What is a Thread Protector?

Some rifle barrels are threaded to accept sound and flash suppressors.

A thread protector is a member of a family of disposable or reusable parts designed to close, protect or mask the threads of screws. They are used to protect threaded parts from damage, corrosion, ingress of contaminants, and as cosmetic finishes. Thread protectors are used to protect the threaded ends of pipes, gas cylinders, oil refinery equipment and firearms barrels. Line guard designs range in complexity from simple soft rubber sheaths designed to pull a line to multi-purpose machined steel end caps that incorporate various auxiliary features.

Thread protectors are often used to protect pipes from corrosion.

Screw threads are generally quite sensitive to physical damage and corrosion. When threaded parts or items with exposed threaded fittings are stored or transported, they need to be secured. The humble wire guard not only serves to prevent damage to the wires themselves, but also prevents dust, moisture or other contaminants from entering containers through exposed connections.

Corrosion protection is another important function of a thread protector. Cut wires in galvanized tubes remove surface protection; as a result they can be particularly susceptible to corrosion and should be covered with a line protector. They also prevent oil from contaminating the line and posing an explosion hazard. Often, a thread protector is used to mask threaded connections when newly fabricated parts are painted.

Thread protectors also have a mechanical function on threaded components in environments such as the oil industry. Here, protectors can have additional features such as lifting rings included in their design. These caps not only protect the threads in drill string casings and pipes, but also serve as connection points for lifting them. These line protectors are heavy-duty cast steel items, typically featuring integral projections that help tighten them to the pipes.

See also  What is Experimental Research Machine

Protective caps are also used on threaded firearm barrels to accept sound and flash suppressors. These wire protectors generally have a better finish than their utilitarian industrial brethren and offer protection and cosmetic treatment. They are often ribbed for ease of tightening and sometimes include integrated front sight mounts. Gun barrel protectors are usually made of steel or aluminum and typically stamped or laser engraved with the relevant thread pitch information.

Line protectors are not always threaded and many are no more than simple extruded silicone rubber sleeves. They are most commonly used to cover the threads on precision screws, CO2 cylinders and small diameter threaded tubes. The materials used for push-on protectors are usually silicone rubber, vinyl and polyethylene. These caps can include integral stoppers and can provide a degree of pressure sealing in addition to protecting the threads. This type of protector is often used in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry to seal pipes and service points against ingress of contaminants.

Leave a Comment