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Technical Concept- Anti-seize compounds | Problems occurred due to seizing | Choosing your Anti-seize

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What is Anti-seize? What is seizing?

Before explaining to you about Anti-seize Compound, let’s first understand what is Seizing?

To begin with, when nuts and bolts are left in an assembled position for a long duration of time, they may get corroded due to exposure to surrounding or the threads may get damaged due to excessive pressure applied during tightening.

As a result, dismantling the assembly becomes a tedious task. This condition of the damaged bolt is referred to as a seizure.

Frequently Asked Questions- Anti-seize

A Grease is best thought as a sponge full of oil where sponge is thickener which holds the oil and additives in place and have lubricating properties. An anti-seize prevents or inhibits mechanical seizing.
Greasing are for bearings and anti-seize are for fasteners.

Anti-seize are used in both assembly line and maintenance and repair personnel to prevent corrosion, galling and stripping of bolts and fittings during disassembly or reassembly.
Anti-seize can not be applied on already damaged or cross threaded threads of bolts. The threads need to be chased, re-tapped or repaired before applying anti-seize. Don’t use anti-seize on exposed threads as it may attracts contaminates that may contribute to thread damage.

While installing the components wipe off excess anti-seize from the fasteners. Anti-seize should be applied where two metals meet, under the head of fastener and in the threads. for through hole clean the exposed thread area as it may attract contaminant leading to damage of threads.

Anti-seize should be used when two metals are involved (similar or dissimilar), when threads may be exposed to corrosion and fastener that frequently get removed.

Metal based anti-seize leave abrasive metallic oxides at higher temperatures which can potentially damage the threads. Metal free anti-seize do not generate abrasive oxides and are more suitable for applications involving higher temperatures or extreme vibrations.

A bolted joint, which experiences a high temperature or corrosive environment and requires future maintenance is a typical application of antisieze.It can used as thread sealing, thread locker and gasketing.

Nickel Anti-Seize has extremely high temperature capabilities and excellent chemical resistance. It is also suitable for seizure due to catalic corrosion.

Graphite helps operate with very low friction in sliding applications. Presence of Graphite in an antiseize helps reduce the torques required to operate the assembly.

Torque ratings on fasteners are based on their target clamping force. Anti-seize will act as a lubricant, the lubricating properties will significantly decrease the required torque to achieve the desired clamping force. Torque reduction varies with the material. When anti-seize are used without reducing the torque value it can strip the thread or stretch the bolt.

What is an Anti-seize Compound?

As the word itself describes anti means restrict, Seize means getting fixed at a place.

Particularly, when an anti-seize compound is applied to bolts and gaskets during assembly, it assures they can be tightened without thread damage and also dismantled easily. In addition to these, anti-seize also prevents galling.

You might wonder, what is galling? Don’t worry, we will explain it to you. Galling generally refers to cold welding of bolts in nuts due to excess pressure and friction caused during assembly.

Above all, the anti-seize compounds serve the purpose of preventing dissimilar metals from getting corrodes in immensely corrosive surroundings and also enhances the performance of machinery.

Problems occurred due to seizing?

Thread Stripping

Variation in the dimensions of thread such as major, pitch & minor diameters is stripping off a thread.

Cross threading

When threads eventually cross the path that is supposed to follow, If forced, it can typically ruin the threading of one or the other, hence cross-threading.
When cross-threading occurs, it becomes very difficult to dismantle it.

Galling

When pressure is applied during installation, the friction causes bolt threads to seize to the threads of a nut or tapped hole. It is also known as “cold welding” or Galling.

Once a fastener has seized up from galling it is typically impossible to remove without cutting the bolt or splitting. During maintenance, one cannot dismantle the corroded bolt structure just by using a cleaner-cum-degreaser.

How is Anti-seize made?

