Bay Fastening Systems, a Blind Rivet Distributor, Comments on the Failure of Seismic Stabilizing Bolts on the Bay Bridge During Stress Testing

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Following a report by SFist about the failure of seismic stabilizing bolts on the San Francisco Bay Bridge during a stress test, Bay Fastening Systems issues a statement emphasizing the importance of safety testing on bridges.

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We hope that the issue with the bolts is fully resolved before the bridge is officially opened

On May 13, Bay Fastening Systems comments on the importance of appropriate safety testing on bridges following an article published in SFist that details the failure of 32 seismic stabilizing bolts after a stress test that simulated the motion of a large earthquake.

The construction of the new Bay Bridge, which was scheduled to open before Labor Day 2013, is being managed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and may be delayed. According to the article, “it's come to light that there are some 1,200 bolts in total that might need to be replaced on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. And though Caltrans has not said that this will delay the scheduled Labor Day opening of the bridge, we're starting to think that it might.”

The article goes on to state, “Caltrans ordered 1,200 galvanized steel fasteners made of the same metal used in the 32 bolts that were found to be cracked. They're testing 192 bolts for possible future failure.”

According to retired Bechtel metallurgist Yun Chung, the cause of the cracks in the bolts was due to “hydrogen embrittlement — a process in which high strength metals, such as steel, become brittle and fracture due to hydrogen exposure.”

Bay Fastening Systems, a distributor of many types of fasteners, including the blind rivet, comments on the importance of safety testing on bridges. “Although this finding may delay the opening of the bridge, it was discovered before the bridge was opened,” says Michael Eichinger. “We hope that the issue with the bolts is fully resolved before the bridge is officially opened.”

Bay Fastening Systems is a full service distributor of engineered fastening systems that include blind rivets, pop rivets, drive rivets, solid & semi-tubular rivets, military spec rivets, lock bolts, inserts and specialized installation systems. Founded in 1962, Bay Fastening Systems has become a leader in the fasteners industry through its continuing commitment to quality service, deep product knowledge and consultation, and an easy ordering process.

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Michael Eichinger
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