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Why Threaded Assemblies Fail
Functions of a Threaded Assembly
- Create clamp force
- Maintain clamp force
- Allow disassembly
Why They Fail
Threaded assemblies fail because clamp force is not maintained. Threaded assemblies loosen because of:
- Gaps: In order to make the assembly possible, nuts and bolts must have some tolerance, which creates gaps between the threads.
- Vibration & Side-to-Side Movement: These gaps allow the parts to move from side-to-side when exposed to vibration.
- Expansion / Contraction: Expansion and contraction can also cause side-to-side movement. This, in addition to vibration, leads to loosening and ultimately disassembly of parts.
Disassembly is Not Always Possible
This failure happens because, in certain conditions, a nut and a bolt can seize together. This seizing effect is caused by:
- Corrosion, rust, when dealing with humidity, high temperatures, assembly of different metals (galvanic corrosion)
- Galling (friction welding)
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