5 Moments When an Anti-Seize Lubricant Can Save Time, Money and Headaches
Anti-seize formulations have been around since the 1940s, but too often remain an afterthought in the MRO applications for which they were created. Yes, using an anti-seize lubricant adds an extra step to the repair or maintenance process, but the benefits of doing so – time saved, equipment replacement costs saved, downtime reduced – far outweigh any perceived inconvenience.
Here are five typical MRO situations where using anti-seize can improve efficiency and avoid unwelcome consequences.
1. Equipment Assembly/Disassembly
The biggest challenge here is when equipment in outside applications is exposed to harsh elements that cause corrosion. Think of a bolt on a mining conveyor, or a mounting plate that doesn’t need to be locked in and may have to be removed for an adjustment. Anti-seize will fill in the gaps between the threads and protect that bolt from moisture and other harmful conditions, while adding lubricity that makes it easier to remove and replace as needed.
2. Protection of Mated Metal Parts
Lubrication is essential to avoid galling when assembling equipment like the bell housing of a pump. LOCTITE anti-seize solutions prevent the kind of wrenching in close-fitting parts that puts components out of tolerance, while also keeping corrosion away.
3. Extending Life of Expensive Fittings
When you have studs welded or cast into one side of a larger equipment part, the last thing you want is a seizure in these fittings. If that happens, you either have to cut them and replace the entire assembly, or drill out and repack the hole before installing a new bolt. Either way, it’s a time-consuming and expensive repair that can be avoided with anti-seize.
4. Reducing Downtime Due to Seizure
It’s not just expensive fittings that are vulnerable to seizure. The bolts that hold casings around electrical components in aggressive chemical environments (such as mines) are also at high risk of corrosion. When these casings have to be opened for preventive maintenance, sometimes it’s impossible to even get the bolts off. Result? The head of the bolt has to be torched off. That requires a fire permit, so any flammable gas nearby has to be removed and lines have to be shut down. The area may have to be closed off for safety. One corroded bolt can trigger a very complicated and costly operation. But with anti-seize application, these bolts are easily removed for maintenance during scheduled downtime – that’s the kind that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars every hour.
5. Reducing Part Breakage
Penetrating oil doesn’t always work for breaking off rust on bolts. And if there’s rust, the integrity of the bolt is reduced and it can become fused to adjoining parts. Try to torque it, and you might shear the head off. Then it’s time to break out the drill or weld a bracket into place for yet another drawn-out and expensive repair. Or, just apply anti-seize and skip the headache.
Over to You
Did you start using anti-seize after experiencing a costly or difficult repair? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!