There are many types of sockets designed in the industry that cater to different fasteners or tool requirements. Among all, impact sockets are the most popular and durable sockets that can withstand the load delivered by torque wrenches. Similarly, there are various other types of sockets that serve different requirements. In this article, we will highlight three major types of impact sockets used to complete bolting operations and summarize the role of extension arms.
Before we categorize the impact sockets, we will first talk about impact sockets. Impact sockets are robust sockets that are designed for impact drivers such as impact wrenches, and industrial torque wrenches that can deliver higher torque than other wrenches. These sockets are designed to withstand heavy vibrations and from the impact action. As mentioned earlier, impact sockets are designed from robust materials, these materials are a more ductile and less brittle grade of steel that can handle the impact vibrations and high torque output. Impact sockets are also ‘black’ coated which is a black oxide coat preventing the socket from corrosion.
They are designed with a side hole to fit in a retaining ring, grooved ring, and a locking pin for safety. This pin ensures that the socket does not fall off during the operation of an impact socket or the vibrations. Following are the types of sockets
- Hex Sockets
Hex sockets are the most common types of sockets. They are mainly available in two types;namelyhex/6 point sockets and bi-hex/12 point sockets. Hex sockets have a square drive socket at one end which is used to attach with a torque wrench like square drive torque wrenches. The other end of the hexagonal or bi-hexagonal is used to turn the fasteners such as nuts and bolts.
Hex impact sockets can be designed in two ways, either the whole socket can be a single piece or a double piece which can be assembled later. The two-piece socket is more economical as it allows the user to replace the broken part rather than replacing the entire socket in a single piece.
- Stack Sockets
A stacking socket is used when there is a radial clearance problem i.e. the fasteners are too close for a conventional link, or a smaller tool is used on a larger nut (low torque). There are three types of stack sockets namely bolt-thru with retaining ring, standard bolt-thru, and standard closed stack socket. All these sockets can also be used with inline tools with a ratchet link.A standard closed stack socket can only be used with minimal stud extruding beyond the top of the nut.
- Deep Sockets
Deep sockets are nothing but longer impact sockets, it offers the advantage to the torque wrenches by reaching inaccessible places. These types of sockets are rarely used and are only used on special applications such as clamp bolts of the automotive exhaust.
With sockets, additional accessories like extensions bars or extender arms are also attached to a socket on one end and a torque wrench on the other half of the extension. This extends the sockets allowing them to reach fasteners that are difficult to reach.
We hope this article helped you understand the properties and design aspects of impact sockets used in our industry and explained the role of extension arms. Visit us next time for more knowledge sharing articles.