One of the most common issues engineers encounter in almost all industry fields is loosening of bolts and screws, under vibration caused by the devices’ normal operating bahaviour. And lost or loosened bolts can put you into lots of trouble. Which is why a Threadlocker should be every maintenance engineer’s best friend. It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with bolts on large mining or quarrying equipment, subjected to extreme loads and environmental conditions, or fine little screws on a kitchen appliance. The principle of a Threadlocker is the same everywhere.
The first ever Threadlockers, now branded Loctite, were invented by professor Vernon Krieble in 1953, in his basement laboratory at Trinity College in Hartford, Conneticut. They are anaerobic curing adhesives, which means they cure in the absence of oxygen. Not to forget the contact to metal, especially copper ions. That’s why it’s important not to test whether or not the adhesive has cured by touching the small amount that leakes out of the joint – oxygen has access to this adhesive and therefore it will never cure. Just wipe it off with a cloth and proceed with your job after the curing time.
The beauty of Threadlockers is that they not only secure your fasteners in place, but they also prevent corrosion. Anyone who’s ever tried dismantling a corroded bolt will well understand the kind of benefit this is. And nowadays you can get Threadlockers in so many varieties that there’s practically a solution for any problem. You just need to be well aware of your application needs like thread size, needed strength, pre- or postapplication and so on. If you need to be quick you can also speed up the cure by using an activator.
Threadlockers are extremely easy to use and since their invention they have proven their reliability countless times. Engineers worldwide use them on oil rigs, in nuclear powerplants, wastewater plants, in ship building and numerous other demanding applications. It only takes a few drops.
And, (valid for all adhesives, Threadlockers included) please do not forget to clean your bolts and screwes before application of the Threadlocker of your choice.
Video 1: How to use Loctite 243
Video 2: Assembly of hydraulic motors (Herrenknecht borring machines)