Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Daniel P. Hess


Fastener, Locknut, Preload, Reuse Life, Seated, Torque-Tension


This thesis provides much needed representative sample data for reuse life of fully seated and torqued locknuts. Most national requirements for prevailing torque locking fasteners only specify unseated reuse life. This could create a potentially dangerous situation if unseated is misinterpreted for seated. This thesis provides comparative data for seated verses unseated configuration. Six aerospace, 3 all-metal and 3 nylon insert, and one non-aerospace locknuts were tested at preloads levels of unseated, 66%, 75%, and 85% of yield of bolt. The locknuts tested are MS21043-4, NAS1291-4, NAS1805-4, MS17825-4, MS21044D4, NAS1021N4, and Grade 8. A fixture was created in order to allow for the simultaneous data collection of the applied preload and torque, along with the removal of preload without loosening the locknut. The results from testing indicate the number of reuse cycles is greater for nylon locknuts than the all-metal locknuts. Large losses, on the order of 20-50%, in prevailing torque occur between the first and second cycle of each locknut under all preloads. Tightening Torque required to achieve a certain preload was found to increase with reuse. Application of lubrication to nylon locknuts had a significant effect, reducing the reuse life and prevailing torque performance. The testing indicated the effect of preload reduced the number of reuse cycles to failure, failure occurs when the prevailing torque is measured outside the range of 3.5 to 30 in-lb. All locknuts survived unseated and 66% Y preload testing,

except MS21043 which lasted about 14.5 reuse cycles at 66% Y and NAS1805 which survived 8 reuse cycles for unseated and 12.67 reuse cycles at 66% Y. NAS1805's loss of reuse life is due to hardness and material compatibility issues. The scatter of the torque measurements was low for the first three to five cycles, then as the coatings and lubrications are worn the scatter increases. The data collected from testing agrees with the torque friction equation.