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Tensioning using turn-of nut methods

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In the previous article on the subject of fasteners, the most commonly used method for the controlled tightening of fasteners was discussed. There are a couple of well-known equations that link tightening torque to fastener tension, and the more reliable of these was discussed. However, there is a great deal of variation of tension for a given torque, even for fasteners of exactly the same design. In terms of the equation itself, differences in the coefficient of friction and the...

Torque tensioning

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The proper pre-loading of cyclically stressed fasteners is crucial to their performance. By pre-load, I mean the tension applied to a fastener through tightening before any service loads are applied. If we are to optimise the design of the fastener for minimum mass, this is an especially important point. If the load is too great, we will overload the fastener or the joint; if it is too little, we may fail the joint through separation. Of course, in optimising the design of any given...

Fastener coatings

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There are a huge number of materials from which fasteners can be made, but not all are suited to all applications. Materials from which commercially available threaded fasteners used in motorsport are made range from various polymers through aluminium and titanium to high-strength steels and superalloys. Some of these choices are not available to us owing to specific regulations that either proscribe the use of certain materials altogether, or limit the choice of materials from which...

The risks of plating fasteners

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The subject of the plating of fasteners is one that causes some debate. Many companies refuse to contemplate the use of plated fasteners, while some manufacturers will supply them only at a customer's insistence and with a waiver that absolves them of any responsibility for losses resulting from a breakage. Other companies are much happier to supply plated fasteners, however, having taken every precaution to minimise the chances of embrittlement before, during and after the actual...

Rolling threads

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When we look at a bespoke fastener for a race engine, it is often clear that a great deal of thought has gone into its design, and considerable effort into its manufacture. Fasteners for use in race engines typically see much higher stresses than a typical production engine fastener, and they also tend to accumulate stress cycles at a much faster rate than in most other applications. We should not therefore be surprised that a lot of attention is paid to fastener design, especially with...