When I was a little boy, I would often go to see my grandparents, who lived on the west side of Chicago. This was always exciting to me. It was very different from our home, two miles away but it might have been a million miles away for all it seemed.
They had a neighbor there that was just fascinating to me, that I would have loved to visit in those day. And almost 60 years later, I guess I’d still love to.
Now the grandparents are long gone, and the house was torn down years ago, but their neighbor – the building where the Tootsietoy factory was – is still there.
For years untold millions of simple little die-cast cars were pumped out of the factory at 600 N. Pulaski in Chicago, and little boys everywhere would play with them.
They were cheap, I believe that you could buy a sleeve of ten cars for a dollar back then.
They were basically failproof gifts when it came to boys.
They weren’t the fancier Matchbox or later Hot Wheels cars that would come along later. But there was less to break. They were virtually indestructible to a kid. Nor were they battery powered, but they had plenty of engine sounds and brake squeals, courtesy of your average 1st grader.
Back then, I’d play with them. I would have loved to go into the factory to see them made, but at that time I had no idea how they were made. But now I know.
Tootsietoys were simple metal toy cars, typically made of one diecast body two axles, and four plastic wheels. The bodies would be spray painted, then the wheels would be pushed on to the axles, and the axles would snap onto arms protruding from the underside of the body.
They were very durable, unless you wanted to hit them with a hammer the bodies were hard to destroy. Of course, you could damage the wheels but otherwise they were almost indestructible.
They were the early versions of Lego’s, meaning if you walked around in bare feet and stepped on one of them that was sitting upside down, you would not forget the experience. I know, I proved this many times.
It’s pretty simple. You have a mold, or a set of molds, that you put a pattern into. Metal is heated till it is in a liquid state, then it is injected into the mold, then cooled till it is solidified.
The finished product would then go off to the paint line, then the wheels and axles were added, and the cars would be packaged and sent out to stores, and then go to kids everywhere.
Many years have gone by, but for some items, die-casting is still the best, most economical way to go to produce durable goods, be they shelf brackets, utensils or even toys. And Fast-Rite can make them for you
Do you have a product you need diecast?
Give our engineers a call at 888.327.8077 or email us at Sales@fast-rite.com
“Your bolts are breaking in my engine blocks!”
The purchasing manager was furious!
This was a massive, costly failure. Someone would pay.
The unimpressed fastener engineer on the other end of the phone replied wryly. “What did you want to break?”
It was simple. Tremendous shear and tension had built, and something had to break. “Did you want it to be the bolt? Or the block?”
This made the auto executive stop.
The fastener engineer did not design the engine. He did not design the joint. His company supplied the bolts that held the engine together. And the bolts were up to the specifications they should have been made to. There was no disagreement as to any of these facts.
The problem here was not a bad bolt, it was a bad joint design, resulting in a tremendous strain on the joint. The joint design was creating shear on the bolt, far exceeding what the bolt was designed for.
Something had to give, and the preferred item to give was the bolt going into the block, not the block itself. Now this happened around the 1980’s, so the dollars might have changed, but the principle hasn’t: It’s much less expensive to replace a $15 bolt than it is to replace a $1,500 engine block.
Critical Fastener Truth #1: “Bolts are made to break.”
In the case of our Detroit friend here, the bolts were actually performing up to specifications. If a stronger bolt was used, it could have resulted in damage to the block itself, and that would render the block as scrap iron. The problem was the design of the joint itself, not the bolt.
Often, even experienced engineers tend to forget their fastening technology basics. It’s important that the proper fasteners are chosen, and as tension is brought to bear, It may require a period of relaxation and then a final tightening in order to reach and retain the proper tension.
Only when all the pieces of the puzzle are together can you be assured of holding the proper tension.
Critical Fastener Truth #2: Bolts Stretch.
What about disassembly and reassembly? Bolts are like rubber bands, they stretch and become deformed. They are subject to elasticity. Once put under load they cannot be returned to their pristine new shape. This often-overlooked principle can cause havoc on a high strength application, for example, a 60-ton capacity heavy duty construction crane turntable. And once one bolt fails, the entire turntable deck is compromised. Sadly, when a device of that critical strength fails, lives can easily be lost.
Critical Fastener Truth #3: Hydrogen Embrittlement.
One of the first things I ever learned in this business was learned the hard way. Well, the hard way, but it could have been far worse.
A customer had called desperately searching for stock on a high strength bolt. We happened to have stock, and we were ready to send it, when we saw some discoloration on the bolts.
Knowing the customer needed a cosmetically appealing solution, we quickly sent the parts out to our local plater to be flashed zinc before we sent them.
This worked wonderfully at the time, until the customer used their air guns to install the bolts, and watched the heads pop off.
Being new, I was not aware of the critical potential for hydrogen embrittlement to weaken the strength of the bolt and make it much more susceptible to break far below the required specifications. For some reason no one ever realized the need to heat treat these bolts to dissipate the hydrogen atoms throughout the bolt.
Thankfully, while this was a painful lesson, these bolts never made it through the rejection process, and no one was hurt.
In short, there are many factors that go into a good fastener joint. This includes proper fastener selection, a good understanding of what a joint is designed to do, and potential factors that can degrade a high strength fastener to the extent that they are unable to properly hold the load they were designed to hold.
When looking for fastener supply, look not only for the item, or for the cost-effective price. Look for a fastener supplier who is trained in fastener technology, who understand the fundamentals of fastener joint design, and is aware of the potential issues resulting from plating and secondary processes.
Fast-Rite engineers are available to discuss your fastener challenges. Just reach out to Fast-Rite Engineering at 888.327.8077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Fast-Rite, we’re pleased to announce we are now an authorized distributor for Siam Fittings Company Limited, A leading international manufacturer of malleable iron and bronze pipe fittings.
Siam pipe fittings are well known worldwide under the brand name SA.
Founded over 50 years ago in 1968, Siam products are manufactured under exacting international standards and trusted by customers worldwide.
They were the first company in Thailand to produce pipe fittings from malleable iron.
Main products are malleable iron pipe fittings and bronze pipe fittings. The high standard and quality of these products keeps them in demand in many countries around the world, including the US, Japan and other countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The main factory is located in Khartoum, Thailand and encompasses over 360,000 Sq Ft and, and produces on average of 900 tons of products per month.
Quality and safety of our products are of utmost importance. Quality is THE top priority in order to ensure all products are lead-free.
They have been awarded international certifications such as UL, FM and of course, They have been ISO-9000 accredited since 1999. Both Fast-Rite and Siam are ISO-9001:2015 Certified.
These widely recognized certificates have enabled us to guarantee customer confidence both domestic and overseas.
The vision of Siam is to ensure customer satisfaction by continually improving their products and delivering these products at a reasonable price.
For 50 years Siam Fittings Company Limited has been a leading manufacturer exporter and distributor of pipe fittings under the brand SA. Fast-Rite is pleased to partner with Siam and together we are strongly committed to being the leader of malleable iron pipe fittings now, and well into the future
Click here to download our Pipe FIttings Catalog: FR PipeFittingsCatalog 2022