At first, the announcement of yet another thread-locking compound seems about as groundbreaking as a new way to boil water. When it comes to thread lockers, Loctite, Permatex, 3M and an assortment of other companies already have the bases covered. But this one is different. It’s called Vibra-Stop, and rather than being designed to hold nuts and bolts in a never-let-me-go death grip, this brush-on liquid is primarily intended to prevent fasteners of all kinds from loosening due to vibration.
Several factors make Vibra-Stop different than other thread lockers. For one, it’s an acrylic-based resin that doesn’t have to be applied right before installation; you can brush it on a nut, bolt or whatever and then store the fastener indefinitely before use, with no loss of effectiveness as a result. Second, it’s reusable; the manufacturer, Tectorius North America (www.tectorius.com), claims that a fastener coated with Vibra-Stop can be installed, removed and reinstalled up to five times without reapplication—although my experience with the product indicates that after four uses, its effectiveness diminishes enough to warrant recoating. Third, it works on plastic, wood and other non-metallic surfaces; this makes it ideal for applications such as small plastic screws in instruments and electrical components, as well as on other fasteners with soft, fine threads. Fourth, it isn’t limited just to threaded fasteners; it also can help secure dowels, guide pins and the like. And finally, because it is waterproof and resistant to most solvents, it can seal the area around a bolt, stud or dowel.
Vibra-Stop is not a replacement for high-strength thread lockers such as Loctite Blue or Red. So, if your intent is to secure the axle nuts on your record-breaking land-speed racer, this isn’t the answer. But if you want to prevent vibration and other chatter-type movement from loosening some of the key hardware on your street or dirt motorcycle—or your car, truck, snowblower or GSX-R-powered skateboard—Vibra-Stop may be the answer, especially for fasteners you frequently have to remove and reinstall.
Vibra-Stop is a new product, and for the present, it is not yet sold in retail stores. It can be purchased directly from Tectorius by calling the company at 586/232-3999 or e-mailing the request to firstname.lastname@example.org. A 1.01-ounce bottle sells for $18, or 2 for $25. Shipping is free regardless of the number of bottles purchased.