When it comes to caring for thread gages, three main factors come into play. From start to finish, thread gages must be properly used, maintained and stored. Each one of these three key factors contains multiple procedures that are essential in ensuring accurate test results and a longer life span of instrumentation.
- Properly training any laboratory personnel involved with the usage of thread gages will ensure gages are being treated and used correctly.
- Thread gages should never be forced into or onto any dimension being checked. Gages should be turned or pushed slowly and gently. Forcing a thread gage will result in not only faulty gaging, but also damage to both the gage and the part.
- When using a thread gage, it is also important to remember to avoid touching gage surfaces. Oils found on the surface of our skin could lead to rust.
- The temperature of the thread gage and the part should always be the same temperature. The ideal temperature for both parts is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps effectively eliminate thermal expansion and areas that can be caused by it.
- After each use, thread gages should be cleaned with a lubricant and then recoated with a thin layer of rust preventative. An alternative to this procedure is dipping a thread gage in an easy to peel oiled-based wax coating.
- Frequent thread gage inventory checks should be down to look for visual signs of nicks, dents and scratches on the gages.
- During inventory and before every use, thread gage recalibration dates should be checked to ensure the date is current.
- Thread gages should be inspected and recalibrated periodically to ensure accuracy of tests and measurement. Inspection and recalibration frequency should be based of the amount of usage, the part and gage material, the tolerance and the quality procedures performed.
- After gages have been properly maintenance, they should be stored by specific type in the correct plastic storage box, container or cabinet.
- Thread gages should be protected from exposure to excessive heat, humidity, moisture and corrosive chemicals.
When these thread gage care procedures are performed properly and precisely, gages should be expected to have a longer life span. Gage life will also be determined by the frequency of usage and the material the gage is made out of. Notably, when investing in a thread gage, take into consideration the gage steel. It is important to look for material with extreme stability and a high wear resistance. The better the quality of the material, the longer the gage life expectancy.
Should you be calibrating your instruments in-house or outsourced? Read our guide to find out.