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Proceedings Paper

Reversible fastener clamp load monitor with continuous visual or remote readout
Author(s): Malcolm H. Hodge; Theodore C. Kausel Jr.; Matthew R. Begley
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Paper Abstract

SIMS has developed a simple means for detecting and monitoring both absolute and relative clamp load, or bolt tension, in fastener systems. More than twenty-five percent of automotive failures are known to be due to undetected loss of fastener clamp load. While the equivalent aerospace maintenance statistics are not known, the average automobile has 3,500 fasteners while a Boeing 747 has closer to one million. It is therefore anticipated that the new SensaBolt clamp load tracking system could find wide applications in the aerospace arena. We describe a visually-evident and retrofitted clamp load monitoring design which is based on the differential joint substrate compression at, and immediately adjacent to, the fastener location. This intrinsically-accurate indicator does not necessarily require alteration in either the bolt or nut geometries, thereby facilitating product introduction and retrofit in aging aircraft applications. In addition, SensaBolt's sole reliance on substrate compression renders it more accurate then torque wrench or turn-of-nut techniques. Readout may be accomplished by any of three principal methods: for those applications with ease of access to the sensor, loss of tension can be determined by direct visual inspection. Application of a standard wrench can then be made to restore the fastener's proper tightness, per the SensaBolt indicators. In those instances where line-of-sight is unimpeded and more formal inspection is desired, the SensaBolt may be interrogated by a laser scanner bar code reader. Finally, SensaBolt may be addressed by the SIMS fiber optic harness for those instances where full-time remote interrogation is desired.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 March 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3397, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware II, (31 March 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.305054
Show Author Affiliations
Malcolm H. Hodge, SensaBolt, LLC (United States)
Theodore C. Kausel Jr., SensaBolt, LLC (United States)
Matthew R. Begley, SensaBolt, LLC (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3397:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware II
Glenn A. Geithman; Gary E. Georgeson, Editor(s)

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