Threadlocker enhances fastener reliability for automotive engines
Cars and guns may be the heart of nearly every action-adventure movie, but Hollywood filmmakers aren’t the only ones with a passion for these two things. The Saleen Automotive Co. and HT Holsters Ltd., respectively, also have a keen interest in them.
Since 1993, Saleen has manufactured high-performance automotive parts and sports cars. The company is most famous for its highly specialized retrofitting and performance modifications of several automobile production models, including the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, Tesla Model S, and Dodge Viper and Challenger.
Saleen’s engineering team has a single goal in every modification project: boost the performance of each vehicle and refine its aesthetics to make it a rare and distinctive automobile. Often, though, the assembly and attachment-point bolts of the retrofitted vehicle’s supercharger (an air compressor that increases the pressure or density of air supplied to an internal combustion engine) are unable to withstand the rigors of being run at high-performance levels.
To overcome this problem, Saleen engineers considered using a threadlocker. They received support of their decision during a meeting with Tectorius North America, a supplier of pre-applied sealants, adhesives, lubricants and coatings for fasteners. Both parties agreed that using a threadlocker would enable the bolts to better withstand vibration, elevated temperatures and under-hood environments.
Saleen’s engineers then explained that they needed three more things from the threadlocker. First, it had to allow part adjustment during assembly, as well as disassembly later on. In addition, the threadlocker had to be available in specialized, low-volume quantities, and offer extended shelf life so it could be included in aftermarket kits.
Tectorius recommended the use of its heat-activated Vibra-Stop (Grade 9) threadlocker, which comes in a liquid or aerosol spray. It can be stored indefinitely and applied to the fastener at the time of assembly or weeks before use. This product dries upon touching the fastener threads, prevents loosening caused by vibration and permits part adjustment and disassembly. Its heat-activated
formulation is triggered by the heat of a running engine to ensure that bolts lock securely on a finished and fully adjusted engine assembly.
The standard Vibra-Stop formulation also prevents vibrational loosening, allows part adjustment, and permits disassembly. And, like the grade 9 formulation, it dries quickly and enables the fastener to be used immediately. HT Holsters uses this product in the assembly of its Speed-Draw CC (concealed carry) holsters.
Made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic, the holsters feature a closed-trigger chamber system to increase user safety. They also have a locking mechanism that prevents the pistol from unauthorized or unintended removal, and a switch that quickly releases the lock and lets users draw the pistol with a natural motion.
One small screw secures this switch. However, shortly after introducing the holsters to the market, HT often heard from customers that the screw was loosening due to basic holster usage and vibration (if placed in an automobile glove box). When the screw was too loose, it caused the locking mechanism to malfunction.
Rather than use a traditional threadlocker during assembly to prevent loosening, HT engineers discussed the issue with Tectorius. The engineers learned that the typical threadlocker is minimally effective on metal screws used in plastic, and that threadlocker vapors can chemically react with plastic and cause it to become brittle. In the case of a damaged holster, the officer or user would constantly have to deal with the possibility of an unsecured firearm.
Tectorius noted that its Vibra-Stop threadlocker would not damage the plastic holster and would keep fasteners in place and stable for a longer period of time than a typical threadlocker. In addition, because Vibra-Stop allows disassembly, customers can take the holster apart as needed without worrying about stripping the screw head or threads.
HT began applying this threadlocker to its holster screws, and the loosening problem went away.
For more information on liquid and aerosol threadlockers, call 586-232-3999 or visit www.tectorius.com.