December 6, 2023

Industry Insider Column

Guest Author – Gavin McPherson, Senior Sales Engineer, Hobson

Tough Times Require A Tough Bolt

As technology advances to new heights – and depths – environments become harsher and applications grow more demanding. The result is, there are now many intense industries including oil, gas, marine, energy and petrochemical where standard A4 stainless steel fasteners just don’t cut it. These sectors require joints which have high strength, corrosion resistance and a low lifecycle cost to ensure reliable connections and to minimise the risk of failure, which could lead to injuries or economic losses. Other advanced applications include particle accelerators and nuclear fusion reactors, which require very low magnetic permeability alongside high strength, temperature resistance and


accurate bolt tightening parameters. High temperatures affect properties such as strength, ductility and fatigue resistance, while subzero and cryogenic temperatures increase brittleness.

When the quality of the project is critical, it is vital to mitigate factors, such as corrosion, which undermine joint integrity. The most common and severe kinds are pitting, crevice and general corrosion, all of which can pose serious structural and safety risks if allowed to fester. It is also essential to account for differences between gas corrosion at high temperatures and wet corrosion at low temperatures.

High corrosion resistance, strength and finish are necessary for reliable bolt assemblies, and are especially important to ensure high levels of safety and performance; which is a crucial consideration in offshore industries. To prepare for various conditions, alloys must be carefully balanced for maximum effectiveness. Elements such as carbon, phosphorus, sulphur and copper are kept low as they negatively affect ductility, while high amounts of molybdenum are used for premium corrosion resistance.

Customers should understand the requirements of their projects in order to correctly determine and specify the best fasteners for the job. In such high-stakes situations, taking risks and cutting corners isn’t worth it. From ultrasonic welding to deep sea projects, to the International Space Station and more, one name stands out: BUMAX®. Known as the world’s strongest stainless steel bolts and manufactured in Sweden, BUMAX® fasteners are optimised to handle extreme conditions without compromising quality. Hobson Engineering supplies all of BUMAX®’s stock standard grades and can offer special BUMAX® grades on request.

Got Something To Say?  If you would like to be the guest author of an Industry Insider column you are very welcome. The choice of topic is yours. You might like to have a rant against some overbearing bureaucracy, or maybe you think further regulation is needed in a particular sector? Perhaps you want to complain about some unfairness which exists in the industry. There is no cost involved in being the guest author. Simply contact the publisher, Mark Maccallum, via his email: [email protected]

Disclaimer. The Industry Insider column is an opinion piece where the views expressed belong solely and entirely to the indicated author, in this case: Gavin McPherson, Senior Sales Engineer at Hobson. Australian Steel News accepts no responsibility whatsoever for the veracity of the author´s opinions nor for the accuracy of any information given by him.

If you would like to contact Gavin McPherson, you can do so via this email: [email protected]