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Ultrasonic bolt tension monitoring system

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article image The Mini-Max Ultrasonic Bolt Tension Monitoring System.

BOLTSTRESS Ultrasonics has developed a high specialised business providing solutions to problematic bolted joints by using Ultrasonic Technology.

The use of ultrasound to measure bolt tension has been in existence since the Apollo space missions. It provides the ability to see the real tension that a bolt retains after tightening and has been used to solve a multitude of bolted joint problems

Technical director Trevor Robinson has been involved in the evolution of the ultrasonic bolt tension measurement technology since joining Hydratight Pilgrim in June 1991. The insight gained having measured many thousands of bolts and the work completed together with input from experts from allied fields is unique.

Already the major resources companies in Australia are rapidly adopting the technology. Overseas businesses in Dubai, Africa and Singapore are also taking advantage of the products and services offered.

Boltstress Ultrasonics offers supply of the Mini-Max Ultrasonic Bolt Tension Monitoring System and/or consultative on and off site services.

The use of ultrasound to determine bolt tension supplies data which can be used to:

* Prevent in-service failures of dynamic joints

* Achieve a leak free start up

In-service failures of dynamic joints are prevented by:

a) Ensuring the original tension is correct

b) Regular re-monitoring of load to analyse joint performance.

Most dynamic bolted joints that benefit from this technology fall into the rotating equipment category, known applications being:

* Turbine coupling bolts

* Slew ring bearings

* Turrets

* Cranes

* Stacker reclaimers

* Shovels / large excavators

* Ball & SAG mill joints

* Gear drive split line joints

Leak free start up is achieved by ensuring:

a)Sealing surface integrity meets the requirements of the gasketry

b)Flanges are not over-stressed

c)Sealing surface stress is within tolerance

d)Bolt tension is neither too high or too low

e)Bolt tension is even around the flange.

Typical applications are:-

* Heat exchanger girth flanges

* Pressure vessel girth flanges

* Valve flanges

* Boiler pump flanges

* Reactor manways

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