Is Locking Wire the Best Bolt Locking Method?

Safety wire/locking wire or Nord-Lock washers? Let us take you through the key parameters so that you can make the right choice.

  Locking Wire/Safety Wire Nord-Lock Wedge-Locking
Locking capability Not reliable. Installation requires special tools and expert knowledge. Functionality is highly dependent on operators’ skills and experience. Reliable. Quality is consistent.
Product range Safety wire is commonly .020, .025, .032 or .041 inches in diameter and usually made of stainless steel, although other materials are available. Difficult to use on very small or very large bolt sizes. M3-M130 (standard range)
Control over clamp load Possible to lubricate as the locking function is not affected by lubrication. Installation is carried out after the tightening operation, thereby losing the ability to control the clamp load and even risking
a reduction of the original clamp load.
Constant coefficient of friction under the driven element. Plus, the locking function is not affected by lubrication, which provides good control over clamp load.
Reusability Not reusable. Also leaves behind waste products when ends are clipped off or when cut off from secured fasteners that need to be removed during maintenance. Reusable
Use in confined spaces Limited use in confined spaces, as it is difficult to mount when bolted joints are already tightened. Suitable and easy to assemble in confined spaces.
Life cycle cost High. Not reusable. Fasteners require drilled holes and installation is timeconsuming, requiring specialized tools Low. Due to improved productivity, minimized maintenance costs and reusability

 

Junker vibration test comparison of locking wire vs wedge-locking washers

Which bolt locking product should I use?

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  • Pros and cons of the different bolt locking methods
  • Evaluation of different products
  • A print-friendly Guidance for Selection, to help you decide which product to use in your applications

 

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