Addressing the fact that there are not many articles highlighting the benefits of bolt tensioners, we decided to dedicate an article solely to talk about why customers prefer bolt tensioning in bolting operations. In this article, we will talk about how to operate a bolt tensioner and the benefits it offers.
Following up from our previous article, where we defined bolt tensioning and the significance of the components involved, we can state that bolted connections are crucial elements that impact the plant efficiency, integrity, and reliability. A plant implements modern technologies to enhance efficiency, productivity, and safety to avoid hand injuries. Understanding that conventional methods pose a threat to safety affecting the shutdown schedules, hydraulic bolt tensioning provides a solution by delivering the industry’s highest level of productivity, safety, and accuracy on all critical joints.
Before starting the bolting operation, Tensioner assembly consists of Puller, Load Cell, Bridge & Socket. After placing the socket on the nut, the load cell & bridge kept on top of the nut & socket. For tensioning we need bolt length equal to one dia above the nut projecting out. Every bolt tensioner is then connected through hydraulic hoses and applied the desired pressure on. The applied pressure delivers the hydraulic load across all interconnected bolt tensioners. The operator then turns the nut rotating socket using a tommy bar to tighten the nut firmly on to the joint surface. The pressure on the tensioner is then released completing the bolt tensioning procedure.
Now since we know how to operate a bolt tensioner, we will move on to answer the question of this article, “what are the benefits of bolt tensioning?”. To answer it in a sentence, it enhances safety and ensures leak-free joints.
To answer it briefly, controlled bolting with tensioners reduces shutdown intervals improving the efficiency and productivity of the plant. To ensure joint integrity from controlled bolting, we need to ensure the bolts are preloaded to the desired load so that each component of the joint assembly consisting of flange, gasket & bolts are under optimum operating condition.
As bolt tensioners pull the bolt axially using external force there are no frictional force involved when using tensioners. Moreover, there are no torsional stress or side loads associated with tensioners as there are no reaction arms / reaction points as with torque wrenches. It is also considered to be the fastest method considering that multiple bolts are tightened/loosened simultaneously. Bolting through tensioner are claimed to be safer considering them being a hands-free operation, tensioners eliminate pinch point hazards.
Tensioners also prevent galling of fasteners. While tensioning, the threads and nut contact surfaces do not see the high contact pressures that cause galling. Tensioning also delivers pure axial bolt stressing nearly without shear stress. It eliminates the possibilities of over dimensioned bolts, unsafe connections, or unevenly tensioned flanges.
About TensionPro Tensioners
As an early adopter of industrial bolting technologies, TensionPro combines their decades of experience and associates itself with the highest standards of quality and safety when designing their tensioning tools. They offer customized solutions based on the customer’s requirements and the application. Thorough research, analysis, and design is always conducted before a tool is recommended for the specific application. Simple and easy to use, these tools can be hand-assembled in minutes.
We hope this article helped you understand the operation of bolt tensioners and highlighted the benefits of the same. Visit us next time for more knowledge sharing articles on industrial bolting.