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Loctite goes bad?

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#1 deSitter

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 07:29 AM

Well I need to use some red Loctite - I'm making a central shaft for a tripod project and I need to bond the threaded shaft to the bottom knob. Yesterday I discovered that Loctite has a shelf life of 2 years unopened. I did not know this. Does this match the experience here? I mean how does it go bad when sealed?

 

Would epoxy be a better choice for thread lock?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

-drl



#2 Nemo51

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 07:36 AM

Epoxy is forever. 



#3 Terra Nova

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 07:46 AM

Well I need to use some red Loctite - I'm making a central shaft for a tripod project and I need to bond the threaded shaft to the bottom knob. Yesterday I discovered that Loctite has a shelf life of 2 years unopened. I did not know this. Does this match the experience here? I mean how does it go bad when sealed?

 

Would epoxy be a better choice for thread lock?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

-drl

I would imagine that chemical reactions can continue to take place in a sealed, air-tight environment, albeit at a much slower rate. Apparently over a two year period the product has degraded to the point that it is unusable.


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#4 jgraham

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 08:14 AM

Heh, heh, we have been recently working with the cure of Loctite in my lab preparing free standing samples for testing. The polymerization reaction is metal catalyzed and oxygen inhibited, which is why it works so well securing threads and sticking your fingers together. The reaction can also be initiated with a minor component in moisture (the hydroxyl radical). An unopened bottle of Loctite should be fairly stable, but once it is opened, water vapor can sneak in and _slowly_ start the cure. However, once it is cured in a thread it should last forever, but the bottle has a shelf life.

It took us a while how to get free standing samples of Loctite. We ended up curing the samples under nitrogen with a little piece of bare copper to initiate the reaction. Just for yucks I'm going to try just sticking a bit of bare copper wire into a bottle and see if it cures. :)

Gotta have some fun with it.

Soooo, the bottle has a shelf life, a secured thread does not.

Enjoy!
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#5 Chris MN

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 08:20 AM

Red (and blue) Loctite is used in autos all the time on bolts that are critical like wheel bearing hub assemblies.  Once cured, practically, it lasts forever.  That said, if you have an old tube of Loctite that is more than 2 years old (opened or unopened), time to get some fresh stuff.


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#6 deSitter

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 08:32 AM

Red (and blue) Loctite is used in autos all the time on bolts that are critical like wheel bearing hub assemblies.  Once cured, practically, it lasts forever.  That said, if you have an old tube of Loctite that is more than 2 years old (opened or unopened), time to get some fresh stuff.

Yeah this was news to me.

 

-drl



#7 NinePlanets

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 08:44 AM

ALL adhesives have a shelf life.

I used to work in a manufacturing environment where scrapping all the adhesive-backed foams and tapes and paints and epoxies was a quarterly exercise for the parts/warehouse folks.


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#8 YourNotSirius

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 09:19 AM

Yeah this was news to me.

 

-drl

Yeah! Same here! Even my old man didn't know that it had a shelf life. Then again, I don't think we've had a tube of it last for two years. It seems we buy a new one every six months or so.

 

Interesting discovery, though.

 

Q



#9 Sincos

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 09:22 AM

Red (and blue) Loctite is used in autos all the time on bolts that are critical like wheel bearing hub assemblies.  Once cured, practically, it lasts forever.  That said, if you have an old tube of Loctite that is more than 2 years old (opened or unopened), time to get some fresh stuff.

There are many grades of Loctite used on aircraft also . Worked in the parts dept. for an aircraft repair facility , never knew there were so many varieties of that product for specific applications. Besides nuts and bolts it is also used to attach de-icing boots . Would not use if beyond best before date as it is a lottery you never want to lose .



#10 Overtime

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 09:33 AM

Well I need to use some red Loctite - I'm making a central shaft for a tripod project and I need to bond the threaded shaft to the bottom knob. Yesterday I discovered that Loctite has a shelf life of 2 years unopened. I did not know this. Does this match the experience here? I mean how does it go bad when sealed?

 

Would epoxy be a better choice for thread lock?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

-drl

You do know there are more strengths of thread locker then red. Red is pretty hard to get apart if you need to. You might want to look into it. 



#11 wrvond

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 09:38 AM

Yeah! Same here! Even my old man didn't know that it had a shelf life. Then again, I don't think we've had a tube of it last for two years. It seems we buy a new one every six months or so.

 

Interesting discovery, though.

 

Q

Just like I lose those Bic pens long before they run out of ink, I can never find my tube of Loc-tite...  lol.gif



#12 TOMDEY

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 09:38 AM

Adhesives vary re' shelf life, especially sensitive to storage conditions. Cycling from freezing to hot is one of the worst for many/most. All of our aerospace adhesives have expiration dated right on the containers --- much like foods from the grocery store. Alas, this rarely appears on commercial stuff... almost never... they tacitly mum act like it lasts forever, which it does not. This also applies to in-use after applied. Even the finest 3M adhesives --- many will fail (even catastrophically) within as little as a few years --- yet there is no specific warning or even counsel on the commercial containers or labels.    Tom


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#13 NinePlanets

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 09:43 AM

Alas, this rarely appears on commercial stuff... almost never... they tacitly mum act like it lasts forever, which it does not.

Just last week I grabbed an old but unopened package of Devcon Epoxy and one side of the tube was almost solid as a rock. Useless.


