Like any other structural assembly, fasteners play a critical role in the smooth functioning of solar installations. Fasteners hold parts together and must maintain their performance over many years under changing weather conditions. But the fact that a bolt is designed to be disassembled can pose serious challenges soon after, failure to arrest unwanted loosening of a fastener means frequent and expensive re-torquing during periodic maintenance and even catastrophic failures in case of neglect.
A variety of reasons can cause threads to loosen resulting in loss of clamp load on assembly. Vibrations, thermal changes, gasket relaxation, improper on-torque, shocks and impact load all can lead to stress that can force unwanted movement between threaded joints. This happens due to gap between threads. Over a period of time loosening under adverse conditions nevertheless is a reality for all fasteners.
To quantify the locking abilities of commonly and traditionally used locking methods, we did few laboratory tests under lab conditions to demonstrate how these traditional methods lock.