How is Anti-Seize Used for Assemblies?
While all fasteners are prone to wear and deterioration throughout their operational lifespan, several preventative measures can be implemented to delay this occurrence. Installing components slowly, avoiding dirty threads, and using lubricants are all essential steps in combating early attrition. Another technological development that has significantly contributed to increased fastener lifespans is anti-seize, which is a compound that targets several of the hallmarks associated with fastener wear. In this blog, you will find a definitive guide to anti-seize, in which we will discuss its function and how to apply it to your application.
Anti-seize is a compound coming in the form of a paste, coating, or grease, which is meant to be applied to fasteners installed in areas prone to corrosion or galling. While all serve a similar purpose, the ingredients in an anti-seize solution may vary vastly. Copper-based compounds contain flakes of conductive metal such as copper and graphite, along with other lubricating materials. Such products may be used in high-temperature conditions, making them popular amongst automotive mechanics. Meanwhile, zinc-based solutions may be used with aluminum and aluminum alloys in a wide range of operating temperatures. Other non-metal-based anti-seize compounds are also used in marine applications, in which bearings are exposed to high salinity and other corrosive drivers.
When applied before installation, anti-seize can help prevent galling by providing adequate lubrication. Additionally, through the prevention of water and other corrosion-causing materials from making contact with the fastener, the joint will be thoroughly protected from corrosion. Its application also aids in disassembly, which is usually one of the most likely times for a component to break. For fasteners that experience regular motion, such as the vibration of the aircraft, anti-seize can be a useful tool in preventing friction and fretting wear.
When applying the solution, it is essential to coat every part of the assembly, including the threads, plain sections, and face. If a washer is to be used in conjunction with a bolt, both the inner and outer walls should also receive the solution. Generally, only a very thin layer of anti-seize will suffice. Any material applied in excess is unlikely to damage the assembly, but it will likely leak out into surrounding surfaces upon tightening. Depending on the state of the material, whether it be paste, liquid, or aerosol, there will be some variance in the application method. For most liquid or semisolid products, a nonabrasive brush is generally recommended since it can provide an even distribution of the solution across the assembly interface. Conversely, aerosolized mixtures require the user to hold the bottle at an appropriate distance away from the assembly to ensure even distribution.
Before applying anti-seize, both the fastener and target surface should be clean, dry, and free from oil. While a quick wipe-down with a clean rag is sufficient to remove the standard oil on most new fasteners, it is recommended that other surfaces be cleaned with cleaning products to ensure a smooth application. Failure to remove such contaminants may cause a negative interaction with the anti-seize product and disrupt the beneficial properties.
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