At one time, welding was the most reliable and common way to secure joints in load-bearing structures that endure high levels of vibration. However, in most industrial applications today, welding isn’t practical—or safe. This is where swaged-on, direct-tension lockbolts, such as HuckBolts®, meet the demand.
HuckBolts® are a brand-specific, two-piece fastener designed by Arconic Fastening Systems and Rings Industrial. HuckBolts® are not blind fasteners, but Huck® offers a full line of blind fasteners, including the powerful BOM® (Blind, Oversized, Mechanically locked) bolt, which has been engineered for applications in which the operator can’t access both sides of the project. The BOM® is a workhorse in the most demanding environments where welding was once the only answer. The BOM® bolt is also known for being so strong that a single bolt can handle four times the workload of a conventional fastener.
Some of its common uses include:
- Truck suspensions
- Auto chassis
- Railroad track crossings
- Defense vehicles
Here are seven reasons to use HuckBolts® over welds:
1. Ensure Safety
With welding, there is always the danger that a random spark will start a fire, making welding much more dangerous than HuckBolts® in implementation. Additionally, spent rods and other materials can become safety hazards on the production floor. These spent materials can also interfere with organization and cleanliness of your worksite. With welding, there are also countless health risks, such as lung cancer, retina damage, asthma, and more. Using HuckBolts®, you avoid the dangers that come with welding.
2. Install Quickly
Welding—especially complicated welds—take time, which impacts production time. HuckBolts®, on the other hand, offer fast, reliable installation. With welds, your materials have to be spotless prior to joining, but with HuckBolts®, this isn’t necessary. They’re incredibly easy to install without any special tooling, and the best part? You avoid the human error that often comes along with welding.
3. Avoid HAZ
With HuckBolts®, you don’t have to worry about the impact of heat-affected zones (HAZ), which is when the space between the melted area and the unaffected base metal experiences chemical and structural modifications. HAZ can weaken the materials, cause corrosion, and damage critical surface coatings. With HuckBolts®, you avoid HAZ and ensure the integrity of your workpiece.
4. Inspect Regularly
Additionally, HuckBolts® allow for quick inspection, while welds are difficult to inspect and the inspections often require expensive equipment. In many cases, welds don’t get inspected at all, which can be a major safety hazard.
5. Ensure Integrity
Avoid weld fatigue! HuckBolts® ensure a high level of vibration resistance, which means a solid joint that can withstand years of use. HuckBolts® are also built to avoid the problems of thermal expansion experienced with welds, which can damage the integrity of the workpiece.
6. Modify Easily
Another great advantage of using HuckBolts® is that they are easy to rework or remove from an application. Welds, on the other hand, are extremely difficult and time-consuming to try and rework once the weld is set. Thus, HuckBolts® provide greater flexibility and will save you money in the long run.
7. Save Money
Installing HuckBolts® requires little to no experience, which means you don’t have to hire costly specialists and supervisors for the job. All the operator needs to do is complete a quick inspection of the bolt installation to verify the joint is solid. Welding is also more costly because you need to have expensive ventilation systems to remove harmful gases, not to mention special aprons, gloves, and masks.
The next time you’re debating whether to secure joints using welding or HuckBolts®, remember that HuckBolts® are cheaper, safer, faster, and easier to install and provide years of strong, secure fastening.