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FALL 2021

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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2021 / Vol 44 No 4


26 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Guy Avellon Guy Avellon has been in MRO and Fastener Distribution for over 30 years, in such positions Sales Engineer, Chief Engineer, Manager of Product Marketing, Product Engineering & Quality and Director of Quality & Engineering. He founded GT Technical Consultants where he performs failure analysis, lectures on fastener safety, works for law firms and designs/audits Quality systems. He is a member of SAE, is Vice Chairman of the ASTM F16 Fastener Committee, Chairman of the F16.01 Test Methods Committee and received the ASTM Award of Merit in 2005. Guy can be contacted at 847- 477-5057, Email: or visit WHAT FASTENER DISTRIBUTORS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ASSEMBLY TOOLS Besides selling fasteners of all types, many distributors also sell power tools for bolted joint assembly. Even if power tools are not sold by your organization, having the wrong tool by the assembler can cause many fasteners to fail. Many assembly plants use more sophisticated power tools than those used in maintenance. Most of these are digital that indicate the sequence and pattern to tighten the bolts. For example, if #2 bolt is missed in a programmed sequence, the tool will not allow the #3 fastener to be tightened until the #2 fastener is tight. Automotive assembly lines use these types of tools as well as gang runners where several sockets are attached to multiple bolts, such as head bolts on an engine or wheel nuts, then slowly torque all down at the same time. Nut runners and powered screw drivers are power assisted tools driven either by pneumatic or electrical energy. The nut runners produce low torque that can be very accurate. These are used to tighten nuts, flanged head screws and small socket head fasteners below 1/2” or 12 mm. DC Electric Tools Many earlier nut runners were corded but the DC powered battery tools are more portable and ergonomically easy to use in tight areas. The more sophisticated DC electric tools are programmable, stores multiple torque values, has a data base used for error-proofing and some will have linear translators for x-y positioning. The more common and less expensive DC power tools are powered by 20 volt rechargeable Lithium CONTRIBUTOR ARTICLE batteries. Mostly used by contractors and maintenance, the majority are not adjustable for output speed. If the user is not careful, the heads of small screws can easily become twisted off, such as deck screws and wood screws. If the user is tightening deck screws, etc. with a 1/2” 20v drill body, there could be many failures. Checking different well known manufacturers, one 1/2” 20v has an RPM range of 400-1200-1900 and delivers initial impacts of 700-1200 lb-ft of torque. Another will deliver 600 lb-ft off torque but only 330 lb-ft initial torque from 0-900-2,000 RPM. Other models will provide their torque output in inchpounds, such as 1825 lb-in (152 lb-ft.) or 1400 lb-in (116 lb-ft). There are even 1/4” 12v models which produce 1300 lb-in (108 lb-ft) that are very adequate to do the job quickly and efficiently. Pneumatic Power Tools Pneumatic power tools are commonly known as impact wrenches. These are air driven power tools which produce repeated output blows on an output anvil. Commonly used in automotive repair shops, truck shops for glider kit (frame) building and tire mounting shops. Some larger models are used to tighten large bolts up to 1 1/2” (38 mm). The advantages of pneumatic power tools is their high torque and high speed. A 1/2” medium duty air driver will produce 600 lb-ft of torque at 7,300 RPM with 1,000 beats per minute (BPM). This is enough torque to destroy any Grade 8 bolt up to 7/8”. The 1/2” Heavy Duty model will produce 650 lb-ft of torque at 7,500 RPM with 1,100 BPM. There are some older models which produce 450 lb-ft of torque. CONTINUED ON PAGE 110


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