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BoltTech Hydraulic Wrench Failure

April 29 2008
Safety and Health

At a generating plant in late March, a new hydraulic wrench from BoltTech (Model QD14 SQDR, S/N 938), was being used to loosen a bolt from a valve. As the operator was attempting to loosen the first bolt the pressure had increased to 8,000 psi when the cast housing of the wrench exploded. The wrench came apart in three pieces. One piece remained on the bolt. Another piece was thrown about 10 feet and was stopped by the attached hydraulic hoses. The third part, a piece of “shrapnel” about 2 inches long by 1 inch wide, came off and traveled about 20 feet before hitting a wall. No injuries occurred.

Tool: BoltTech Model QD14 SQDR, S/N 938

The tool has been returned to the manufacturer, Bolt Tech from West Newton, PA, for failure analysis. The manufacturer is contacting owners of this model. Preliminary reports indicate that it was being used properly and well below its rated pressure. This tool had been used at the Duke Energy facility once previously.

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