There are some manufacturers who usually need to design marine equipment, such as exploratory vehicles. In such cases, attention has to be paid to the conditions that the craft will be exposed to, so as to ensure that the design is not compromised. When doing this, one of the important decisions one would need to […]

fastener testing for marine equipment
There are some manufacturers who usually need to design marine equipment, such as exploratory vehicles. In such cases, attention has to be paid to the conditions that the craft will be exposed to, so as to ensure that the design is not compromised. When doing this, one of the important decisions one would need to make is which type of fasteners to use for the project. Even if the rest of the design is perfect, using the wrong fasteners can result in poor performance of the craft.

When deciding on which fasteners to use for such a project, it is normally important to conduct a number of tests. This is particularly so if the marine craft is likely to be exposed to extreme conditions, such as having to dive very deep. Using regular brass carriage bolts or 316 Stainless steel hex lag bolts might not be ideal in such cases, since such products may end up being unable to withstand the pressure. Some of the tests you need to do include:
Corrosion studies
If the alloy used in the manufacture of the fasteners has some iron in it, it could end up being corroded. This chemical process is particularly fast in marine waters, since they typically have a lot of salt in them to facilitate this. In order to avoid it, you need to use fasteners that are made of an alloy that is known not to corrode, or have it tested for the same beforehand. This is particularly important if the marine equipment is likely to be immersed in the water for a long time.

 
Pressure studies
You also need to figure out how much pressure each of the fasteners can withstand, and whether this will be compromised by the conditions it will be exposed to. The deeper the equipment will need to be used, the more the pressure it will be exposed to. A fastener failure at such depths can be catastrophic, since it makes it very difficult to retrieve the equipment. Before choosing the fasteners to use in such a setting, it is important to figure out how much force the equipment will be exposed to, and then buy fasteners that can withstand this.
A chemical analysis
This is particularly important if the fasteners are made of an alloy that has not been tested under such conditions. In such settings, you will need to figure out whether the alloy will react to the surrounding water and the metal that it is in contact with. This will then determine if it’s suitable for use in such settings.
These are just a few of the basic tests you might need to carry out before choosing a fastener. The good thing is that as long as you buy what you need from a high quality vendor, you are unlikely to have to do any of the above on your own. All you will need to do is tell them what you need from the fasteners in terms of physical and chemical properties, and they will provide the solutions they have.
 

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone
President

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.

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