In the manufacturing of engines, one of the most important things to watch out for is making sure that the engine is properly sealed. This has a bearing on the longevity of the engine, and in some cases on its efficiency as well. Making sure that engines are properly sealed should therefore be the primary goal of any party that either manufactures or maintains them. When doing this, proper selection of fasteners such as hex nuts has to be done properly since they form the backbone of the sealing process.
What are the challenges that need to be overcome?
In theory, an engine is one of the most technically challenging items to fasten. This is on account of the fact that the fasteners used in such an environment will be subject to a lot of pressure, vibration and heat. This is especially so if they are used to fasten the cylinder gaskets, which often bear the brunt of all such forces in the engine. In an average four cylinder engine, the fasteners would need to withstand a pressure of around 1,000 pounds per square inch on light use.
When the engine is operating at full capacity, it has been calculated that the fasteners would need to contend with a pressure equivalent to more than 5 tons per bolt. In the case of larger and more powerful engines, this figure increases even more. This gives you an idea of the types of forces that would need to be dealt with by the fasteners.
How to ensure that your fasteners are providing the needed force to keep the engine in one piece
Given the massive forces that are generated in an engine, it is important that the fasteners used are used in such a manner that they help to keep the engine in one piece. One of the industry tricks that is normally applied in order to make this work is to lubricate the fasteners before using them. This increases the amount of force that they can exert on the surface they are fastening, leading to tighter seals.
In addition to that, it is vital that high quality fasteners with no deformities at all be used. With some degree of thread deformity, a bolt or hex nut can still be put in place. In normal settings, this deformity might not cause much functional damage to the surface being fastened. However, in the case of an automotive engine, any deformity in threading effectively reduces the amount of force that the fastener can generate. This means that the engine will be more likely to fail even if only one bolt has a minor defect. For this reason, the fasteners used in engine fastening should always be uncompromisingly perfect.
The issue of torque
In order to generate the amount of force needed to keep an engine together, most fasteners used in critical areas of the engine need to be tightened up to a particular torque value. It’s important that this is done in the right way. To be successful, the fasteners used need to be able to withstand the fastening torque needed.
Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.