How Adhesives Help Ensure Threaded Fastener Reliability in Industrial Gearboxes

Posted on 7/9/2020 10:25:07 AM By ASC

When the gearboxes that keep industrial machinery turning fail to operate it can stop plants in their tracks and cost manufacturers’ dearly. Yet these breakdowns could be caused by something as small in size but huge in importance as the threaded fasteners which hold the gearbox together. The right solution to keeping the machines running could well lie in regular maintenance and using an aerosol threadlocker to fill the gaps between the threads. This will result in the threadlocker unifying the engaging threads and so stopping the fasteners from losing their hold.

Only 15% of the space between the engaging threads is used in metal to metal contact, while the remaining 85% takes the form of air gaps. This large air gap to small contact area ratio is at the core of fasteners loosening and causing machinery gearboxes to stumble and stop. This is largely caused by vibration causing side-to-side motion; thermal fluctuations making substrates contract or expand deferentially; or when the machinery is operated in tough conditions.

The outcome manifests itself in gasket failure caused by the splitting of the gearbox housing and cover because of loose fasteners; corrosion and the ensuing fastener seizure making it difficult to disassemble the unit; loose set screws causing couplings to wear because of misalignment; or when the gearbox itself is out of alignment as a result of the mounting bolts coming loose.

Careful and regular maintenance and a suitable liquid threadlocker are the best way to prevent self-loosening due to external forces and to seal the fasteners against corrosion at the same time.