The Nuts and Bolts of Reducing Downtime

Drilling is a costly business, whether above ground or below, so it’s important to keep maintenance times and costs to the absolute minimum.

In a high vibration environment, fastening devices like nuts and bolts are subjected to a lot of punishment and with impact and loading thrown in the mix are prone to loosening.

There are a range of traditional methods to combat loosening, with engineers utilising adhesives, locknuts, lock washers, lock wires or a time consuming and costly regular inspection regime.

These methods certainly address the problem somewhat, but there’s a crucial aspect of conventional bolt design that lets them down and renders them prone to self-loosening under vibration, namely the problem with traditional threads lies in the 60 degree V-shape thread, where the tolerance gap between the crest of the male and female threads can lead to vibration-induced thread loosening.  In addition, under high-stress loads the first two threads can carry up to 80 per cent of the total load, which can be enough to cause deformation, even stripping or shearing.

However, a unique new internal thread design manufactured by Stanley is solving that problem, and reducing the cost of maintenance downtime for machinery in a range of industries, including locomotive freight and offshore oil and gas drilling.

The Spiralock thread produced by Stanley is purpose-engineered to combat high vibration environments.  The secret to the thread form on Spiralock fasteners is a 30 degree wedge ramp at the root of the female (nut) thread.

This draws the crests of the bolt thread tight up the wedge ramp when under load, which eliminates sideways vibration and distributes the loading across all engaged threads.

This means that the load percentage on the first thread is significantly lower, eliminating the risk of thread deformation, and ensuring reusability of the fastener if removed.

Compare that to traditional fasteners which may need to be cut or ground off after they have been in service  and it’s easy to see the benefits of such a simple technological design feature.

The primary advantages of Spiralock’s equalised thread loading is an exponentially reduction of joint fatigue, axial-torsional loading, and vibrational loosening – eliminating  the need for secondary locking products.

What does this mean for you?  Less maintenance and more uptime, less spares kept on site, simplified warehousing  resulting in less shortages,  better working capital and most importantly – a more productive and profitable rig!

Click here to watch STANLEY Engineered Fastening's accompanying video

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