The Torque Wrench

torque wrenchA torque wrench is a tool that is used for applying torque to tighten fasteners such as a nut or a bolt. It was initially designed by Conrad Bahr in 1918 so that bolts could be tightened just enough. It is quite the same as a normal wrench but it should only be used for tightening purposes and not for loosening. You should use this wrench when the tightness of the fasteners is a huge consideration to ensure safety. The torque applied is generally measured on the device and should match the required amount when tightening nuts and bolts.

Some may think that tightening the fasteners is enough, but overdoing it can actually lead to serious trouble. If you are looking for torque wrenches, check and see if the unit of measurement is in ft-lbs or Nm (Newton-meter) because most of the torque requirements are displayed in these units.

The importance of this tool will be further discussed below. Tips will also be mentioned here to help you determine which type is the most advisable to have for your particular situation.

Why Use It?
The main reason why we need to use torque wrenches is to ensure that our fasteners have the correct tightness level. The repercussions of incorrect tightness may be dangerous because if the bolts are loose, the equipment may be unstable. On the other hand, if it's too tight, the whole set-up may break. In both situations, the safety of the users will be compromised. Having this tool will allow you to apply the right amount of torque needed by the equipment. Another reason why it is so important is because it allows us to be consistent with the torques applied to equipment’s fasteners. We may not immediately see it, but having top-quality torque wrenches at hand will not only allow us to save money and time for repairs, but also people's lives.

Types of Wrenches
Click Wrench: With a click wrench, a user can pre-set the torque level using the wrench's click mechanism. When you have set the required torque level, the clutch will start to slip and fasten the bolt according to the torque level that you have set. The clicking mechanism will tell you whether the required torque has already been reached. In effect, the click will help you prevent overtightening the bolts.

Electronic Torque Wrench: This wrench is commonly used for bolts that are already tightened in place. Such wrenches usually have a strain gauge, a LED display, and a memory stick which can be used to save particular torque readings. The torque level is programmable and can be easily set using the electronic display.

Beam Wrench: The beam wrench’s torque indicator is its lever arm which bends slightly when pressure is applied. If there is no force present, the indicator will remain parallel with the lever arm. When torque is applied, a scale moves to give a value in the same manner that a weighing scale does. Aside from being reliable and inexpensive, the beam wrench can also be used to measure the required torque for loosening a bolt. Of course, the torque for loosening is different from the torque required to tighten it.

Maintenance
Wrenches have parts and components that may be affected by dirt and corrosion in the long run. One of the best ways to keep it from being damaged is to always keep it clean and safe in a storage box when it is not in use. If you are going to dismantle it, make sure you know how to properly calibrate it so that it will give accurate torque values. If the tool has not been used for a long time, it is recommended to reduce the torque values to its minimum value. It is not advisable to put the values at zero as this may affect the wrench's calibration.

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