What Are the Purposes and Mechanisms of a Torque Wrench?
In the oil and gas and other energy industries, bolts must be tightened precisely. These nuts and bolts can have specifications of over 1,000 pound-feet of torque. Without precision tightening, they could easily strip or come loose with the vibration of equipment or pipelines. Specialized torque wrenches that harness hydraulic power allow technicians to reliably tighten these large nuts and bolts.
Hydraulic Torque Wrenches Apply Torque
Instead of relying on human strength to apply torque to nuts and bolts, the hydraulic torque wrench uses the power of hydraulics to apply torque. The controlled rotational force makes these torque wrenches perfect for heavy-duty nuts and bolts, such as those in the oil and gas and wind industries.
Hydraulic torque wrenches are also consistent and reliable, which is mandatory when tightening nuts and bolts on oil rigs, oil pipelines, the petrochemical industry, and natural gas pipelines.
Mechanisms of a Torque Wrench
A hydraulic torque wrench has several components that allow it to deliver the reliable performance it must have in the energy sector, including:
- The hydraulic pump
- The reaction arm
- A hydraulic hose
- The hydraulic cylinder
- The drive, which could be a square drive or a low-profile drive
The pump pressurizes and sends hydraulic oil to the cylinder with a piston that converts the pressure into rotational force. A hydraulic hose, designed to handle a lot of pressure, connects the pump to the cylinder.
The torque wrench’s reaction arm anchors the wrench securely so that the torque applied to the nut or bolt is used correctly. The user places the drive on the nut or bolt, then operates the torque wrench to provide the appropriate torque for the application.
Hydraulic Torque Wrench Applications
You’ll find hydraulic torque wrenches in many industries, including the oil and gas, construction, wind, petrochemical industries and others that require high torque that must be accurate. Some of the typical applications include:
Manufacturing and Heavy Machinery
Heavy machinery, such as industrial presses and mining equipment, use large bolts and nuts that require precision torque. Hydraulic torque wrenches are integral in setting up and maintaining heavy machinery where the nuts and bolts might need hundreds or thousands of pounds of torque.
Infrastructure and Construction
The heavy-duty nuts and bolts that hold bridges, towers, dams and other large structures together require thousands of inch-pounds of torque. Many of these structures experience vibration from traffic, wind, water and even minor earthquakes. A hydraulic torque wrench accurately applies the torque required to hold these structures together.
The Oil and Gas Industry
Oil rigs are under a lot of pressure. A loose bolt can cause extensive damage and injuries to oil workers. Pipelines that spring leaks damage the environment. Workers use hydraulic torque wrenches to apply precision torque on wellhead equipment, flange connections, pipeline installation, building rigs and more.
Power Generation and Energy
Hydroelectric plants, wind turbines and nuclear power facilities all have heavy-duty nuts and bolts that require precision torque. Workers use hydraulic torque wrenches to install, maintain and repair the equipment and machinery used in these sectors.
The Advantages of Using Hydraulic Torque Wrenches
Hydraulic torque wrenches provide many advantages for heavy-duty applications requiring accuracy and precision. The torque values are consistent, which means nuts and bolts are less likely to suffer fatigue due to different torque values.
They also significantly reduce the risk of overtightening and under-tightening nuts and bolts and connections. When you have accuracy in installations, maintenance and repair work, you minimize workplace and environmental injuries.
Additional advantages include:
- High-torque capacity for heavy-duty applications. Our torque wrenches can deliver over one thousand foot-pounds and tens of thousands of inch-pounds of torque.
- Little to no physical effort is required to tighten nuts and bolts properly, which reduces the chance of failure, strains, operator fatigue and workplace injuries.
- Versatility in torque capacities, designs and sizes for various industries, including power generation, mining, construction, manufacturing, oil and gas.
Order Torque Wrenches from Aztec
When you need top-quality hydraulic torque wrenches for heavy-duty installations, maintenance and repair, you can count on Aztec Bolting in Midland or wherever you are for the necessary tools. Visit our torque wrench pages for torque wrenches, hydraulic electric pumps, electric pumps, pump accessories, torque multipliers and more, or contact us for more information.