5 mistakes to avoid when applying Loctite threadlocker

To achieve the best results from your Loctite threadlocker, it’s important to avoid improper use and perform the application process correctly.

Loctite threadlockers are adhesives that are used to prevent vibrational loosening in screws and bolts. These threadlockers come in varying strengths and will only be effective in particular situations. To achieve the best results from your Loctite threadlocker, it’s important to avoid improper use and perform the application process correctly.

Here are five common mistakes to avoid when using Loctite threadlockers.

Using an excessive strength of threadlocker

There are many different strengths of Loctite threadlockers that are denoted by the colour of the bottle. The colours are purple, blue and red, which equate to low, medium, and high strength respectively. There is also a green threadlocker, which is slightly different as it is used specifically for penetrating preassembled fasteners.

It’s easy to think that stronger is better, which would naturally tell you that Loctite threadlocker red is the way to go. But that’s not always the case. Using a threadlocker that is too strong could cause damage to the components you are using and make disassembly difficult in the future. 

For many applications, low and medium strength threadlockers will be sufficient. If you’re not sure which Loctite threadlocker to use, we have produced a guide to help you pick the right adhesive for your project

Applying too much adhesive

Just like thinking the strongest adhesives are the best, a common mistake is applying too much threadlocker. Yes, you want the bond to be strong, but that doesn’t mean you should use it excessively. In fact, using it excessively could cause the threadlocker to spread beyond the desired area, causing further issues down the line. 

Threadlockers are designed to fit between small gaps in threads, so a minimal amount will create a strong bond. They are also anaerobic adhesives, meaning they will cure and create the bond when no air is present. Inexperienced users who apply too much threadlocker may think that it’s not working as it looks like it’s not drying, when in fact, it’s not drying because it’s exposed to air. 

Not preparing for the task

Before beginning the application process, you should make sure that you clean any surfaces that will come in contact with the threadlocker. While these adhesives are designed to work in the presence of oils and grease, it doesn’t mean you should expose them unnecessarily to contaminants. Grease, dirt and grime can interfere with the curing process and result in a weak bond. Use a presaturated wipe to clean down any surfaces like our own IPA wipes, which also have a very quick surface drying time. Or use a Loctite cleaner.  

Ignoring curing times 

Curing times are displayed for a reason. Loctite threadlockers will only be cured 24 hours after application, and all threadlockers will have specific curing times that you should always adhere to. If you’re in a rush, you might want to consider an activator. An activator promotes the curing speed of Loctite anaerobic adhesives and sealants without any significant loss of joint strength. 

Disrupting the curing process or attempting to put the assembly to use before the 24 hours have passed may result in the fastener loosening. This could impact the overall quality of your work and actually result in further repairs, costing you time and money. Remember, good things come to those who wait!

Repositioning after applying the adhesive

Unfortunately, there’s always a chance you’ll want to make a change to something after you’ve applied the adhesive. Attempting to reposition a fastener after it has been locked into place will damage the chemical bonds formed during the application. This could impact the strength of the adhesive and ultimately lead to threadlocker failure.

If you wish to reposition a fastener, you will need to remove the existing threadlocker entirely and clean the surfaces before applying more adhesive and creating a bond in the new desired position. Check out our range of both presaturated and dry wipes, which are highly effective at cleaning surfaces.

Are you ready to use your Loctite threadlocker?

Now that you know what not to do, you should feel more confident about using your threadlocker. To find out more about Loctite products, feel free to get in touch with our team today. We’re happy to talk you through the different products available and help find the right one for your project. Whether you’re looking for sealants or all-purpose glues, Loctite produces the highest quality adhesive products on the market.