LOCTITE anaerobic adhesives have a long history of use in farming equipment – indeed, since Vernon Krieble’s invention of the liquid threadlockers in the early 1950s, the LOCTITE red bottles have become synonymous with agricultural equipment assembly and maintenance. This is exemplified by global brands such as Caterpillar and New Holland Agriculture trusting LOCTITE products to deliver reliability and ongoing maintenance solutions for their machinery.1,2
“If you start at the reason why these fasteners are used in the first place, it’s about holding parts together – if they fail to do so, it can result in a catastrophic breakdown of farming equipment,” says BSC Product Manager for Adhesives & Sealants, Michael Rowe. “LOCTITE anaerobic adhesives provide that reliability of locking components into place and can remove the worry of machine failure during critical times, such as during a harvest.”
According to Michael, having peace of mind that threaded assemblies will not fail in the paddock is achievable through the LOCTITE threadlocker range. Having worked with industrial components for over 30 years, including 11 years with Henkel to provide training on the use of LOCTITE products, Michael is considered an expert when it comes to using adhesives and sealants in the field.
Threaded assemblies fail when a clamp force is not maintained. Loosening occurs as a result of gaps in the threads, vibration, and extraction or contraction of the metal.
“Thermal cycling is as big a problem for fasteners as vibration from the actual machine use is. Generally, agricultural equipment is used outdoors and parked or stored outdoors, so it is exposed to all the elements – heat, morning frosts, rain and so on,” explains Michael. “So, you’ve got machinery that’s already working in harsh conditions, and on top of that, there will be ingress from the environment. For example, in a paddock you might have clods of soil and animal excrement, both of which can also cause corrosion to the threaded assemblies.”
In the context of the latter, disassembly may not be an option if the nuts and bolts have seized up. This is why choosing the right threadlocker for the job of ‘locking’ fasteners tight (hence the name LOCTITE) is vitally important.
How does a LOCTITE threadlocker work?
By filling all voids between interfacing threads. LOCTITE threadlockers cure in the absence of air and in the presence of active metal to form a tough thermoset plastic.
How do I choose a LOCTITE threadlocker?
“The first aspect to consider is what role the fastener plays in your equipment. Some may need to stay in place for long periods, others may need to be removed regularly, such as a cover of an essential component,” Michael advises. “The second feature is size. Both the requirement and the size will help determine what strength is required.”
The LOCTITE threadlocker range comes in a variety of strengths (low, medium and high) and viscosity. In some circumstances, a LOCTITE primer may also be required to speed up the cure and ensure the threadlocker performance on inactive metals.
Michael points out that all Motion Asia Pacific businesses have undertaken training and that Henkel provide additional technical services in collaboration with BSC to support end customers. This makes a key difference.
“All the staff at BSC are well-versed in using these products and can advise customers,” he notes. “Henkel also provide regular training updates and there is a plethora of material in the form of guides and case studies that staff can draw on when consulting with customers. We also collaborate with Henkel on any complex cases.”
How do I use LOCTITE threadlockers?
LOCTITE threadlockers can be used for through holes, blind holes, post-assembly, overhead applications and pre-applied applications. All parts need to be clean and free of contaminants before threadlockers are applied to ensure optimal performance. LOCTITE SF 7070 parts cleaner and degreaser is recommended to use.
Michael recommends that customers speak with their local BSC branch regarding application on farm machinery and more specific step-by-step instructions.
1. Henkel Corporation Named Preferred Vendor with Loctite® Branded Products Replacing Caterpillar® Private-Label Adhesives and Sealants Worldwide http://www.useloctite.com/downloads/global-announcement.pdf
2. A Record-Breaking Harvest With New Holland, https://www.henkel-adhesives.com/au/en/insights/all-insights/success-stories/new-holland.html