Proper care of a thread plug is essential to ensure accurate and reliable functionality. To ensure you are properly managing your thread plug, we have created a brief guide consisting of three main factors. These three factors come into play when it comes to caring for a thread plug and are of utter importance.
THE 3 FACTORS OF THREAD PLUG CARE
From start to finish, thread plugs must be properly used, maintained and stored. Each one of these factors are key to the overall quality of a thread plug. If proper procedures are taken, a thread plug can be guaranteed to have a longer life expectancy and accurate test results.
Correct usage of a thread plug all starts with properly trained personnel. All personnel using a thread plug should be trained on how to use the instrument and how not to use the instrument. Notably, during use of a thread plug, the instrument should never be forced into or onto any dimension being checked. Thread plugs should only be turned or pushed slowly and gently. It’s also important to remember not to touch a thread plug to any surface that could damage it. Even oils from the surface of human skin can cause a thread plug to rust. To avoid thermal expansion, a thread plug and the part should always be the same temperature. 68 degrees is the standard and most ideal temperature.
Proper maintenance is also an important part of caring for a thread plug. Four major components to consider when maintaining your thread plug are:
- Cleaning a thread plug after each use. This should include cleaning the thread plug with lubricant and then recoating the instrument with a thin layer of rust preventative. An easy alternative to this is dipping your thread plug into a peel oiled-based coating.
- Visual inspections of a thread plug should be done frequently. This will help to identify if a thread plug has any dents, nicks or scratches before and after use.
- Calibration due dates should also be checked regularly to ensure that your thread plug is up to date. This can be done during inventory and before every use.
- Recalibration and inspection of a thread plug should also be done periodically to ensure that the instrument is accurate and reliable. The frequency of recalibration and inspection should be determined based upon the amount a thread plug is used, along with the other factors such as, tolerance, material and procedures performed.
Another factor that plays into caring for a thread plug is proper storage. Oftentimes, people do not realize how negatively improper storage can affect instruments. After thread plugs have been properly cleaned and inspected, they should be stored in a plastic storage box, container or cabinet that is specifically dedicated to them. Correct storage helps prevent thread plug damage that can be caused from exposure to environmental conditions such as excessive heat, humidity, moisture and corrosive chemicals.
When these three factors are included in everyday thread plug care, thread plugs should be expected to have a longer life span. Thread plug life will also be determined by the frequency of usage and the material the plug is made out of.