10 Actions to Prevent Bolt Failure

Although bolts are the smallest elements to a structure, they are still extremely important in assuring each application is safe, secure, and reliable. To demonstrate how important these elements are, back in 2001 a plane crashed into a North-East airport after a bolt was missing, which caused a locking failure in the landing gear. This terrible crash highlights just how important and crucial it is to get each element correct to maintain the safety and efficiency of operations.

Failure to adhere to correct bolting practices and manufactures guidelines can cause bolt failures to occur, leading to fires, leaks, and sometimes fatal accidents as mentioned above. The resultant effects of improper bolting techniques are serious, which is why it is imperative the correct Training is followed, and certified tools are used. Which is why, as specialists in controlled bolting, HTL Group delivers a full suite of accredited Training and have trained technicians that service, repair and calibrate bolting tools in an approved laboratory.

Reasons Why a Bolt Might Fail

Bolts that have been torqued incorrectly may fail due to fatigue that has been caused by any of the below situations:

  1. Human error by overloading or stretching of the bolt
  2. Material defects in the Bolt or design fatigue
  3. Bolt galling or corrosion
  4. Tools that are not calibrated correctly, causing preload torque value to be too high or low
  5. Vibration causing the bolt to loosen
  6. Harsh temperature exposure

10 Ways to Prevent Bolt Failure

You can reduce the chances of fatigue-related bolt failure by evaluating each bolt individually and by considering each of the following steps:

  1. Make sure bolts are not overstressed and design is fully understood
  2. Ensure the torque value is appropriate for the bolt alloy and diameter of the bolt
  3. Choose an appropriate material and strength for your bolt
  4. Avoid misalignment, high-speed installation, and rough surfaces
  5. Always keep the fastener hole free from dirt and corrosion to prevent incorrect torque readings
  6. Use the correct torque wrench for every application
  7. Using adhesives or lubricants to ensure the bolt does not come loose
  8. Use additional support to prevent operating stress and vibrations
  9. Minimise hole clearances in the assembled joint
  10. Use finer threads in assembled joints that will experience vibration

24/7 Technical Support 

If you are concerned about bolt failure in any circumstance, HTL Group is here to help. We understand the critical nature of bolts, and the techniques required to ensure accuracy on installation, through to maintenance.

To get support for your bolting applications, simply contact us today and our friendly team will be happy to help, info@htlgroup.com.