The best torque is the right torque. Whether you’re manufacturing circuit boards or repairing spaceships, applying the correct amount of torque to each screw and bolt is critical for success. If you don’t apply enough torque to a threaded fastener, it can fall free. If you apply too much, you can damage the fastener and substrate enough to cause failure immediately, or, worse, during use. In order to apply measured amounts of torque, it’s necessary to use a tool designed specifically for the job, such as a torque wrench.
But how do you know that your torque wrench is working correctly? Torque wrenches must be tested on a routine basis using torque measurement devices, including torque analyzers and sensors. Torque analyzers and sensors must themselves be tested as well, using torque calibration equipment including precisely engineered dead weights. This guide will help you develop your own torque measurement program.
How to Use Torque Analyzers and Sensors
Torque analyzers and sensors are equally important for testing the calibration of torque tools. Torque sensors are the physical hardware, otherwise known as transducers, which detect the amount of torque a tool applies. Torque analyzers interpret data supplied by torque sensors to determine if a tool is in calibration or not. Both are often included in the same piece of equipment, known as a torque tester.
To find the right set of torque analyzers and sensors, consider your suite of torque tools and the needs of your product. Applications with simple torque needs, like using click wrenches to tighten lug nuts, can be satisfied with simple, effective torque testers to provide a go/no go reading before use. On the other end of the scale, complex manufacturers in regulation-sensitive industries, like the production of medical devices, may need rotary torque sensors to take accurate readings of their power tools, low-torque reaction sensors to examine their clean room screwdrivers, or analysis software capable of providing documentation for audits and inspections.
While the buttons you’ll need to press vary between torque testers, the essential operation is the same throughout:
- On the torque analyzer’s interface, select the standard amount of torque for the tool you’re testing. This information can be found in the tool’s maintenance manual or by consulting the manufacturer.
- Select any special testing parameters using the torque analyzer’s menus. Parameters may include peaks or rundown times.
- Select the same amount of torque on the tool.
- Use the tool to apply torque to the sensor until the tool stops itself.
- Read the results and repeat the test for confirmation if necessary.
- Record the results and flag the tool for service if it is out of calibration.
You can obtain information about specific operating procedures from the owner’s manual included with your torque testing equipment. For help developing procedures specific to your tools and industry, consult your tools’ manufacturer, legal counsel, standards organizations, or torque laboratories.
How to Use Calibration Equipment for Torque Tools
Torque analyzers and sensors keep torque tools calibrated. A separate set of calibration equipment is used to test and adjust the analyzers and sensors themselves. This calibration equipment is entirely straightforward—it’s a series of dead weights that serve as a fixed standard against which to measure.
Torque is radius times force (times the sine of theta, the angle produced by the movement of the radius around the axis of rotation). The dead weights used to calibrate torque testers rely on this principle. Using the action of gravity on their mass, which is fixed, they apply force to a torque sensor. The weights are attached at the end of an arm or wheel, which provides a standard radius for the movement. The torque analyzer computes this force (and multiplies it by the sine of theta). If the analyzer’s computation meets a predetermined number, it is within calibration.
If it doesn’t, then the analyzer must be recalibrated. A menu item on the torque analyzer will provide the option for recalibration. The same dead weights used as a fixed standard to test calibration are also used to recalibrate torque testers. More information on this process can be found in the owner’s manuals specific to the torque tester or by consulting the torque tester’s manufacturer.
If you’re manufacturing or repairing products held together by screws and bolts, torque tools are an essential part of your process. In order to maintain results, these tools must be kept in calibration by testing them regularly. Torque analyzers and sensors must also be kept in calibration by testing them using a system of dead weights. Keeping tools in alignment helps ensure product quality, regulatory compliance, and public safety.
At Mountz, Inc., the only torque tool manufacturer in Silicon Valley, we have extensive experience with testing and calibration torque tools. Our torque analyzers, sensors, and calibration equipment are precision engineered to keep your tools in alignment. To see our full range of products, shop our store. Contact us anytime to ask a question. To inquire about price, request a quote. If you’d like to see our equipment in person, schedule an appointment.