The Effects of Lubrication on Fastener Torque

As a Truss Manufacturing Company, James Thomas Engineering, LTD. has been providing countless truss systems for corporate events, as well as the most innovative concerts and productions since 1977. From Lighting Trusses and Aluminum Trusses to HD Trusses of all shapes and sizes, our engineers have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the highest quality materials available.

Often times while consulting with a client on a particular truss, we are asked for its proper torque setting. Though we can provide you with a general answer for each truss that we manufacture, it is important to keep in mind that the use of a lubricant on your fastener torque can change everything.

Torque is defined as, “A force that produces or tends to produce rotation or torsion”, and it is absolutely essential when installing a truss system. For example, for every section of General Purpose Truss purchased, James Thomas Engineering will provide 4 nuts – 5/8” x 11 (grade 8), 4 bolts – 2” in length 5/8” x 11 (grade 8) and 2 mild steel washers. Without the use of lubrication, the torque settings for this non-permanent installation would be 80 to 110 foot pounds, adding up to balance at the middle.

Because the use of lubricant makes it easier to turn the bolt, less torque is going to be needed. Thus, if you lubricate the bolts – especially on one section alone – it is going to offset the other sections as well. In this, as well as the permanent installation process of your General Purpose Truss, (where the recommended minimum torque setting would be 110 foot pounds) the balance must always be even. Once secure, we highly recommend that a Loctite compound such as 290 be used. This will ensure that the fasteners will not vibrate or lose clamping force.

The amount of torque used in the installation of any kind of truss is once again crucial to its stability. Though you may think that you know the proper torque settings for your project, it is imperative that you make necessary adjustments if you plan to use a lubricant to make bolt tightening easier. The excellent customer service team here at James Thomas Engineering is more than happy to answer any questions you may have so be sure to contact us today for any of your Truss Manufacturing needs.