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Henkel Adhesive Technologies

Henkel Adhesive Technologies

How to apply LOCTITE® threadlockers

LOCTITE® threadlockers tips and tricks on how to apply LOCTITE® threadlockers effectively and efficiently.
5 min.
Image of new 50 ml bottle of LOCTITE 243 blue, medium strength threadlocker in machine shop environment

Whether you work in manufacturing, heavy industry or maintenance and repair, threaded fasteners are likely to be an important part of your role.

How to apply LOCTITE® threadlockers

Achieving a strong, reliable assembly hinges on using the right tool, often a threadlocker. However, it's not just about selecting the right threadlocker; proper application and usage are crucial. Failing to follow the correct procedure can result in long-term fastener failure. For guidance, refer to our step-by-step guide on using LOCTITE® threadlocker effectively.

One of the major benefits of LOCTITE threadlockers is that they’re relatively simple to use once you know how. The majority of our threadlockers come in a small bottle, with a thin nozzle that allows you to apply the adhesive directly onto your fastener before you thread the bolt.

To apply a threadlocker correctly, you should:

1. Prepare the surface

Preparation is often overlooked but crucial for threadlocker performance and longevity. Fasteners in manufacturing may have a corrosion inhibitor coating that must be removed with a suitable cleaner. Neglecting this can hinder the curing process. In maintenance and repairs, contaminants like grease and dust can impede the threadlocker; clean threads are essential. Effective cleaning and prep ensure optimal mechanical, thermal, and chemical performance of the threadlocker.

2. Allow the threads to dry

After cleaning, give the threads enough time to dry fully, ensuring there’s no trace of the cleaners you’ve used on surfaces that are going to be bonded.

Once both surfaces are completely dry, you can apply the threadlocker for the strongest possible bond.

3. Apply a few drops of threadlocker

A little threadlocker goes a long way. The most important rule to remember is that you only need to focus on the area where the two threads will join when bonded to ensure maximum performance.

But one of the most common mistakes people make is to use too much. This can overfill the thread, leading to messy applications and overflowing assemblies.

When deciding how much threadlocker to apply, focus on where the thread and nut will be seated (locked in place) when assembled. Apply a few drops of your chosen threadlocker across this area.

As your bolt turns, this will spread across the desired area, leaving you with a strong bond. Make sure there’s an even spread across the surface you’re applying the adhesive to.

LOCTITE 243 Threadlocker - Application to Bolt

4. Attach the nut to the bolt

Once you have applied your threadlocker, slowly turn the nut to allow the adhesive to spread evenly across the two threads until everything is locked in place.

5. Cure in place

The final crucial stage of using threadlockers is curing. Most LOCTITE threadlockers take 24 hours to fully cure, undergoing an anaerobic chemical reaction from liquid to solid polymer. Allowing complete curing is essential for optimal performance, as premature use can hinder the adhesive from reaching its full mechanical and physical properties. In maintenance scenarios requiring quick machinery recovery, you can use the equipment once the threadlocker's fixture time has passed, with the option of using an accelerator for faster curing when speed is essential.

How long does LOCTITE® take to dry?

The technical data sheet (TDS) for the threadlocker outlines the cure time you should adhere to. Some additional factors can impact cure time, including:

  • Temperature
  • Gap
  • Activity of metals
  • Use of activators

Can you remove a threadlocker?

LOCTITE threadlockers primarily secure assemblies, including those in maintenance and repair. Many LOCTITE threadlockers are removable, with removal ease depending on the product used. Low and medium-strength threadlockers can be removed with hand tools, while high-strength red threadlockers may require heat or added force. Learn more about threadlockers' benefits and uses in our insights blog or explore the full range for the right product.

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