Lubrication is often recommended for threaded fasteners. However, not many know exactly why it is done in the first place. So when you ask people why they wish to lubricate their bolts, screws, and studs, an overwhelming majority of them would respond by saying it is because they wish to remove these fasteners effortlessly when the time comes. While accurate, that is not the whole truth.
People also choose to lubricate their bolts to make their tightening more consistent. In this article, we would like to take a look at why exactly it is considered wise to lubricate fasteners and recommend the same to you.
Reasons to Lubricate Fasteners
In hindsight, there are several good reasons why lubricated fasteners are just better than their non-lubricated alternatives. Those reasons are listed below:
1. Preventing Galling
Ask any assembler what frustrates them in the field, they’ll tell you it is ‘Galling’. Galling can be defined as lumps or surface damage that arises between sliding solids. They can easily be identified by the rough, emerging protrusions visible to the naked eye. Galling is a result of excessive friction between solid substances like the incessant grinding of steel against steel when a bolt is tightened. The best way to get rid of galling is by lubricating fasteners.
2. Reducing Corrosion
Elements both inside and outside our control can completely mess with the integrity of a fastener. Excess moisture and chemicals can result in corrosion, which more or less renders screws or bolts obsolete. With the right lubricant, one can protect the fastener from heavy exposure to such elements and drastically reduce corrosion.
3. Helps with Break-Out
It is now proven that a fastener assembled with the help of lubricants is much easier to break out compared to the ones that are left dry. Lubricants are known to leave their residue on fasteners long after they’ve been applied, thus making it easier to loosen them up much later. Lubrication during tightening also prevents galling when the time eventually comes to loosen them up after a long time.
4. Prevents Damage
A failed bolt can have disastrous consequences. We are talking about injury and loss of life, the release of hazardous materials, pollution, and huge financial losses. Properly lubricating threaded fasteners can be effective in reducing or even completely eliminating the risk of such consequences arising.
How to Find the Right Lubricants for Your Fasteners.
Lubricants serve the main purpose of reducing friction between two surfaces. However, it is important to note that not all types of lubricants will be appropriate for the kind of bolt or screw you are using. As we at Kant Fasteners have substantial experience dealing with fasteners, we know what factors you need to consider to choose the right lubricant for your fasteners.
So keep the following things in mind when choosing a lubricant.
- Consider the environmental conditions your bolt is exposed to.
- Make sure the chemistry of the lubricant is compatible with the material used in your fastener.
- Make sure the lubricant you choose meets industry standards of quality.
- A lubricant with low friction will trigger greater bolt preload.
- A lubricant with high friction will trigger lesser bolt preload.
Remember, the right bolt will reduce friction, cause accurate bolt preload, reduce risk or damages and give you a fastener that is easy to tighten and loosen up.