Torque wrenches are an investment. The goal is to keep tools in good, working condition as long as possible. It is necessary to maintain proficiency over the tightening, controlling and measuring of torque fasteners. An improperly torqued fastener can shake loose or come undone. On the other hand, if the tension is too high, threads can strip and fasteners can snap. To ensure that performance is accurate, regular torque wrench maintenance is required. Proper care and upkeep of torque instruments can save money in the long run by prolonging use of these instruments.
Make sure you choose the right torque wrench for the job. There are several tools on the market that are used to control or measure the torque applied to fasteners. Some of these include electric screwdrivers, large industrial wrenches, analyzers, sensors and multipliers. These tools vary depending on the work required of them. Small fasteners may only require a lightweight, inexpensive torque wrench. Large bolts used on industrial equipment, such as mold setting, may require a 2,000 foot pound wrench. Ensure that the torque wrench rating fits the job.
Proper torque wrench maintenance includes consistent visual inspection. Look for signs of wear. Note if anything feels lose or unstable. Keep the wrench free of dirt and debris. Use a soft cloth only, solvents can break down lubricants. If you have a digital torque wrench, take care around the display to avoid scratching. Store the torque wrench in a place that is safe from blunt impact. Use original packaging, if able.
Manufacturers recommend observing regular calibration testing in any torque wrench maintenance plan. Calibration testing verifies that the torque wrench is working correctly. For example, some torque wrenches do not have a locking device. A technician can accidentally change torque settings, resulting in the tool falling out of adjustment. This is why regularly scheduled calibration is important. Make sure to get your torque instruments calibrated by an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration and repair laboratory. This will meet most torque wrench maintenance quality guidelines.