The Importance Of Lubrication In Securing Worm-Drive Clamps

Performance is the bottom line with any clamp, and getting the right installation torque when installing screw type clamps is key. Too loose, and you risk leaks; too tight, and you risk damaging the pipe or hose you’re clamping, or the clamp itself.

When you tighten a clamp, you’re trying to develop tension in the band. That tension-force generates clamp load, which translates to performance. When you’re working with worm-drive clamps, the issue is overcoming friction: If you reduce friction, more of the installation torque is converted to band tension. In other words, more of the installation torque goes into creating an effective clamp seal.

To reduce friction, you need to lubricate the screw in the worm-drive clamp you’re installing. If you use an unlubricated screw, the application torque is spent overcoming friction, and it isn’t applied to the clamp. As a result, the clamp doesn’t close as well – an easily avoidable clamping mistake.

Lubrication During Clamp Installation

You should figure out before you start installation whether you need to add lubrication to the worm-drive assembly of the clamp you’re securing. Plated carbon steel clamps and screws don’t usually require additional lubrication: The zinc coating of the plating that protects the carbon steel against corrosion also functions as a solid lubricant, like Teflon in a frying pan.

Stainless steel clamps, though, do require lubrication. You can either use WD-40 when you’re installing untreated clamps, or you can buy treated clamps that have a light wax coating added to the screw during manufacturing. All Murray stainless steel clamps come with this coating which provides enough lubrication to ensure you achieve the target application torque.

Lubrication During Maintenance

Once you’ve installed your worm-drive clamp, you need to make sure it remains at the right level of tension. When you do your regular maintenance checks, you may discover that a screw has loosened. Before you re-tighten it, add a squirt of WD-40 to make sure all the force you’re using turns into tension.

And when you’re replacing automotive hoses but reusing the same clamps, make sure you lubricate the screws before you tighten them down.