How to prevent galling in stainless steel fasteners

Written by c.l. rease
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How to prevent galling in stainless steel fasteners
Galling causes threaded fasteners to seize together. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

When two pieces of metal rub against each other, they create friction. Friction between the metals causes heat to form in the contact area. Galling happens when a threaded fastener seizes from friction heat building up in a threaded connection. When stainless steel galling occurs, the stainless steel bolt entering the connection will seize and often snap in the female threads of the connection. Reducing heat between stainless steel fasteners reduces friction, eliminating galling when done correctly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wire brush
  • Anti-seizing compound
  • Torque wrench

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  1. 1

    Clean the male threads of a stainless steel bolt by running a wire brush across the threads until no dirt or debris remains on the threads.

  2. 2

    Apply a thin coating of anti-seizing compound to the cleaned threads with the applicator attached to the inside on the anti-seizing compound can lid.

  3. 3

    Align the end of the bolt threads with the female component of the connection. Turn the stainless steel bolt clockwise slowly until the head of the bolt sits tight to the top of the female component of the connection.

  4. 4

    Set a torque wrench to the required torque setting. Turn the bolt slowly with the wrench until the wrench signals the correct pressure is reached. Remove the torque wrench from the head of the bolt.

Tips and warnings

  • Galling can occur even when using the correct anti-seizing compound and the correct torque settings. Inspecting each thread of both threaded components before cleaning will better the odds of eliminating galling.

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