It’s all happened to us before: one minute you’re tightening a bolt, the next one you’re scrambling to free it from its enclosure. Whether it be due to exaggerated machismo or bad bolt design, the fact of the matter is that you wound a bolt too tight and now you can’t get it out.

DTI (Direct Tension Indicating) SmartBolts make gauging the tension of bolts easier. Instead of just “feeling for it” like folks have done for years, DTI SmartBolts have visual indicators on the bolt’s head.

smartbolts
smartbolts
smartbolts

When not attached to anything, the indicator stays bright red. As you attach it to a fixture and tighten it, it slowly turns black. Different hues of red show just how tight the bolt is, with the color relating to the fastener stretch and amount of tension applied rather than the torque of the bolt.

smartbolts

The color of the visual indicator has a +/- 10% accuracy of how tight the bolt really is. When creating the SmartBolts, the DTIs are adjusted to account for the bolt’s material, grade, and finish.

smartbolts

Unlike most technology add-ons, you can use your normal everyday tools to work with SmartBolts. If your tools happen to cover the tightness indicators when using them, all you have to do is check the color every now and again to make sure you aren’t overtightening the bolts.

Apart from making sure you don’t bust your bolts, the visual indicators also make a work environment much safer. It may not seem like a big deal when assembling a table or chair, but it makes all the difference when fastening a bolt on heavy machinery.

You can find information on the various bolts and their specifications on the SmartBolts webpage.

Author

Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.