A Warning About Counterfeit Bolts

Contributed by: Terry Rust

Everyone should be aware that there is a multi billion dollar industry in counterfeit parts. Fasteners, such as graded bolts, are a primary aspect of this fraud. It is bad enough that the laboratory here in Los Alamos has a full time team inspecting incoming items for bogus parts. The US customs (I think) issues a periodic listing of known counterfeit parts and how to ID them, included is a chart of bogus grade 8 head markings.

When I was putting together the CJ, I bought a BUNCH of grade 8s from a major fastener company and a few from the local TG&Y; to fill in, the ones I bought from the fastener company were counterfeit, the TG&Ys; were fine!

It used to be that the certifications that accompany each lot of graded bolts was adequate to insure reliability, but, alas, they now counterfeit that as well. When you buy your bolts, if its from a fastener company, talk to the vendor and see if they're aware, the outfit that sold me mine is now very aware because they were facing the loss of lucrative contracts with both Sandia ands Los Alamos Labs over this issue. I think they now have their own receipt inspection and testing program to certify the bolts themselves.

Terry Rust
Los Alamos National Laboratory
trust@lanl.gov

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