When a little bolt becomes a big problem: prevented catastrophic equipment failure in a mine

Standard

I already spoke about the holy grail of industrial maintenance – zero downtime hours – and how the cause of failures can sometimes be as trivial as a loosened bolt, which then leads to loss of productive hours and ultimately – financial losses.

But there is one loss that is above all and that nobody wants to risk – injuries and loss of lives. Which is why there should be no compromises when it comes to safety, and all maintenance engineers will unanimously agree with that.

 

australian mine

In an example of an Australian mining operation, loosening (and ultimately breaking off) of the M36 anchor bolts led to collapsing of concrete footings, threatening with the collapse of the jaw crusher equipment frame. The bolts had been locked by a spring washer, which simply couldn’t rise to the challenge of securing the bolts on a piece of equipment subjected to that level of severe vibration and shear forces. The bigger the bolts, the bigger the gap between the threads, which spring washers don’t even begin to tackle. And the bigger the gap, the more impact the vibration has on the assembly.

To permanently solve this problem, Loctite 277 (high strength Threadlocker for large bolts) was used (European equivalent product would be Loctite 270), and with a very simple adjustment, a safe working environment was created.

So in this case, the positive outcome is not measured in saved time or money, but something much more valuable – saved human lives and health.

If you want to learn more about the role that threadlocking plays in proactive maintenance, keep an eye out for one of our webinars.

Or, if you would like to sample Loctite 243 you can now request one from your local Loctite team (select your country at the top navigation on the website).

 

 

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