Installation of a Bolt
To install industrial bolts, you need a nut and a tool like a screwdriver, high pressure drill or allen wrench. Nuts, which attach to the end of the shank, retain components on the bolt axis. Bolt the nut using angular force produced by your tool as you hold your bolt or place, or apply force to the bolt head as you hold the nut in place. Once the bolt is secured, the internal threads of the nut go over the external thread of the bolt. In the process, in order to accommodate one another, the bolt stretches slightly and the components slightly deform.
Bolt Standards and Specifications
Because industrial bolts are used in so many critical applications, various industries and organizations have come out with standard requirements for them. The military and aircraft industries, for example, have specific bolt standards that require special anti-corrosive coatings and materials. To make sure bolts are compliant, manufacturers put them through rigorous testing. Always make sure that the bolts you purchase have been tested for whatever industry standards you require.
In addition, while in the United States, most bolts are measured by the American Measuring System, Europe and Asia use the Metric System. To make sure your parts are compatible with products from other countries, we recommend you purchase metric bolts. Recently, metric bolts have become more popular in the U.S. for this very reason.
Other common standards for bolts include those laid out by ASTM and ISO, respectively. ASTM divided steel bolts into grades. ASTM grade designations indicate levels of proof and tensile strength, while ISO designations indicate all sorts of things, such as dimensions and tolerances. It’s always a good idea to get fasteners with certifications from ASTM or ISO.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Bolts
For the best bolt products, we recommend you work with an industrial bolt professional and, when you’re ready, reach out to three or four who you believe will work best for you. When you talk to them, make sure that they are willing to work within your budget, timeframe and specifications. Talk to them about protecting these bolts with protective mesh sleeves to make sure that they arrive and work as advertised. This will help keep unforeseen issues to a minimum. As with anything, customer service is key. Compare and contrast the manufacturers with whom you speak, then make your choice!
Proper Care for Bolts
The biggest danger to bolts is rust and corrosion. To prolong bolt life, you can start by having them coated with anti-corrosion layers before you install them. From there, if you can, keep them out of the elements and away from prolonged moisture exposure as much as possible. You can place a protective mesh sleeve on a bolt to let any moisture evaporate away quickly.
To remove dust, you can sand bolts (then lubricate to make them usable again), apply hydrogen peroxide (followed by fastener removal and scouring), repaint, or use rust cleaner. If you use rust cleaner, you need to make sure that it is manufacturer approved. To prevent damage to bolts in shipping or handling, use a packaging method such as protective mesh netting sleeves to cushion any drops or banging around inside of boxes. A small ding on a thread WILL prevent that bolt from doing its job!
When all else fails, replace your bolts. It’s better to spend a little extra money in the short run, instead of face system failure or bodily injury from an unexpected system accident. And be sure to save those protective mesh netting sleeves in a recycle bin. Many manufacturers will gladly accept the used ones to recycle the material for future use.
Industrial Bolt Accessories
Examples of industrial bolt accessories include thread pitch gauges, nuts, installation tools (drills, allen wrenches, etc.) and clamping kits. Check with your supplier to find out what accessories may serve you.