Ultrasonic Bolt Elongation as an Accurate Way to Determine Joint Integrity

Over time, bolts in many industrial applications loosen because of certain factors such as load and constant vibration. Some companies rely on torque wrenches and bolt tensioners to tighten these bolts and ensure their joint integrity. However, these do not always provide adequate accuracy, nor do they allow for on-going re-monitoring and targeted adjustments.

In applications that experience in service relaxation and resultant leaks there is often a practice of re-adjustment (re-torquing). This is a costly and sometimes hazardous process that also reduces productivity. Using ultrasonic tension monitoring this can be avoided.

This is why ultrasonic bolt elongation is a more effective and more accurate means of retightening bolts while reducing down time and preventing unscheduled shutdowns in the future. Keep reading to learn more about ultrasonic bolt elongation and how your business can benefit from it.

What Is Ultrasonic Bolt Elongation

First, let's talk about bolt elongation and why it occurs.

When there is load applied to a bolt, it elongates or stretches. Bolt elongation is directly proportional to Tension using Hookes Law. The difference between the value obtained in readings taken prior to and after bolt tightening. Thus, if the measurement before tightening was 120 mm and the post-tightening reading is at 121.5 mm, the bolt elongation is 1.5 mm.

Why Bolt Elongation Measurement Is Important In Many Industries, Particularly Mining

Major industrial applications rely on bolted joints for various operations. But because of heavy loads and vibration, they become loose. Accurate loading is often assumed from the tightening process. Unfortunately, the design tension is rarely achieved during installation and in maintenance shutdown periods, resulting in joint failures.

This is why the optimal load must be applied on bolted joints through torque wrenches or bolt tensioners for ensuring joint integrity and tightening them well during servicing. Although these were the typical techniques used in many industries, these are no longer the best options. To save more time and achieve greater business productivity by shortening shutdowns, ultrasonic bolt elongation is the smarter route to take.

When bolt issues are identified during their early stages, this will positively impact production, efficiency and your company's bottom line. Hence, implementing a more efficient way of tightening bolts such as ultrasonic measurement is your best bet because not only does it minimize disruption in your business operations but also reduce the loss of revenue and budget as unplanned downtimes are prevented.

Benefits Of Ultrasonic Bolt Elongation

Ultrasonic measurement is an effective and efficient technique for determining bolt elongation and pre-load. Here are among the benefits that ultrasonic bolt elongation offers:

  1. Accuracy

    The right bolt load must be achieved to prevent further unscheduled shutdowns. Ultrasonic bolt tension measurement promotes accurate pre-load so that the bolts conform to the joint's viability.

  2. Enhanced Productivity

    By determining bolt elongation during the bolting process, this can promote efficiency and productivity on-site. Modern technologies such as ultrasonic bolt elongation are time-saving, which is why the completion of bolting jobs is achieved quickly and more accurately.

  3. Reduced Costs

    By implementing ultrasonic bolt elongation measurement, this helps to save on manpower costs. Determining which fastener or bolt needs to be tightened right from the start will help to save time on tool setup and operations.

How Ultrasonic Measurement Of Boltstress Can Help

Boltstress Ultrasonics has over 30 years of professional and dedicated experience in the industry. We have solved failures on valves, heat exchangers, grinding mills, F1 racing engines, and crushers through ultrasonic testing, which is an accurate technique in measuring bolt tensions.

You can learn more about our services here.

We are the most experienced bolting company in the world. As the only dedicated ultrasonic bolting company globally, we take pride in our expertise in what we do. For reduced unplanned downtimes, increased productivity and bottom line, Boltstress Ultrasonics is here to serve you.

Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

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