A Torque Wrench is an important tool that can provide safe and adequate application of torque to many different kinds of fasteners. You should follow the user manuals associated, properly calibrate the wrench, and keep a keen eye on readings so as to ensure safe and accurate torque application.
The term “torque” means a twisting or rotating force that is applied for causing rotation. We need to apply torque manually in many different instances, but the electric wrenches are also available today. A torque wrench is a tool for creating and applying torque to many different kinds of fasteners including bolts and nuts. You can also measure how much pressure is getting applied to the fastener with the help of new torque wrenches. Hence a wrench not only provides for tightening of fasteners, but it also prevents there “over” or “under” tightening. Over tightening causes breakage in bolts, may damage equipment and may also result in stripped threads.
Different Torque Wrenches
There are many different kinds of torque wrenches available today. These include the beam, click, slipper, electronic, angle and hydraulic wrenches.
Beam Torque Wrench:
It is the simplest and oldest of all torque wrenches and provides adequate accuracy as well. Force is applied manually. The reading is made by watching the scale given on the wrench, and the operation is stopped when the right reading is attained.
Click Torque Wrench:
This torque wrench possesses a higher degree of sophistication. The screw head is adjustable and can be calibrated prior to the application. When the desired force is reached, the ball automatically clicks itself out of wrench’s socket. This audible notification provides for better accuracy.
Electric Torque Wrench:
This torque wrench set can be used effortlessly and consists of an electric motor and torque multiplier (also called as a gearbox). The modern machine also has an inbuilt computer. The operator can adjust the computer and it will automatically shut down the machine and voltage at a given/requisite level.
Angle Torque Wrench:
The tool resembles the electronic wrench, but it also provides for the measurement of the angle of application. An electronic gyroscope or sensor can be used for measuring the angle.
Hydraulic Torque Wrench:
The largest of torques can be applied with maximum accuracy through the use of a hydraulic wrench. The reliable tool is widely used in heavy machinery assembly, for applying torque to the specialized and complex tools, and also at the aviation industry related applications.
How to Use a Torque Wrench
Over tightening of lugs and bolts is a very common cause of bolt breakage. Hence “tighter may not always be better” when it comes to fastening and tightening of fasteners. But before you use a torque wrench, it is important to note down the torque specifications for the given fastener. If you are guessing, you can look at the user/service manual.
The bolt should not be fastened by using oil or grease. Application of oil will reduce the friction and hence will increase the amount of force or load that is applied to the bolt or fastener. Overloading will cause breaking or stretching of the bolt. Bolts like the “cylinder” head bolts are an exception and there is oil recommended for application. But for all other kinds of the bolt, you never need oil.
It is always good to have a professional calibration for a torque wrench. Calibration can be done by taking multiple readings and through the application of a mathematical formula.
Torque= Force x Length
Once a torque wrench is properly calibrated, it will ensure that your process is error free and only the right amount of torque is applied.
The tool is quite useful and helps you work upon the bolts, nuts, screws and other fasteners without errors. Those conducting a DIY project find it immensely useful, while the mechanics or the repairmen always carry them for the onsite application. The electronic wrenches store all the data generated on the computers, which is quite useful towards analysis and safety in the long run.