Torque multipliers are essential tools across a wide variety of industries. Used to dramatically increase the amount of controlled torque which can be applied to a nut or bolt, torque multipliers allow workers to rapidly and accurately assemble or repair heavy products, machinery, vessels, or structures. Finding the right quality torque multiplier comes down to knowing what the best type of torque multiplier for your application is and locating a reputable, reliable supplier.
Types of Torque Multipliers
Different types of torque multipliers are best suited for different applications. The three primary types of torque multipliers are hand, pneumatic, and electric. However, certain special applications, like servicing plate heat exchangers, require distinct types of torque multipliers. For plate heat exchanges, radial gearing torque multipliers are used.
- Hand Torque Multipliers. Hand torque multipliers are highly effective for field service applications. Because they don’t rely on any external power source, hand torque multipliers can tighten bolts on the road, at sea, up towers, down mines, and anywhere else service techs need to travel. Delivering up to 36,880 lbf.ft of torque—roughly 40x the torque delivered by the largest hand torque wrenches—hand torque multipliers significantly expand service capabilities. By equipping service technicians with tools that can handle the largest jobs, companies can expand their business offerings. Less expensive than externally-powered multipliers, hand torque multipliers help large companies keep costs down and small companies gain entry to forbidding markets.
- Pneumatic Torque Multipliers. Pneumatic torque multipliers rely on compressed air to increase the force applied to heavy fasteners. This is their greatest strength and greatest drawback. While pneumatic multipliers can fasten more quickly than hand multipliers, and more powerfully than electric multipliers, they must have access to a compressor and air hose to work. As such, they are most effective in heavy manufacturing facilities with the infrastructure to support them. Pneumatic multipliers compare favorably to other air tools in torque control and ergonomics, particularly impact drivers. While impact drivers hammer home bolts and send vibrations ringing through their operator’s bones, muscles, and tendons, pneumatic multipliers do the same work smoothly, without harming their operators.
- Electric Torque Multipliers. Like pneumatic multipliers, electric torque multipliers rely on an external power source—AC electricity—and are best suited for factory applications. However, their weatherproofing and rugged construction, and the relative availability of electricity compared to air power, also render them effective for limited field applications such as servicing windmill gearboxes. In these applications, they outperform hand multipliers for speed, though they cannot match the amount of power hand multipliers supply at the highest ranges. They also outcompete impact drivers for ergonomics and control and hydraulic ratchets for speed and ease of use.
- Radial Gearing Torque Multipliers. Designed specifically for plate heat exchanger applications, radial gearing torque multipliers are indispensable for industries which rely on this technology. Used in the HVAC, chemical, dairy, marine, and petrochemical industries, radial gearing multipliers are available in both electric and pneumatic models. Electric models integrate easily into manufacturing or service areas without dedicated air compressors, while pneumatic multipliers provide additional power.
Knowing which type of torque multiplier is best for your assembly operation is essential. Once you’ve decided which multipliers are ideal for your application, it’s time to find the best provider available.
Choosing a Quality Manufacturer of Torque Multipliers
Torque multipliers are not disposable, nor should they rapidly approach obsolescence. Quality torque multipliers will perform effectively the day they’re purchased and every day for the next ten years. While calibration and service will occasionally need to be provided for even the most reliable torque multiplier, these are standard and expected costs for any piece of needed equipment.
Both hard and soft criteria can be used to find the correct manufacturer of torque multipliers. Hard criteria include whether the manufacturer meets the standards of international organizations and governmental authorities in the countries where you operate. These standards provide the minimum requirements for effective use and must be met.
Another hard standard is cost. Less expensive equipment that meets standards is preferable to more expensive equipment that meets identical standards. However, costs can be complex, including more than just sticker prices. The availability of technical assistance, including calibration and repair, can make a compelling argument for one company over another.
Soft criteria serves to differentiate between products when cost is relatively similar and both meet the same standards. These criteria include the manufacturer’s reputation, how many years they’ve had a good reputation, the work they do for their community, and prior business relationships.
Torque multipliers are necessary and effective tools for many heavy industries. Choosing the right type of torque multiplier for your operation depends on the nature of the products you’re providing service for or assembling. Once you know what type of multiplier you need, you can find the best supplier by comparing standards, cost, reputation, and other factors.
Mountz, Inc., the Torque Tool Specialist, provides high-quality torque multipliers to the companies who need them. 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. To get the latest torque-related news, follow us on LinkedIn.