6.4. Handling and Storage

6.4.1. Should bolts and nuts be cleaned of all grease, wax or other lubricant prior to installation?

No. Bolts are intentionally lubricated to facilitate installation. Accordingly, it is stated in the RCSC Specification Section 2.2 that “Fastener components shall not be cleaned or modified from the as-delivered condition.” Note, however, that steelwise In other words, pre-installation verification is only required when the bolts are to be pre-tensioned. MAY 2015 provision is also made in the Commentary of this section for fasteners that accumulate rust or dirt resulting from job site conditions, which, if used, “…can be cleaned and lubricated by the fabricator or erector.” The Commentary also states that ASTM F1852 and F2280 twist offs are suitable only if the manufacturer lubricates them.

6.4.2. What storage requirements apply to highstrength bolts, nuts and washers?

All fastener components must be stored in a manner that affords complete protection from moisture, heat, and dirt contamination. These precautions are necessary to avoid corrosion, loss of lubricant effectiveness, and dirt contamination that will both alter the required installation torque and increase the corresponding scatter of installed tension.

Each day, upon removal from storage, each bucket of fasteners should be visually inspected for corrosion, lubricant condition, and dirt contamination; any fastener found to be corroded, lacking lubrication, or dirty is unacceptable for installation, but may be cleaned, re-lubricated with an approved lubricant, and re-tested (see Section 7 of the RCSC Specification). Though preinstallation verification is only required to be performed on fasteners to be pre-tensioned, it can also be used to establish the adequacy of fasteners. Such fastener assemblies that cannot be demonstrated to have an installed tension that is 5 percent greater than the specified minimum tension required in the RCSC Specification Table 8.1 should be deemed unacceptable for use.

Guidance from the manufacturer or supplier should be sought in determining approved lubricants used to re-lubricate fasteners.

Only the number of fasteners that are required for work to be done that day should be removed from storage. At the end of the workday, all fasteners that are not installed should be returned to storage.