If you are working in the electrical construction field, especially the electrical panels’ supervision on-site, sure you know, or at least you heard about an electrical tool called the torque wrench.
If you didn’t hear about it before, you need to know its operation, functions, and benefits. So this article for you.
First of all, let us focus on some basic definitions or expressions you should know to understand the Torque Wrenches’ operation fully.
What is Torque?
What is Torque? Torque measures what proportion a force on an object will cause it to be rotated, with the pivot point being the axis the thing rotates on.
Usually, if you use the international standard, the torque is measured in N.m or (Newton-Meter).
Simply, you can say a torque wrench is a tool used to tighten the bolts and nuts to a specific value of torque in N.m.
It helps the fasteners (Bolts & Nuts) to be tightened to the proper tension recommended by the manufacturer, as if we will increase the tension on the fasteners more than the maximum recommended value by their manufacturer, it can cause its damage.
So, we can conclude that applying the proper “approved” value of torque to the fasteners will help to increase the lifetime of the equipment, decrease the number of maintenance, and decrease the cost, which is the most important thing to any client.
Why do we need to use the Torque Wrenches?
These tools can be in many industries to achieve different tasks, for example, Construction, Maintenance, Home Repairs, …etc.
The main purpose of using these types of wrenches is that some applications need the bolts and screws to be tightened and secured to a specific value.
The most important feature of the torque wrenches, and especially the digital torque wrench, is it has a digital display that will show you the applied torque on the fasteners to ensure it reaches the recommended value specified by the manufacturer.
In the contracting field, or the electrical installations field, for example, it’s vital to assure the right amount of torque is applied to all the fasteners inside the panel, and especially the connection between the electrical busbar and the lug, this is to avoid any chance for sparks after energization, or damaging the electrical copper bar due to excess of the torque applied on the fastener.
How to use the torque wrench?
Before knowing how to use it, it’s important to know the component of the torque wrench, and this is to understand its function properly.
I will talk about the analog torque wrench, which is commonly use in construction projects.
Note: There’s another type of torque wrench, which is a digital one. The difference only in adjusting the torque value will be through a digital display instead of using an analog scale.
Component of the digital torque wrench:
1- Wrench head.
2- Quick Release Button: The purpose of this button is to release or lock the socket, which will be connected to the head of the torque wrench.
3- Two Dial Button:
4- Tube Body, which can include a spring inside it.
5- Click Alarm: When the torque value reaches the setting value by the user, it will sound click alarm to remind the user not to tighten more.
6- Analog Scale/or digital display for adjusting the required value of the torque.
7- Rotating handle: It will be used to increase or decrease the required value of the torque, either by rotating it clockwise or anti-clockwise.
After we knew the components of the torque wrench, let us know now how to use it.
1- You need to know the maximum allowable torque value to be applied to the fasteners.
2- You need to know the size of the fasteners (Bolts or Nuts). This is to use the proper socket’s size, which will be connected to the wrench head.
3- Use the torque handle and rotate it to your required value of the torque, you can see the value on the scale (if you are using an analog one), or it will be visible on the digital screen.
Note: If you need to decrease the specified torque value, you will use a release button at the end of the wrench then rotate the hand.
4- Once you adjusted the torque’s value, connect the wrench’ socket to the fastener and then rotate the hand. This is until you hear a click (alarm) that means you already reached the manufacturer’s recommended value.
A- The torque wrench has specific torque values in N.m, so first, you need to check the manufacturer’s recommended values for your application, and based on that, you will order the wrench.
B- The More bolt or nut size, the more torque value will be required to use a bigger torque wrench.
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