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Methods may vary, but the object is the same

There are many preparation methods for baking a cake, but the end result should always be a recognizable creation. There should be no guess-work. A knowledgeable baker will know which method suits the occasion and how the end product should look. They will then use their expertise of recipes or follow written instructions precisely, paying attention to variables including weights, tools, temperature and time, to compete the task correctly.

When planning work on bolted joint flanged connections there are also pre-project decisions to be made. The designer or asset owner should understand how critical a specific joint is within a system. They should also know the parameters that will achieve the end target of leak-free from start-up and throughout operation.

In joint integrity, one of the parameters is related to the aim of inducing sufficient load in the fasteners to provide a clamping force that will energize the gasket and retain the contained pressure. There are two typical methods for inducing load in fasteners; torque and tension. Readers will know torque is the action of turning the bolt-head or the nut. Meanwhile, tension is the action of applying an axial stretch in the bolt. With appropriate control of related factors both should be able to result in the target fastener load.

At Hydratight, we have the capabilities to torque or tension. Our engineering and technical teams have access to our own designs of torque-wrenches for multiple applications, and we have a wide-range of tensioners, hydraulic nuts and specialist tensioning systems to suit most applications.

A technician using torqueing equipment should pay attention to friction variables including surface preparation, temperatures, corrosion and lubricants to achieve the desired end result. Asset owners typically select torque on lower criticality connections, on flanges with smaller bolt diameters or when tensioning is not possible due to space constraints. Whilst a single torque wrench is typically used to tighten fasteners on a bolted flange connection, it is possible to use two or four wrenches simultaneously. 

Hydraulic tensioners are typically applied to 50 per cent of the fasteners in a bolted flange connection and hence will distribute the bold-load evenly on the gasket as the connection is tightened.

The industries we serve demand safe, controlled solutions. In some cases, Hydratight has designed specialist products to assure safety, speed and accuracy during tightening of fasteners. We have the capabilities to develop customized tooling for unique circumstances and always work closely with industry to meet and help develop industry standards. Within the last month we have launched the Hydratight Gripping Socket™ which has been precision engineered to grip onto the bolt in any orientation, including inverted positions, during bolting operations to improve operator safety. 

While there may be more than one way to tighten a bolted joint, leak free start-up (every time) can be assured by employing trained and competence assessed personnel, using quality tools and using correct procedures for the application.