Ensuring correct design tension or clamping force

Paul Boughton
RotaBolt measurement fasteners over 3 metres long are being used for the first time for foundation bolting on a new process gas compressor.  

The large hyper compressor which weighs 210 tons is manufactured by Burckhardt Compression in Switzerland and is used in the production of low density polyethylene. It is over 11 metres wide by 6 metres long and is secured to a special concrete plinth by fifteen M130 RotaBolts.

The use of control measurement on the compressor’s foundation bolting was specified to Burckhardt Compression by their client, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies. [Page Break]

“The requirement to use a control system in the bolting led us to RotaBolt,” commented Daniel Altorfer, Design Engineer, “this was new ground for us and RotaBolt’s technical team were very helpful during the design and development process. We are now using their fasteners on a second compressor for the same client and we will be closely monitoring performance to see if this technology could become a standard fit for us in the future.”

The measurement technology developed by RotaBolt ensures that the correct design tension, or clamping force, is accurately achieved across the joint at installation and then maintained throughout its life. Establishing the correct design tension is critical in assuring the reliability and safety of any bolted joint.

The compressor’s foundation bolts are arranged in fve rows of three and secure the crankcase housing to the special concrete plinth. Each Burckhardt compressor is required to undergo an annual maintenance check and the design of the RotaBolt can dramatically speed up routine maintenance checking as the RotaCap on the head of the fastener can be instantly finger-checked to see if it is still locked and that the desired tension is being maintained.

For more information, visit www.rotabolt.co.uk

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