It’s Composition

  • Anti-seize Compound/Paste is formed by dispersing Solid lubricants in grease or a binder.
  • When applied, anti-seize paste creates a thick film that serves the purpose of preventing contact between two mating surfaces. This reduces difficulty during dismantling and forms a low friction coating.
  • Graphite powders, copper, nickel, aluminium, molybdenum disulfide, etc are common solid lubricants

Types of Solid Lubricants used in Anti-seize Compound

AluminiumCalcium fluoride
CopperCalcium oxide
GraphiteNickel
Molybdenum disulphide 

Which Anti-seize compound to use?

Namely, there are two stages of lubrication.

  1. High-quality grease:
    It serves as a base lubricant and can work up to 200 degrees C
  2. Lubricating solids:
    These solid lubricants present in the grease serve up to 1,200 degrees C.

Copper

Benefits:  
• It offers good corrosion protection for all steel.
• Copper-based formulas are restricted to 800 degrees C (However temperature may vary up to 1200 C)

Limitations    
• Copper on stainless steel causes inter-crystalline corrosion, which leads to crack and break in stainless steel parts.

Aluminium

Benefits
• Aluminium as a base material for Anti-seize is good for use on stainless steel.
• Aluminium-based formulas to 800 degrees C ( However temperature may vary up to 1200 C)

Limitations
• When aluminum comes in contact with electrolyte it becomes an anode that is extremely small in volume compared to the large cathode of the steel. Usually, it deteriorates quickly and doesn’t leave any protection at all on the steel surface.
• It is not recommended to be used on carbon steel.

Nickel

Benefits-
• Nickel has a good anti-seize and corrosion protection and can be used for both steel and stainless steel
• They can perform well under medium temperature up to 1,400 degrees C.

Limitations-
• It’s on the list of carcinogens (Cancer producing products) and should not be used in workshops where direct or indirect contact is possible.

Graphite

Benefits-
• Graphite is a superior conductor of electricity and high-temperature solid lubricant (up to 450 degrees C).
• In assemblies with electrical current flowing through a fastened joint such as the threads of spark plugs, ground screws, and antenna connections, anti-seize can be used with a minimum increase to resistance.
• Using such anti-seize will ensure current is transmitted by preventing corrosion.

Limitations-
• Graphite may be corrosive in the marine atmosphere; it also speeds up the corrosion of ferrous alloys.

Metal-free Formulations:

Benefits-
• Calcium fluoride and calcium oxide have a similar temperature resistance to nickel-based anti-seize compound at 1,400 degrees F.

• Metal-free formulations are now utilized and have performance matching or exceeding traditional soft metal-based formulas
• It does not generate abrasive metallic oxides at high temperature
• The problem faced by industry nowadays is heavy metal discharge. In short, Companies can be fined for the use of products that incorporate heavy metals due to heavy metal discharge into lakes and rivers.

Applications Of Anti-seize compound

Anti-seize compounds are designated for the use and to meet the rating for use in specialized applications including the following:

1. Aerospace

Aerospace compounds are convenient for aerospace applications and will meet military specifications (MIL-SPEC), or military standards (MIL-STD).

2. Automobile

Automotive compounds used for a variety of threaded fasteners along with brake callipers, spark plugs, and engine components are selected based on material and temperature compatibility.

3. Food Grade

Food grade anti-seize compounds comprise those that have acknowledged National Sanitary Foundation (NSF) approval or are otherwise designed and applicable for use in processing equipment where food, beverages, or pharmaceuticals contact may occur with anti-seize.
Food-grade anti-seize is used in chain sprockets, manifold tubes, pump gaskets, etc.

4. Marine

Marine compounds are convenient for use on ships, dockyards or boats and resist oxidation.

5. Military

Military-grade compounds are those who meet MIL-STD or MIL-SPEC ratings and are good enough for use in military applications.

Precautions to take while using Antiseize Compound

  • A brush is most effective for applying a thin layer of anti-seize.
  • A brush that has been used to apply a particular anti-seize compound, even if cleaned it should not be used to apply another because cross-contamination affects performance.
  • It’s important to clean those bolts by using cleaners & degreasers if they are oiled previously so that it doesn’t affect the frictional properties of an anti-seize.

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