How exactly does lock wire work? Various applications require lock wires to ensure mechanical stability. Bolts, screws, nuts, and other fasteners loosen over time, particularly if they are subjected to a great deal of vibration. A lock wire is used to connect several bolts in order to keep them tensioned “against themselves”. The result is that they do not shake loose, but instead maintain their intended level of torque and grip.
Lock wire prevents nuts, bolts, and other fasteners from loosening, making it essential in industries or devices with a high vibration level. Fasteners tend to loosen when shaken, jolted, and jarred constantly in industrial applications. Loosening bolts can lead to dangerous mechanical failure. Devices that are mission-critical, such as flight controls, throttle mechanisms, and braking systems, cannot fail. A safety wire can be implemented in sports cars, aircraft turbine engines, and even weapons.
Safety tie wire should not be used in applications that result in excessive chafing, tension, or fatigue when the wire is intended to tighten.
Lock Wire Best Practices
While lock wire is extremely important, there are prerequisites before it can be used. The fasteners and bolts need to be compatible or made compatible before it can be used. In most cases, lock wire is threaded through the hole drilled in the head of a bolt. Lock wire can be used most effectively in this manner since other methods are prone to failure. Especially in industries such as aerospace, lock wire is crucial to ensuring your team’s safety and efficiency, as well as that of others, so performing the work correctly is imperative.
Regardless of whether you are a pilot, part of the crew, or a passenger, ensuring the plane is safe and secure is their top priority. Lock wire is not only necessary for the safety of those on board, but also to secure parts to the plane and ensure they do not fall off and cause severe damage below.
Knowing the proper procedure is therefore essential. Lock wires can be installed in one of two ways: double-twist or single-wire.
Lock Wire Installation
When using the double-twist attachment method, the wire diameter is determined by the fasteners used. A wire diameter of .032 inches is required for parts with holes larger than .045 inches. For holes with diameters ranging from .045 to .062 inches and spacing between parts less than 2 inches, .020-inch double-strand wire is needed.
Installation of safety wires using single wires or single strands is more appropriate in situations with closely spaced fasteners, such as power systems. In general, the number of fasteners you can secure with wire locks depends on the number of fasteners you have within reach of 24 inches of wire. In the single-wire method, the wire must be the largest possible size that will fit into the fastener hole.
Additionally, aluminum wires .031 inches in diameter, copper wires .020 inches in diameter, and similar wires are used as seals on specific equipment. Equipment such as portable fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, and emergency valves are also included.
Lock Wire Conclusion
The lock wire is an essential tool for ensuring the safety and functionality of fastener mechanisms across a wide range of industries. If you apply wires, use best practices and install them the right way. When you work in an industry where lock wire is essential, you understand the importance of properly securing this wire. You can trust lock wire to do its job efficiently if you stay thorough and attentive throughout the process.