Airfield Lighting Systems Ltd (ALS) have launched SmartBolts – a Visual Indication System that turns the top head of a bolt from red to black as you tighten it.
Lighting fixtures in runways, taxiways, and other in-pavement locations are critical to the safe operation of planes and machinery at airports.
If these fixtures become loose they can create dangerous safety conditions while planes are in-flight, landing, or taxiing on the runway.
However, maintenance of these fixtures is difficult due to their location in high-traffic areas. SmartBolt DTI provides visual feedback that these light fixtures are properly secured and immediately detects if the joint assembly has been compromised – leading to more efficient maintenance and a safer environment.
They do not need to be replaced with every inspection, saving you money and time. You won’t have to use the torque wrench on every fitting to loosen it and re-tighten it to 25nm, you can just look at the bolts instead, safe in the knowledge that if the colour is black the bolt is tight and no action is required at all.
The unique visual Indication System provides a fast and easy indication of how tense the bolt is by changing colour as it gets tighter. Starting at Red (= 25%), to 50% then 75% and finally Black when the bolt is at 100%
The bolts work very similar to springs. When you stretch a spring, it pulls back – trying to return to its original size. The stretching force is called tension. The force that pulls back is called compression. The tension creates clamp force holding parts together. The coloured indicators represent a certain torque:
SmartBolts directly correlate tension with colour. Accuracy and reliably is ensured because the colour change of the Visual Indication System is proportional to bolt stretch — the only true measure of how tight your joint is (torque readings alone can be misleading since torque only measures how difficult it is to turn the bolt head).