High Value added defined, or How 25 cents of Loctite saved a $750 Machine

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We have a slogan that goes with our Loctite brand, that says: “We Love Machines. Machines Love Loctite.” And much as it is a feat of marketing messaging, it always puts a big smile on my face when I come across colleagues who live their lives loving the machines that make our lives easier and finding ways to give them some tender, loving care in the form of Loctite.

I owe this story to Steve Rayner, one of our Technical Sales People, a mountain man from British Columbia, Canada. Steve likes getting a good deal as much as the next guy, and this one came out at the top of his list.  He found a barely used Husqvarna brush cutter on Craigslist for $70 (they normally retail for $750 plus tax). The ad listed the cutter as not starting, which Steve found hard to believe. In his own words: Husqvarna’s ALWAYS start! Two-stroke engines are fairly simple, so it could only be a handful of things.

So, he took the machine home, all the while thinking it was a scored cylinder / blown piston rings (one of the most common issues with 2 stroke engines), as it felt like it didn’t have compression.

Taking it apart to examine the piston and cylinder, Steve found that the nut that retains the flywheel to the drive shaft had loosened enough to allow the flywheel to spin free (no evidence of threadlocker was found).  No flywheel meant no spark and consequently: no start.

Instead of buying a new flywheel, Steve pulled out a bottle of Loctite 638 from his Training Kit, applied a thin film to the driveshaft and re-mounted the flywheel (with careful consideration to the alignment). He also used Loctite 248 on the threads on the driveshaft, even though the 638 was more than strong enough to retain the flywheel without the nut.

It runs like a dream now; the weeds in Steve’s yard don’t stand a chance! The best part is: it took less than 25 Cents worth of Loctite to fix a $750 machine! And I got a great story out of it! Thank you, Steve, for sharing!

Size doesn’t matter

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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.

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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)