The operation and maintenance of a gas turbine requires a wide assortment of tools and an incredible amount of knowledge and experience. One of the more challenging jobs, done on an annual basis, is the combustion can inspection. The combustion cans are one of the hottest external areas on the turbine. In certain designs, the Allen bolts holding the cans in place are not easy to get to and require a high level of consistent power to break loose because of the intense heat they are subjected to when the turbine is operating. This can also be a dangerous job for tool operators because of the tight locations and the amount of power required to manually breakout the Allen bolts. Considering the high number of Allen head bolts, operator fatigue only exasperates the issues. HYTORC and The Torque Gun Co. have developed a solution to increase safety, accuracy and speed on this job — and the results speak for themselves.
In one plant, it was determined up to 900 foot pounds of torque would be required to loosen the bolts even though they are only tightened to about 320 foot pounds. This is a direct result of the intense heat on these Allen bolts while the turbine is in operation. When manual torque wrenches are used for the job, it often requires a breaker bar or a wrench and hammer to get the nut moving initially. When the nut breaks lose, the sudden increase in momentum can lead to damaged equipment or a safety incident.
In other cases, impact guns are used for the initial breakout of these Allen bolts. While the vibration can help loosen the bolts, it often requires an extended period of time during which the noise and vibration put the operator at risk and, in many cases, the bolts have sheared off, requiring a time and labor intensive procedure to remove the remainder of the bolt and/or re-tap the holes if the inner threads are damaged. Additionally, some plants have restricted the use of impact guns because of the safety hazards associated with long exposure to their noise and vibration.
Working with engineering teams and service providers for gas plants, HYTORC and The Torque Gun Co. developed a customized kit for the Torque Gun pneumatic multiplier, which addresses three focus points for the companies: safety, speed and quality.
The Combustion Inspection (CI) Torque Gun uses an extended drive with a custom reaction fixture at the base. This allows the operator to stand in a safe position while working on the Allen bolts. Additionally, the reaction fixture inserts into the adjacent nut, preventing movement and minimizing the chance for human error. The Torque Gun uses a precision-machined planetary gear drive to apply consistent, accurate power. This eliminates the heavy vibration and loud noise commonly found in impact guns and gives the user instant power and a quick breakout of the Allen bolts. This also provides a highly accurate and repeatable torque output so the same tool can be used for reassembly.
Pinched fingers and arms are a common safety hazard associated with traditional bolting tools, especially when used in tight areas. To reduce the chance of operator safety incidents, the CI Torque Gun uses a patented safety paddle that requires the operator to have both hands on the tool during operation. The simple, intuitive design and the constant power give the operator the confidence needed to get the job done safely while reducing the overall job time. In one case, the job time was reduced from more than 10 hours to less than 60 minutes. Most importantly, there were no safety incidents and the tool operators were very pleased with the overall success of the job.
HYTORC and The Torque Gun Co. share a mission to make industrial bolting as safe and simple as possible. With more than 45 years of experience focused entirely on developing the highest quality industrial bolting systems, HYTORC is the most trusted name in the industry. From steel mills and mining equipment to refineries, nuclear power plants and wind turbines, HYTORC has developed solutions for every bolting application imaginable. For custom projects, its highly experienced engineering team is at your service to design the most efficient solution for your job with simple operation and economical pricing in mind.
HYTORC is consistently improving upon existing products — and developing new tools — based on feedback from the people who use its tools every day. HYTORC’s latest product line features patented industry firsts like reaction arm-free torquing to eliminate dangerous pinch points, hands-free operation to keep tool operators at a safe distance from the application and industry-leading bolt load accuracy to reduce nut loosening and joint failure.
With authorized repair facilities located all over the world, a one-day turnaround is usually available. Its on-site service vehicles provide free inspections of all of your bolting equipment with calibration and repair available on site as well. All of HYTORC’s products are covered by its worldwide, one-year, no questions asked warranty, which includes free parts and labor. HYTORC and The Torque Gun Co. welcome the opportunity to prove their reliability as your partner on your next bolting job.
For more information regarding HYTORC Industrial Bolting Systems or to set up a free demonstration, email email@example.com or call (800) FOR-HYTORC [367-4986].