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#14 geovermont

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 11:03 AM

For most hardware items I like to keep large quanitities around, but I long ago found that it was best to just keep a single small bottle of each of the LocTites that I use on hand. Still, I have probably thrown away a larger amount of hardened LocTite in bottles than I have actually used! It's interesting to read what actually happens to make it harden in the bottle. I long ago started keeping all of the adhesives and such in the house to avoid freeze-thaw issues. Perhaps sealing the LocTite up with a dessicant pack might help a little to lengthen the storage life?



#15 deSitter

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 11:52 AM

For most hardware items I like to keep large quanitities around, but I long ago found that it was best to just keep a single small bottle of each of the LocTites that I use on hand. Still, I have probably thrown away a larger amount of hardened LocTite in bottles than I have actually used! It's interesting to read what actually happens to make it harden in the bottle. I long ago started keeping all of the adhesives and such in the house to avoid freeze-thaw issues. Perhaps sealing the LocTite up with a dessicant pack might help a little to lengthen the storage life?

I have some that must be 5 years old and seems new as far as being a liquid goes. But apparently it's done and will not set.

 

-drl


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#16 deSitter

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 11:53 AM

You do know there are more strengths of thread locker then red. Red is pretty hard to get apart if you need to. You might want to look into it. 

Yes of course. This is indeed a permanent thing, the tensioning post in a tripod with its large knob.

 

-drl



#17 Kasmos

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 12:23 PM

I would think they have to say how long it's good for since it is used in critical situautions. Using it on a telescope is another story, so I might try a 5 year old tube if it hasn't dried up.  Also, several times I've seen my motorcycle mechanic friend heat things with a torch to break it free.

 

If it's not something for safety like attaching a knob to a bolt you might just try super-glue, but epoxy might be better.



#18 clamchip

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 01:02 PM

I have used expired Loctite, I always do a test first to make sure it's OK. Just make a sample of

the work you are planning and try it out.

I especially do this with Silicone caulk. Let me rewrite that, I will never use an old tube of Silicone

caulk. 

If these chemicals don't set etc., you will have a big problem, like my bathtub. I did a beautiful job

replacing the caulk where the tub meets the tile and it never set. I can't recall how I fixed the

mess, too traumatic for my memory I guess.

 

Robert


Edited by clamchip, 24 June 2024 - 01:05 PM.

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#19 TOMDEY

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 01:54 PM

Using a questionably old adhesive to save the cost of a new tube is like >>> eating ancient macaroni salad from last month's picnic, because "it might still be ok". What could possibly go wrong?    Tom

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  • 181 macaroni salad shelf life zero.jpg

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#20 deSitter

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 02:12 PM

Using a questionably old adhesive to save the cost of a new tube is like >>> eating ancient macaroni salad from last month's picnic, because "it might still be ok". What could possibly go wrong?    Tom

A tube of Loctite Red is now $8 even at Walmart! I'm wouldn't say I was cheap but I ain't profligate neither. I am honestly surprised that it's pining for the fjords.

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 24 June 2024 - 02:13 PM.


#21 TOMDEY

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Posted 24 June 2024 - 07:44 PM

A tube of Loctite Red is now $8 even at Walmart! I'm wouldn't say I was cheap but I ain't profligate neither. I am honestly surprised that it's pining for the fjords.

 

-drl

Yeah... I've used old stuff and regretted it.    Tom

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#22 RichA

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Posted 25 June 2024 - 12:20 AM

Yeah! Same here! Even my old man didn't know that it had a shelf life. Then again, I don't think we've had a tube of it last for two years. It seems we buy a new one every six months or so.

 

Interesting discovery, though.

 

Q

No question epoxy "goes bad" after a few years opened.  Ozone, oxygen, something impacts it.



#23 LDW47

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Posted 28 June 2024 - 01:22 PM

Well I need to use some red Loctite - I'm making a central shaft for a tripod project and I need to bond the threaded shaft to the bottom knob. Yesterday I discovered that Loctite has a shelf life of 2 years unopened. I did not know this. Does this match the experience here? I mean how does it go bad when sealed?

 

Would epoxy be a better choice for thread lock?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

-drl

They just want to sell you more loctite, unless it has hardened up for whatever reason. Maybe a bit of clear nail polish, maybe ?



#24 LDW47

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Posted 28 June 2024 - 01:27 PM

Well I need to use some red Loctite - I'm making a central shaft for a tripod project and I need to bond the threaded shaft to the bottom knob. Yesterday I discovered that Loctite has a shelf life of 2 years unopened. I did not know this. Does this match the experience here? I mean how does it go bad when sealed?

 

Would epoxy be a better choice for thread lock?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

-drl

I have kept red loctite in its tube for a lot more than 2 years, a lot more.  Just make sure the top is good and tight, its always fluid, it always works. Some experts recommend keeping similar type products in a ziploc in a freezer, maybe the same with this ?



#25 apfever

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Posted 28 June 2024 - 02:56 PM

Keep lots of air on it. Don't squeeze out the air when you cap it. It has an anaerobic aspect to triggering. It likes a fractal surface and tight squeezes. I have an old round Tupper lid with a few bottles on it, some maybe 5 to 10 years. I seriously doubt anything 10 years but I could see 5. A few bottles spreads around the use for awhile. I'm good if I can shake a bottle and feel it hear it (keep it aired up) and it looks good. It has that acrid aspect too.  I like blue. Red can get pretty grippy on itty bitty. Easy to destroy small things. 


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