A torque wrench is the name of a precision tool that needs to be treated and given maintenance in the manner of a precision instrument. A torque wrench needs to be correctly calibrated and maintained on a regular schedule to prevent problems.
The controlling, measuring and tightening of torque for fasteners is of crucial importance in regards to quality control and efficient production. Inadequate torque could result in fasteners vibrators or even working themselves loose but on the flipside torque that is too high could cause the fastener to break or strip or result in adjoining parts fail, causing liabilities such as premature malfunction.
Torque wrenches need to be checked on a periodic basis for defective parts or wear and tear in order to ensure consistent accuracy is maintained. A preventive maintenance program that is properly structured will optimise tool performance and cut down on any unexpected downtime that can occur from such issues, saving both time and money.
Torque wrenches are used frequently, and the more they are used, the quicker they will lose calibration or wear. It is therefore crucial to monitor the number of daily cycles or hours that a tool is made use of accurately in order to ensure proper maintenance intervals are established.
It is generally accepted that the service of torque wrenches should take place in accordance with the guidelines provided by manufacturers or no later than after 10,000 cycles, or if dry or old grease, unstable or loose components or parts showing signs fo extreme wear are detected by a visual inspection.
An inspection should be made of the ratchet of a wrench to check for wear and then cleaning and lubrication is required. Periodic verifications also need to be made that the screws of the ratchet are sufficiently tight and that the ratchet is able to spin freely when it is turned. Looseness is also unacceptable in the wrench handle, which should be free of lubricants or corrosion when used.
A failure to adjust, inspect, lubricate and replace any worn parts that may be on a wrench can result in premature failure.
The importance of protection
It is important to ensure that a torque wrench is protected from the likes of chemicals, dust, grime and any other potential hazards by storing it properly within a storage device such as a case and keeping it a clean and dry place.
The exterior of the wrench should be cleaned with a dry cloth. Users should never clean with chemical solvents such as external cleaning fluid as it can cause corrosion to the tool’s internal lubrication, resulting in premature failure. If disassembling the wrench is required the properly documented manufacturer’s instructions should be followed or the wrench sent to an expert technician.
Users of click style wrenches should wind it back to the minimum setting for torque once they have finished with it, as this helps to ensure the calibration of the tool is maintained by reducing spring pressure during storage.
Maintenance is of vital importance to ensuring that torque wrenches remain properly calibrated and continue to function in the correct manner.