Threadlocker Shelf Life Concerns...?

Full Curl

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I just got my new 300rum build and was anxious to get some glass on her. I usually use a littler threadlocker on my ring cap crews just for extra insurance. I had a small tube of blue Permatex that was unopened and brand new, maybe 2 years old, at the most 3? I thought it would be fine since it was unopened, I kneaded it and shook it up as best I could and installed the scope.

I'm starting to really question if the threadlocker was any good still? The drops I put on a plastic tray to use when installing the scope really didn't ever dry. They sort of just stayed slimy and never fully dried.

I used so little on my screws I can't see any excess in the rings to tell if it set up or not? Any I missing something here or does this stuff have a shelf life? I'm going to put some on a normal bolt and nut tonight as a test to see what it does. I really don't want to remove the scope and remount as it's perfect as is but I also want to have good threadlocker working correctly.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
 

Hugnot

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No problems here, if the blue stuff is still liquid it always has worked for me. Give it about 72 hours at room temps to set up (confined surfaces). I clean surfaces & threads with carb cleaner to remove oils. loose crud. grease & whatever. Get into the holes with a pipe cleaner fuzzies soaked with carb cleaner.
 

jrock

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You should be fine.
I stopped putting blue thread locker on scope rings. I use the purple or no thread locker at all. Some manufactures don't recommend a thread locker as it acts like a lubricant and increases the crush on the scope tube with the same torque value as dry.
 

emp1953

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Sep 29, 2013
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I just got my new 300rum build and was anxious to get some glass on her. I usually use a littler threadlocker on my ring cap crews just for extra insurance. I had a small tube of blue Permatex that was unopened and brand new, maybe 2 years old, at the most 3? I thought it would be fine since it was unopened, I kneaded it and shook it up as best I could and installed the scope.

I'm starting to really question if the threadlocker was any good still? The drops I put on a plastic tray to use when installing the scope really didn't ever dry. They sort of just stayed slimy and never fully dried.

I used so little on my screws I can't see any excess in the rings to tell if it set up or not? Any I missing something here or does this stuff have a shelf life? I'm going to put some on a normal bolt and nut tonight as a test to see what it does. I really don't want to remove the scope and remount as it's perfect as is but I also want to have good threadlocker working correctly.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
I worked in the Aerospace industry and used Blue and Red Loctite. the little bottles were kept in a refrigerated rigidly controlled environment, labeled with an expiration date. When the Loctite was removed from the cold storage the original expiration date was replaced with a new one because the loctite was no longer refrigerated. From that experience I have to say that in the case of Loctite, it definitely has a shelf life and expiration date.
 

RidgeTop

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for a few $$, get a new bottle.

I wash all screws and screw holes plus inside of rings and outside of scope tube with lighter fluid to remove all machine oil. Very little thread lock required.
 

khmplus

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Jan 21, 2022
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You should be fine.
I stopped putting blue thread locker on scope rings. I use the purple or no thread locker at all. Some manufactures don't recommend a thread locker as it acts like a lubricant and increases the crush on the scope tube with the same torque value as dry.
Charts are available for dry vs lubricated torque values.
 

C-130 Dude

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I just got my new 300rum build and was anxious to get some glass on her. I usually use a littler threadlocker on my ring cap crews just for extra insurance. I had a small tube of blue Permatex that was unopened and brand new, maybe 2 years old, at the most 3? I thought it would be fine since it was unopened, I kneaded it and shook it up as best I could and installed the scope.

I'm starting to really question if the threadlocker was any good still? The drops I put on a plastic tray to use when installing the scope really didn't ever dry. They sort of just stayed slimy and never fully dried.

I used so little on my screws I can't see any excess in the rings to tell if it set up or not? Any I missing something here or does this stuff have a shelf life? I'm going to put some on a normal bolt and nut tonight as a test to see what it does. I really don't want to remove the scope and remount as it's perfect as is but I also want to have good threadlocker working correctly.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
Most of these have an expiration date. Take a look for it. I did purchase a bottle a several years ago that turned out to be bogus. It was a bit lumpy after needing. Just didnt look or feel right. Cures via anaerobic process (under pressure). Sent it back to the company and they confirmed this. They told me the key to this stuff working is to have clean surfaces and make sure the mating surfaces fit well-no slop. Makes me wonder what I had bought. Fermented gorilla snot?
 

jrock

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I guess my point was that there is a difference and care should be taken.
Loctite doesn't even recommend using blue on fasteners less than 1/4" per their user guide. With torque head screws on ring mounts, I haven't had issues when blue has been applied. Flat heads, that's another story.
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ENGUNEER

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I have and still use some loctite threadlocker than is at least 15 years old and kept in my garage. I have never had any problems with it. By the way, it only cures in an anerobic environment and doesn't cure well against plastics (that is why it is kept in a plastic bottle with a lot of air present inside). For my optic mounts, I use the purple loctite that is meant for small screws (I can't remember the number but can get it if someone is interested). Sometimes the blue is a little too much and don't use the red since it is "permanent".
 

Full Curl

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Thanks for all the replies. I know the "threadlocker vs. no threadlocker" topic is sort of like "how to best break in a barrel" or "clean a bore", lots of good opinions out there. I like to control all the variables I can and this is one way I can control a variable in my LR setup. I only put a tiny bit on maybe 2-4 threads with a toothpick and torq all screws to spec. I've been doing this for 20+ years and have never had any issues damaging the scope, rings, or not being able to remove them by hand. I have used purple on some smaller calibers but mainly use blue on all my magnums, never have used red. I once bought a used stick with an el-cheapo scope installed and whoever did it must have used red because what a PITA, I ended up having to use a small butane torch to heat the crap out of them to break them lose and even ended up breaking 1 or 2 screw heads off. Cleaning the screws and threads in the rings with something like brake cleaner or acetone or something similar before installation is VERY important.

So I did my test last night... cleaned a 1/4" nut and bolt with acetone and then spun the nut on with some blue threadlocker. Checked it this morning and was pleasantly surprised, it was solid, I didn't put any force on it, but will do that here after the 72 hour cure period and see what happens. Now I'm feeling much better about this scope installation... fingers still crossed!

I checked all over the packaging and on the tube and there was no expiration date or any mention of shelf life or expiration. Once again this was Permatex brand blue. To me, Loctite blue seems not to be as viscous as the Permatex.
 

HSmithTX

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Jan 11, 2022
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I keep mine in the house so 70-75 degrees all the time, red 271 and 242 blue still doing what they should 15ish years later.
 

ntsqd

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I've got a huge bottle of a capillary action blue, got it for cheap because the sell-by date had passed. I've yet to see degradation in behavior or performance. One jaded Engineer I used to work with speculated that the product was given an expiration date so that Henkel could sell more product. Bottles that hit their "use by" date were still performing as expected. That said, there is an outer limit to how long the stuff stays good, and I've hit it on a couple bottles. One was a 15ml bottle of 545, 😭 , so some sort of "use by" date does seem appropriate for highly sensitive applications.

"Anaerobic" is without free oxygen, pressure or the lack of it has little to do with the curing process. For lock-tite type fluids to catalyze they are formulated to need metal contact and be in an environment with no free oxygen. Impurities (oil, etc.) on the metal inhibit the catalyzation process in two ways, they interfere with the metal triggering the catalyzation and they interfere with the bonding of the adhesive to the metal itself.
 
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