Butyl tape causing this problem? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Butyl tape causing this problem?

Today we were mounting the mast step using 3/8"-16 SS FH machine screws and matching 3/8" SS nylon lock nuts. Some butyl got on the screw threads when we pushed them through the holes in the mast step. When we ran the first nut down, it behaved as if it was cross threaded. We couldn't get it to snug, nor could we get it to back off. We had to cut the damn screw with an angle grinder. We were using a battery powered Makita impact tool. Every time we used the tool, same thing. When we screwed the nuts down with a plain ratchet they would snug and tighten, but there was a lot of heat build-up in the screw and nut. We absolutely confirmed the nuts to be the correct thread count. What do you think might have caused the weird behavior?
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Butyl tape causing this problem?

It is highly unlikely that butyl would cause this.

Someone famous said that that if you eliminate all the things it can't be then the one thing left has to be the cause.

I would get a few screws and nuts from another supplier and see what happens.
The heat from manual turning is a good indication that something is machined wrong.

Boxes can be mislabeled and manufacturing machines can get out of kilter.

While you are at it grab a standard nut for testing purposes. Should twist on by finger only no effort at all.
If it is so tight as to cause heat the parts are not machined properly.

Of course your impact wrench can be set high enough to strip the threads which would cause the behavior too.

The fact that it gets hot by hand points to bad threads.

You said you are sure you have a matching nut and bolt but what you probably mean is that you are sure you bought matching nuts and bolts from appropriately labeled boxes or bins.

Not exactly the same thing.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.

Last edited by davidpm; 09-09-2013 at 12:49 AM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Butyl tape causing this problem?

Not a weird behavior. Happens a lot more nowadays because more people have power tools to drive screws. The threads are Galling from the self generated oxide on the stainless steel and the speed of the power tool generating the heat to cause the galling. the butyl does add to the problem because it helps generate and hold the heat. this happens a lot to nuts that have the nylon locking or metal locking section on the nut. this increases the friction and causes even more heat. the use of anti galling compound will help prevent this galling from happening. you can read this for more info http://www.fastenal.com/content/feds...%20Galling.pdf
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Last edited by overbored; 09-09-2013 at 10:31 PM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Butyl tape causing this problem?

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Originally Posted by rhr1956 View Post
Today we were mounting the mast step using 3/8"-16 SS FH machine screws and matching 3/8" SS nylon lock nuts. Some butyl got on the screw threads when we pushed them through the holes in the mast step. When we ran the first nut down, it behaved as if it was cross threaded. We couldn't get it to snug, nor could we get it to back off. We had to cut the damn screw with an angle grinder. We were using a battery powered Makita impact tool. Every time we used the tool, same thing. When we screwed the nuts down with a plain ratchet they would snug and tighten, but there was a lot of heat build-up in the screw and nut. We absolutely confirmed the nuts to be the correct thread count. What do you think might have caused the weird behavior?
Butyl should not cause that and in-fact may help to prevent it.. I have threaded nuts over completely butyl covered bolts before and never once had an issue.

That phenomenon is called thread galling and is very common with SS.. A little dab of Tef-Gel, on the male threads, pretty much entirely prevents this.. One thing to NEVER do is dry-assemble or dry-thread products together, like expensive mechanical rigging fittings, without a thread lubricant. I have seen a number of them gall and be ruined, cha-ching $$$$. Pretty much any lubricant can help but Tef-Gel works really well. Speed can accelerate galling but even with slow wrench turns galling happens quite often. The machining of SS fasteners is pretty poor these days and I find thread galling a lot more common than it was...

The speed of the impact driver probably accelerated the galling, but it sounds like you got a sloppy batch of screws or nuts too... Want to prevent thread galling? Use Tef-Gel!!!
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 09-09-2013 at 07:40 AM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Butyl tape causing this problem?

OK I understand thread galling better now. I'm wondering why the galling problem surfaced when we used the 3/8" fasteners and not earlier when using a bunch of 1/4-20 screws?? We must have used 3 or 4 dozen 1/4-20 with not a single problem. Anyway, next step is to use some kind of lubricant. Tef-gel is kind of messy. What about a quick spray of sailkote? Would that suffice for a one-time run of the nut?
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Butyl tape causing this problem?

I had a similar issue when mounting a Garhauer foot block.



Like you, I used butyl to bed the foot block, and neglected to use Tef-Gel (even though it was there in my tool kit).

After I initially mounted the block, I noticed that one of the stainless steel spacers that keep the SS carriage bolts from being exposed had slipped, and I would need to remove the 3/8" nylock from that bolt. After loosening the nylock about 5 turns with a socket wrench, the nut and bolt became one... I eventually managed to snap the carriage bolt (me smart - like bull). I managed to remove 3 of the 5 nuts without incident, but had to snap one more bolt to remove the footblock.

To add to the overall disaster, the delrin bearings are not captive, and 10, or so, managed to sneak out and go swimming.... Luckily, I had purchased two foot blocks. I scrapped this one, and used the base plate to modify the other foot block so that the bearings are now captive. I also used Tef-Gel on ALL of the carriage bolts.


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Last edited by eherlihy; 09-09-2013 at 03:40 PM.
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Re: Butyl tape causing this problem?

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
(me smart - like bull).
Do you went to my school, what year?

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Butyl tape causing this problem?

While buying some stuff at a fasteners store, I was advised that nylocks were much more prone to galling than regular nuts. Lubrication of some sort was advised.

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Re: Butyl tape causing this problem?

I'm a carpenter, and impact tools certainly have their uses, but I think they get over used. Their advantage in small tools is that they pack a punch.
If you don't need the ratchet effect to break something loose or snug it down, I would go with a regular screw gun or use hand tools. Especially if you are having thread or galling issues.
Don't know why you are generating that much heat by hand though.

In general, I've noticed hardware is of much poorer quality lately. For example, I've used lag bolts and screws that will go in OK, but you better not need to take them back out! They will either break, or the head will strip, no matter how careful you are. My guess is that now that China has cornered the market, they manufacture to minimum standards.

Last edited by L124C; 11-26-2013 at 08:54 PM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-26-2013
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Re: Butyl tape causing this problem?

you can use any oil or even vasoline. Any lubricant is better than none.

I sail.
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