issue causing frequent unexpected downtime and losses in productivity, for the manufacturer of the robots it was both, the cost issue, reflected through warranty repairs, but more importantly, a reputation issue and an issue of urgently having to restore the customers’ trust in their product.

Industrial robots, from engineering point of view, are highly dynamic assemblies. Movement is their main purpose, while they put things into place and build in components of various items they are programmed to build. With that much movement, it’s completely unrealistic to expect the threaded fasteners to stay in place without securing them in any way.

Luckily, adding a simple step in the production of applying medium strength threadlocker Loctite 243 to the crucial bolts, all the mentioned issues were completely eliminated, and the trusted robotic helpers were brought back to their usual level of reliability. At the same time both sides achieved savings: on one side savings on maintenance costs and downtime, and on the other on warranty repairs and reputation.

Threadlocking and blind holes

Standard

That is certainly one of the most common questions we get – whether liquid threadlocker can be applied in the case of blind holes. And the answer is: yes. There is no reason why the method would not work on blind holes same as it does everywhere else. Of course, there are certain steps to be observed.

Both parts should be cleaned with Loctite SF 7070 and a bit of time allowed for it to evaporate. It’s recommendable to use the activator for blind holes. Now, the product is called Loctite SF 7649 and in some parts of the world you’ll find it called a “primer” and packed in a bottle with a brush on cap, while in the other parts we’ll call it an activator and you’ll find it in a spray pack. It’s the same product and both versions are applicable, no worries.

After applying the activator / primer, you select your Loctite threadlocker based on the same principles as you always would – which level of strength do you need and how often do you plan to be dismantling the assembly being the main guidelines. Apply the product on both – male and female threads and tighten the bolt. Nothing more to it.

Eliminated quality issues and customer warranty claims for coupling manufacturer

Standard

Couplings producer

A coupling is by its very definition a piece of equipment that is supposed to keep other pieces of equipment together. So, when parts of couplings start coming apart – you really have a problem. A problem that one of our customers experienced first-hand when failure of bolts on the couplings they produced started causing equipment failure and downtime for their customers.

A problem that has a very direct impact on your profits (through warranty related repairs) and – even more importantly – on the trust of your customers, the value of which is immeasurable.

The problem was swiftly resolved by implementing Loctite 243 into manufacturing process and thus efficiently securing the bolts in place against any vibration they may be subjected to once the coupling is put into service.

If you haven’t tried liquid threadlocker so far, you can now request a sample of Loctite 243 and give it a try. On the other hand, in case you’re not ready to sample yet and would like to learn more about threadlocking, keep an eye out for a webinar on this topic, or simply contact us directly and we’ll be happy to talk about your specific requirements.

How to ensure Threaded Fastener reliability on industrial pumps

Standard

Pump breakdowns have a significant negative impact on cost and productivity. Many of these breakdowns are the result of simple, needless failures, such as the loss of clamp load between two assemblies caused by a loose fastener. Proactive maintenance can reduce the risk of such breakdowns and increase pump reliability and longevity.

There are a few most common issues that occur, related to threaded fasteners:

Threaded fasteners in industrial pumps

gap between threads

Pumps typically operate in severe service environments, with plenty of vibration and thermal fluctuations. Even if the bolts are secured with some type of mechanical locking device, there is still a large enough gap present between the bolt and nut threads to allow for side to side movement under vibration which ultimately leads to loosening in as few as 50 to 100 cycles. Additionally, the gap will allow the moisture to get in, which will inevitably lead to corrosion.

By applying only a few drops of Loctite 243, this critical gap can be eliminated, and with it all the consequences it usually causes.

If you haven’t tried liquid threadlocker so far, you can now request a sample of Loctite 243 and give it a try. On the other hand, in case you’re not ready to sample yet and would like to learn more about threadlocking, keep an eye out for a webinar on this topic, or simply contact us directly and we’ll be happy to talk about your specific requirements.

How to ensure Threaded Fastener reliability in an industrial gearbox

Standard

Industrial gearboxes play an important role in processing and manufacturing facilities. For plant professionals, the ultimate goal is to maximize machinery output, reliability and efficiency. That’s why a gearbox failure can be a costly setback to overall plant operations. Proactive maintenance will minimize expensive downtime, enhance reliability and dramatically cut costs.

There are some common challenges related to threaded fasteners in a gearbox:

Threaded fasteners in industrial gearbox

Vibrations, thermal fluctuations and tough operating conditions are some of the main apparent causes behind these challenges. While you normally cannot really change the operating conditions of your gearbox, you can certainly make sure to lock your bolts in the way that will prevent the said conditions having any major effect on them.

The space between the engaged threads between bolts and nuts has only 15% metal to metal contact. The remaining 85% air gap allows for:

  • Vibration to cause side-to-side motion leading to self-loosening
  • Differential expansion and contraction of substrates due to service temperature changes
  • Corrosive environment to attack the metal fasteners

By using a medium strength liquid threadlocker Loctite 243, that fills all the gap between the engaging threads and solidifies to unitize them, you prevent side to side movement that causes loosening as well as block access to moisture which causes corrosion.

If you haven’t tried liquid threadlocker so far, you can now request a sample of Loctite 243 and give it a try. On the other hand, in case you’re not ready to sample yet and would like to learn more about threadlocking, keep an eye out for a webinar on this topic, or simply contact us directly and we’ll be happy to talk about your specific requirements.