Introducing the iQbolt: A Bolt with Visual Tension Indicator – Part 2

Keeping maintenance times and associated costs to an absolute minimum is vital in both the Oil & Gas and Mining industries.

In high vibration environments, fasteners are subjected to significant load variations, making threaded assemblies prone to loosening and resultant equipment failure.   Using torque can result in large variations in accuracy due to calibration, thread tolerances, pick up and galling between thread surfaces, rust, oil, or even dirt and dust  in the actual tension produced by these techniques.

The genius of the iQbolt™- a Direct Tension Indicator

iQbolts™ respond only to fastener tension providing a true measure of joint tightness or clamp.  The indicator works on the most accurate principle for tension measurement – fastener elongation when tensioned under load.

Stanley Engineered Fastening’s iQbolt™ gradually darkens from a bright red when loose, to black as the fastener is tightened to design tension – based on an internal pin moving and allowing fluid to flow to show the colour change through a clear indicator window when the fastener is stretched.

The iQbolt™ is customised to indicate at your specified tension and is accurate to within +/- 10% of design tension – much more accurate than measuring torque which is typically within 30% of accuracy.

You too can realise increased safety, reduced maintenance costs and importantly, higher uptime – with the peace of mind knowing that your bolts are doing their job.

Sifto Mine Case Study – iQbolt™ goes to work

Windsor Salt operates in the Sifto Mine in Ontario, Canada, one of the largest salt mines in the world. The mining operation requires excavating salt from the walls of the mine with heavy equipment called scalers. Windsor Salt uses Gradall XL 5110 machines weighing 57,670 lbs. or 26,159 kg 

The Problem

The cab and arm are attached to the wheeled base by a turntable that allows 360 degree rotation.

An array of 40 critical bolts secures the turntable to the bearing. Every one of the bolts must be checked weekly. This is a time consuming operation that necessitates downtime. Even with the torque check, there is uncertainty whether sufficient preload is present.

The iQbolt™ Solution:

Windsor Salt tested 10 iQbolt™ in the turntable. The resulting certainty of preload and ease of inspection were such great benefits that Windsor Salt decided to outfit all 40 bolts on all of their scaler turntables with iQbolt™.

Bolt Specifications:

  • Size: ¾-10 x 5.5”
  • Design Tension: 25 Kilopounds-force 111.2kN Force
  • Material Grade: Grade 8

Click here for more information on Stanley’s Direct Tension Indicator, the iQbolt™. 

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