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LOCTITE® threadlockers offer a universal, reliable adhesive solution to an age-old problem in MRO and OEM applications. They protect bolts and threaded fasteners from working loose in the face of harsh vibration and shock, bending or environmental factors, a problem that those working with these types of assemblies have been trying to solve for many years.

However, threadlockers remain a relatively recent solution to this issue.

Threaded assemblies have long been the fixing of choice for many applications, thanks to their impressive clamp load performance. But their design means they’re susceptible to failure over time. Their ability to work themselves loose means they need to be backed up with additional locking methods that hold them firmly in place. 

For years, methods of locking these assemblies meant utilizing mechanical devices. This includes threadlocker alternative products like lock nuts, washers and nylon insert nuts.

While many of these mechanical solutions perform a decent job of locking threads, they can present problems, including:

  • Being susceptible to loosening over time
  • Allowing contamination and corrosion

Mechanical threadlocker alternatives like lock washers can still lead to loosening in nuts and bolts caused by vibration, which can be fatal to the operation of key machinery. 

In industries where assemblies need to be strong, threadlockers lock and seal threaded fasteners to deliver a stronger, longer-lasting assembly. Discover more about threadlockers and mechanical devices and find out why you should use threadlockers vs. lock nuts and other devices.

Mechanical Threadlocking Devices

Designed to do the same job as LOCTITE® threadlockers, mechanical locking devices prevent a fastener from rotating or loosening over time. This stops the assembly from working itself loose. 

Some of the more common mechanical locking devices you might use include:

  • Tab Washers – A type of lock washer, these metal devices have multiple tabs and notches around them that are fitted around the fastener to lock it in place. They often become bent during use, so need to be replaced often.
  • Wedge locking washers – A free-spinning device with radial teeth that grips the surface below the bolt head to stay in place. The thread is liable to corrosion as it’s not sealed, while the teeth may damage bearing surfaces.   
  • Nylon insert nuts – These nuts are a type of prevailing torque device. The nylon insert creates additional thread friction. However, they do not seal the threads against corrosion and cannot maintain clamp load in high-vibration environments.

Benefits of Threadlocking Adhesives Over Mechanical Solutions

While many mechanical fasteners lock assemblies in place, LOCTITE® threadlockers are a superior solution that result in stronger, longer-lasting assemblies.

Threadlocking adhesives effectively overcome many of the limitations of mechanical alternatives. They limit loosening and reduce the effects of corrosion and contaminants. 

Threadlockers are designed to:

Fill Gaps and Voids

One of the most prominent issues with mechanical locking devices is that air gaps, no matter how small, will always exist between a thread and a bolt. These minute gaps allow a degree of freedom to move when an assembly is subjected to torque, vibration and shock. This can cause the threads to gradually loosen. 

Threadlockers flow into these gaps, removing the air between the two parts of an assembly in ways traditional mechanical devices can’t. 

When applied, the liquid displaces air as it works its way between the threads. This guarantees a surface-to-surface seal across the thread. It tightly locks it in place and negates the air gap, reducing the ability of the assembly to move while in operation.

Eliminate Corrosion

Environmental factors impact how well your assemblies will perform over time. Whether it’s temperature or weather conditions, bolts and other threaded assemblies can be negatively impacted. One of the most common issues is corrosion, caused by water and other liquids seeping into threaded fasteners. 

Rusted or corroded threaded fasteners can cause issues. Rust, for example, can restrict the ability to disassemble fasteners for maintenance without cutting the bolt or using mechanical methods. This can extend downtime as you find a replacement locking solution. 

By eliminating the gaps between two metal surfaces with a strong bond, threadlockers reduce the risk of liquids wicking into assemblies. 

LOCTITE® threadlockers are also designed with high chemical resistance in mind. This means they aren’t compromised by the presence of water, salt and chemicals that may cause corrosion in other fasteners. You get a reliable bond, no matter the challenges it faces.

Many Applications, One Solution

As liquid adhesives, LOCTITE® threadlockers are inherently diverse in their application, which gives them an instant advantage over traditional locking devices. 

If you’re working with a range of machinery and fasteners, it’s unlikely every thread will be the same size. This means you need a range of locking devices in different configurations to ensure you always have one to fit. 

With LOCTITE®, this isn’t an issue. As liquid glues, LOCTITE® threadlockers are applicable to a wide range of thread sizes and fittings. This ensures you always have the tool you need, making manufacturing, maintenance and repair jobs faster and more efficient than ever before.

Don’t let a little fastener become a big problem. With LOCTITE® threadlockers, you can securely fasten threaded assemblies, tackle loosening and ensure long-lasting reliability across all your applications. 

Find out more about our threadlockers and how LOCTITE® industrial manufacturing, and maintenance and repair solutions can help your production line become more efficient with the Henkel insights blog. Or explore the full range of LOCTITE® threadlockers.

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