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SmartBolts

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by dvsDave, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    It's not hard to under or over-tighten a bolt when you are building a cabinet, let alone installing heavy hardware. So, hence, the SmartBolt.


    SmartBolts, designed for industrial and even medical applications, feature a simple color-coded indicator on their tops: If they're red, the bolt is loose. If they're green, nice job, everything's locked down. And if they're black, you may over-tightened things a bit, Mr. Look How Strong I Am. ;)

    Each bolt also promise 20 years of durability (which actually seems a bit low for a lot of uses) as SmartBolts use simple fluid compression to measure and produce the chromatic indication in real time. That means there are no moving parts.

    Thoughts, Comments? It looks like they run between $16 and $24 per bolt, but that's for a sample of the bolts, I have no idea what I bulk order would be.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2008
  2. arik52

    arik52 Member

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    I think that's a great idea, but very pricey for not too much benefit. Also, how easily could they be stripped? Maybe the indicator has a lifespan of about 20 years, but if someone improperly uses an impact wrench or does damage in some other way, that's $16 or $24 down the drain.
     
  3. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    And when I paint over them?
     
  4. 1kfresnel

    1kfresnel Member

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    If the cost came down (still at a premium to your standard bolts of course), I can see these devices having some useful applications. I agree with arik -- you might have some expensive paperweights on your hands!

    I read a few years ago that the automotive industry had developed, and was looking to adapt bolts that used memory metals. By applying the appropriate current, the bolt would change its shape so it could be inserted/removed. The estimated cost at the time was around $2 a pop.

    The driver of their development was cost savings on service. They had intended to network these in PANs, and the service tech could use the computer to address and control which fasteners were "unfastened", to speed up disassembly/assembly in the shop. It would also only permit things to be removed/installed in order, and the bolts themselves could be secured to one half of the joint, and never go missing.
     
  5. 1kfresnel

    1kfresnel Member

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    Hahahaha...I didn't even think of that!

    "Hey, torque that bolt until it turns green"

    "Okay" *crank, crank, crank, SNAP*
     
  6. Gretsch

    Gretsch Member

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    I prefer a torque wrench....
     
  7. TheDonkey

    TheDonkey Active Member

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    How does one read the head color when it's buried under a ratchet head...?
     
  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I think the intent was to be more for inspection purposes then install. I can easily see this thing being used in the industrial world. I could also see it being great for installing loft/head blocks. Makes inspection much quicker. I have worked in places with lots of heat and cooling (oil refinery) where guys had to go out with torque wrenches to check every bolt on a furnace, this would make that go much faster.
     
  9. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I think these could have application in the rigging world or anywhere that needed bolts under a given torque. As Footer noted, for inspection on such sorts of things these would seem to have an advantage.

    Now someone just needs to improve it to kick back the spanner when overtightened to teach some people.:twisted:
     
  10. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    As I understand the literature, there appears to be only one design tension for the bolts. (I don’t know if it matters about the materials that one is fastening together. If it’s metal to metal [or steel to steel] maybe it doesn’t matter how hard the bolt head and nut press against the faces of he materials. But for softer materials (wood or plastic), it would be an issue.)

    The literature appears to be very specific about the differences between bolt tension and torque. Most assembly instructions I’ve seen state something along the lines of “tighten to xx lb-feet”, but make no mention of bolt tension. It would appear that in some conditions, one could tighten one of these smart bolts per the torque in the instructions, but you might not get the color change. I also wonder whether assembly specifications that are given in torque also have alternative bolt tension specifications. Without some engineering on someone’s part, it does not appear that one can go directly from one (bolt tension) to the other (torque). Or to put it a different way, if you have assembly instructions that say to tighten to a specified torque and you tighten to that point, should you go beyond that because the indicator says that you haven’t reached the bolts design tension?

    These bolts appear to be more useful in manufacturing with critical applications (based on that client list) compared to the less critical applications found in theatre.

    Joe
     

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