Threadlocker makes light work of solar panels

Solar panels are obviously exposed to a variety of weather conditions, with wind sometimes causing enough vibration for the panel mounting bolts to loosen over time. Further, differential thermal expansion and contraction can also cause the loosening of threaded fasteners, and a recent example of an operator overcoming the possibility of this loss of joint integrity has emerged from Japan

Driven by the potential for downtime costs if the threaded assemblies worked loose, a Japanese solar power plant decided to take action to prevent it happening by specifying an adhesive thread locker that could be applied to the already-assembled nuts and bolts. The company chose to lock its threaded assemblies with an engineering adhesive rather than a mechanical device, (for example a spring washer), because it proved the most efficient for them. This was not only measured by the ease and speed application but also the extended service life of locked assembly, says Loctite.

The company adds that the adhesive proved the best choice as it is the only thread locking method that addresses the gap which exists between the threads of the nut and bolt.  Although imperceptible to the naked eye, this gap is still large enough to allow side to side movement of the bolt within the nut when it is exposed to wind movement; regardless of whether a mechanical locking device has also been fitted. Further, says Loctite, the problem can be exacerbated by thermal cycling.

The adhesive thread locker completely fills the gap between the threads and solidifies into a tough thermoset plastic between the two metal surfaces in the absence of air, preventing any micro-movement.  Generally, the adhesive is applied during installation or maintenance while the fastener is being assembled but as the Japanese energy company discovered, a wicking grade version gave them the advantage of securing all their threaded assemblies without having to dismantle them first.

The chosen product for this application was LOCTITE® 290 from Henkel, a liquid medium/high-strength thread locker for locking and sealing threaded fasteners.  Because of its low viscosity and capillary action, the adhesive actively creeps in between the threaded surfaces. This meant engineers could apply the adhesive to the nuts and bolts in situ, saving significant maintenance time in the process and creating assemblies that were both long lasting and corrosion resistant.

Henkel Ltd

Wood Lane End
Hemel Hempstead
HP2 4RQ
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1442 278000

technicalservice.loctite@uk.henkel.com

www.henkel.com

More news
8 hours ago
Getting current on electrically conductive adhesives
Electrically conductive adhesives are now commonplace and have contributed immensely to the micro design of everyday consumer electronic devices. iPads, mobile phones, medical devices, flexible PCB’s, wearable conductive clothing, RFID tagging and RFI shielding are just some common applications with which we are all familiar. In this article, Simon Dearing, Managing Director of Eurobond Adhesives, reveals more about the technology and how to use and maximise it
14 hours ago
Precision adhesive dispensing helps save lives
preeflow eco-DUO volumetric adhesive dispensing from Oxford-based Intertronics is helping to ensure the integrity of a life-saving medical device
14 hours ago
Tapes manufacturer bonds with neighbour
Milton Keynes based bonding experts Lohmann Technologies has responded to an unusual request from the business next door
5 days ago
Inspiring materials are hot topic for new podcast
Creation of innovative materials and their applications sit at heart of podcast discussions
6 days ago
A point well made on syringe needle bonding
Medical syringe needles are produced in massive quantities, and to ensure an efficient production process, rapid and reliable needle bonding is essential. Eurobond Adhesives says it has just the product to inject some practicality and performance into the process
1 week ago
EMKA cabinet info updated
The EMKA blog has been updated with the latest on cabinet assembly
1 week ago
Modular aluminium plinth elevates professional photography to new level
An Aldershot-based professional photographer and visual engineer is using an industrial robot fitted with a camera to produce perfect studio pictures. The equipment is mounted onto a bespoke mobile pedestal made with standard aluminium sections and features modular components supplied by FATH
1 week ago
New dosing and mixing system for liquid silicone rubber
Just introduced by Eurobond Adhesives is the all-new LSR eTwin Connect, a new generation dosing and mixing system for liquid silicone rubber. It is manufactured in Germany by Wagner Reinhardt-Technik, for whom Eurobond is UK Distributor
1 week ago
Video shows hand held clinching advantages
This video from BTM Automation Products shows one of its hand-held clinching tools in action. BTM says that its Tog-L-Loc® and other related clinching tools join sheet metal quickly, quietly and cleanly without the expense of welding or the use of additional fasteners: the process simply clinches the parent material
1 week ago
Typhoon brings bolt tightening wind of change
Boltight's Typhoon range of bolt tensioners from Nord-Lock are said to offer a high-load, low profile solution for space-restricted applications demanding high and accurate preloads, such as wind turbines