As the speed of an aircraft increases, each structural member becomes more highly stressed. It is therefore extremely important that each member carry no more and no less than the load for which it was designed. In order to distribute the loads safely throughout a structure, it is necessary that proper torque be applied to all nuts, bolts, studs and screws. Using the proper torque allows the structure to develop its designed strength and greatly reduces the possibility of failure due to fatigue.

Torque Wrenches

The three most commonly used torque wrenches are the flexible beam, rigid frame, and the ratchet types (figure 6-12). When using the flexible beam and the rigid frame torque wrenches, the torque value is read visually on a dial or scale mounted on the handle of the wrench.

To use the ratchet type, unlock the grip and adjust the handle to the desired setting on the micrometer type scale, then relock the grip. Install the required socket or adapter to the square drive of the handle. Place the wrench assembly on the nut or bolt and pull the wrench assembly on the nut or bolt and pull in a clockwise direction with a smooth, steady motion. (A fast or jerky motion will result in an improperly torqued unit.) When the applied torque reaches the torque value which indicated on the handle setting, the handle will automatically release or "break" and move freely for a short distance.

The release and free travel is easily felt, so there is no doubt about when the torquing process is completed.

To assure getting the correct amount of torque on the fasteners, all torque wrenches must be tested at least once a month or more often if necessary.

NOTE: It is not advisable to use a handle extension on a flexible beam type torque wrench at any time. A handle extension alone has no effect on the reading of the other types. The use of a drive end extension on any type of torque wrench makes the use of the formula mandatory. When applying the formula, force must be applied to the handle of the torque wrench at the point from which the measurements were taken. If this is not done, the torque obtained will be in error.

Torque Tables

The standard torque table should be used as a guide in tightening nuts, studs, bolts, and screws whenever specific torque values are not called out in maintenance procedures. The following rules apply for correct use of the torque table (figure 6-13):

1. To obtain values in foot-pounds, divide inch-pounds by 12.

2. Do not lubricate nuts or bolts except for corrosion resistant steel parts or where specifically instructed to do so.

3. Always tighten by rotating the nut first if possible. When space considerations make it necessary to tighten by rotating the bolt head, approach the high side of the indicated torque range. Do not exceed the maximum allowable torque value.

4. Maximum torque ranges should be used only when materials and surfaces being joined are of sufficient thickness, area, and strength to resist breaking, warping, or other damage.

5. For corrosion resisting steel nuts, use torque values given for shear type nuts.

6. The use of any type of drive end extension on a torque wrench changes the dial reading required to obtain the actual values indicated in the standard torque range tables. When using a drive end extension, the torque wrench reading must be computed by use of the proper formula, which is included in the handbook accompanying the torque wrench.

Cotter Pin Hole Line Up

When tightening castellated nuts on bolts, the cotter pin holes may not line up with the slots in the nuts for the range of recommended values. Except in cases of highly stressed engine parts, the nut may be over tightened to permit lining up the next slot with the cotter pin hole. The torque loads specified may be used for all unlubricated cadmium plated steel nuts of the fine or coarse thread series which have approximately equal number of threads and equal face bearing areas. These values do not apply where special torque requirements are specified in the maintenance manual.

If the head end, rather than the nut, must be turned in the tightening operation, maximum torque values may be increased by an amount equal to shank friction, provided the latter is first measured by a torque wrench.