These Bolts Change Color When Tightened Properly

I love torque wrenches, because they let me ensure that dangerous parts like lawnmower blades are properly tightened. But what if you didn’t need the torque wrench (which are pretty damned pricey) at all? A company called Stress Indicators Inc. has invented SmartBolts, which feature a red dot in the head when loose. Once the bolt is tightened to the proper torque, it turns black:

The technology is a boon to maintenance folks, manufacturers and heavy equipment operators, as they can tell, at a glance, whether a bolt is starting to work loose.

“The constant movement of the welding robot was causing the bolts to lose tension,” writes an anonymous heavy equipment manufacturer, in a testimonial on the SmartBolts website. “So we decided to retrofit our robots with SmartBolts; now the maintenance technician can look over during welding and visually check that the bolts are secure. This has had a positive impact on improving our overall safety and manufacturing efficiency.”

“We initially had some concern about using these more ‘expensive’ bolts,” writes Yajie Wang, and Advanced Process Engineer at Cooper Standard Automotive, “but after several tests and trials showing their value in added safety, as well as less downtime and visual inspections – it was an easy decision to replace all our mold clamping bolts with SmartBolts. And the appreciation our operators have expressed is priceless!”

As for how it works, the company (unsurprisingly) explains it in broad strokes only:

“A SmartBolt is a fastener with a built-in visual tension indicator. We call this the Visual Indication System™. As a SmartBolt is tightened, tension forces it to stretch, and our patented Visual Indication System™ correlates fastener tension with color.”

You can check out pricing here.

Source: core77

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