How Often to Calibrate Your Torque Wrench
Torque wrench calibration is important because when torque wrenches are properly calibrated, plant and worker safety levels rise. A torque wrench that is not calibrated can fail to do its job and that means pipe or equipment failure, all of which are safety issues. Also, when equipment breakdowns, pipes leaks, or bursts occur, the efficiency of a plant drops rapidly.
Leveraging calibration services and using top quality calibration tools, such as Skidmore Wilhelm Bolt Testers, will ensure that each of your torque wrenches are properly calibrated regularly.
When Should Torque Wrench Calibration Occur?
There are a few ways to answer this question. First, make it a policy to calibrate torque wrenches annually or for wrenches that see heavy usage, by their 5,000th cycle - this from the ISO standard revision in 2003.
Not all industries give you the option to choose when torque wrenches are calibrated. Some industries have their own standards and require certification and documentation that each torque wrench is calibrated on schedule. The aviation industry is a notable example of this.
In short, calibrate each torque wrench annually or by its 5,000th cycle unless your industry requires otherwise.
The above recommendations are for standard use. As we all know, not every torque wrench sees standard use. Calibrate more frequently in situations where wrenches:
- See critical and aggressive use - above 25 percent above their maximum setting, such as in overload situations.
- Encounter environments where damage to the wrench is likely. This can be as simple as dropping the wrench or exposure to severe heat, cold, or liquids; especially saltwater.
- High humidity settings
- Poor care of the wrench when not in use. Releasing the torque and setting the dial back to zero helps reduce the internal pressure on the wrench's components. Not setting the dial back to zero after every use is an indication that recalibration should occur more often.
As you can see, when to calibrate can be very subjective. Your goals must include accuracy when using the wrench, and calibrate when it matters while sticking to the rules and regulations.
Should you Calibrate in-house or Use a Calibration Service?
If you have the capability, then you could calibrate torque wrenches in-house. However, by utilizing a third-party bolting service you will gain access to experts in the industry as well as top brand tools, like the Skidmore-Wilhelm Bolt Testers, to make the process of calibrating your torque wrenches easier and with more consistent results. Other advantages of third-party calibration services include:
- AISC/RCSC compliance for pre-installation verification tension testing including rotational capacity testing of structural fasteners
- Testing Hex Bolts, Tension Bolts, Anchor Bolts, Studs, and Locknuts
- Direct tension bolt and washer testing
- General fastener testing
Experts in calibration services will confidently use Skidmore-Wilhelm Bolt Testers to easily determine the relationships between torque and tension. In bolting industries and businesses where torque wrenches are in demand, downtime for maintenance can be worrisome for projects with tight deadlines. Third-party bolting service providers can also perform these calibration services onsite or offer tools for rent while maintenance is underway, to decrease project downtime and increase efficiency.
To learn more about Skidmore-Wilhelm Bolt Testers and how our calibration services can benefit you, reach out to the professionals at Aztec Bolting.