The easier it is to check something, the better the chance you’ll know if it’s not right, that’s the idea behind these torque indicating bolts. I ran across these while cruising through an interesting site called the Inventables, the “innovator’s hardware store.” With a tag like that, how can you not check it out?
The idea behind these bolts is a dot in the center of the head that turns dark when properly torqued or red when it gets loose. There’s a clear window in the center of the head covering a pouch with a dark blue liquid. At the proper torque that’s all you see. If loose, a red tipped plunger in the center turns the window red.
If you know at a glance something is loose, there’s a pretty high probability you’ll snug it up, at least you will if you’re the tech type who is concerned about those sorts of things.
This is actually a conversion to standard grade 8 bolts and the indicator can be cycled for the life of the bolt. Sizes range from 7/16 to 1 3/8. Strength of the bolt is not affected except in smaller, shorter bolts.
The bolts are pricey so you won’t be using them everywhere but in some critical applications they could be ideal. Nice idea.
Inventables launched in 2002 as a supplier to such major companies as Black & Decker, Nike, P&G, Microsoft and Mattel. In October 2010, CEO and co-founder Zach Kaplan scrapped the original business plan and launched the online-only R&D supply marketplace.
There are a lot of other very unusual items at the site, the kinds of things, if you’re technically inclined, that would just be nice to have at your workbench to play around with. Definitely worth checking out.