Don’t think torquing the bolts on your project is important? Bolt tensioning safety is not something to be taken lightly if you want to avoid accidents.
When you are assembling something, from a piece of furniture to a fighter jet, you have to consider the safety of using your product. Can your creation put the lives of people using it in danger or cause them serious injury? You, as the builder, is in charge of ensuring safety.
Many newbies think bolt tensioning safety is not important in woodworking. They don’t understand that taking it lightly can cause serious accidents. If you think that simply tightening your bolts will ensure furniture safety, think again.
Bolt tensioning safety is an important part not only just in building furniture, but anything that requires bolts. Here’s why we must always torque bolts accurately to ensure safety.
Importance of Bolt Tensioning Safety
Some of the most dangerous bolt tensioning accidents take place in the aviation sector. Bolt failures result when any of the bolts that hold the inner or outer components of the aircraft together loosen or break.
Some horrible aircraft accidents that claimed many lives happened due to poorly fastened bolts. The crash of Partnair Fight 394, DC10 Jumbo Jet, 2002 Global hawk crash, and many other aircraft crashes, all occurred due to bolt failure.
Bolt failure can cause accidents anywhere, whether it is onboard an aircraft, in a speeding race car, or even in your bedroom. An inaccurately fastened bolt is dangerous and must be avoided. If you want to practice caution with fastening bolts, it must be torqued just right.
What Can Go Wrong With Inaccurate Bolt Fastening?
For those who don’t know, torquing is actually a part of physics, and is a measure of the twisting force that causes rotation.
If you use a screwdriver or a hammer, you cannot be sure that you have fixed your bolt with accuracy. You can’t be sure whether it will become loose or break.
Suppose, you have fastened the bolt but have not done it accurately. This can unfasten and may result in your project to come apart.
We often think that if we fasten our bolts tight enough, we are safe. However, when a bolt is fastened too tightly it is more likely to break under pressure. That is why a bolt needs to be torqued accurately.
Under Torquing and Over Torquing
We paint our woodwork interiors to ensure that they last for a long time, likewise, we must torque our bolts accurately to ensure our projects are long-lasting.
Imagine that you built a wooden swing and your children or grandchildren love playing on it. They decided to stand on the swing and jump. Even if they aren’t that heavy, the force of their jump can cause the bolt to break. If the bolt breaks, the entire structure can come crashing down.
A bolt torqued beyond its limit will break with added force or pressure. And, an under torqued bolt will come away if it experiences shearing. But, you cannot control how much shearing or pressure your creation will go through.
The necessity of accurate torquing to avoid accidents is what makes bolt torquing an important part of aircraft maintenance. Constant wear and tear can cause the bolt to pull apart or shear. Good airlines always try to check all the nuts and bolt every few weeks to ensure the proper mechanical function of the aircraft.
Accuracy is what sets a torquing wrench apart from a screwdriver or a hammer. The degree of torque needed for bolts differs for different materials and the purpose it will serve.
An accurate torque needed for an aircraft bolt won’t be the same as for the bolts of your wooden bed, that is why you need a proper torquing wrench for the job.
Types of Torquing Wrench
Manual Torquing Wrench
Manual torquing wrenches are those that come with a measurement indicator or reader, that need to be adjusted according to your bolt before torquing. As mentioned earlier, it’s physics and requires some brainstorming for accuracy. Always remember to calibrate manual torquing wrenches for accuracy.
Your manual torque wrench will come with some sort of dial system, and make a clicking sound when the bolt has fastened accurately. This is the most common kind available and is often used for tightening automobile wheels.
There is also the beam-style torque wrench that comes with a measurement scale. These are long-lasting but might be difficult to use as you have to check the reading frequently to see if you have reached accurate tightening.
Digital Torquing Wrenches
The benefits of using digital torquing wrenches are many. For starters, it takes away any necessary guesswork. You will get accurate tightening tension needed without having to figure it out.
You will also get accurate readings of tightening tension, without having to check, your digital tightening wrench will let you know when it is done. There is always some sort of inbuilt alarm system that will alert you when you reach the desired tightening.
You can find them in numerous designs and sizes, you just have to look for the one you can use with ease. Perhaps the best part about digital torquing wrenches is that you won’t need to calibrate it, as it resets every time you turn it off.
From planes to woodwork, bolt tensioning is crucial to ensure safety. You can both over-torque and under torque a bolt, with consequences being dire. This is why you have to get accurate torquing to ensure complete safety.
You must use a torquing wrench for proper bolt tensioning. However, you might find it easier to use a digital torque over a manual one, to avoid guesswork and math.
Having a digital torque around the house is always useful as it has so many uses. From your car to your ceiling fan, you will need a torquing wrench to tighten all your bolts.