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See NASA quote.

Space Station

Why SureBolt?

Measures tension not torque,

Patented whole echo method,

Graphs tension changes in real-time,

Instrument is built into the PC,

  13.3" Color TOUCHSCREEN
ToughBook Open & Closed

Friction varies too much, bolt to bolt,

Not fooled by friction variations,

Using lubrication still leaves large friction variations,

Avoid flange leaks,


Prove to safety you took a reliable tension reading,

Far greater reliability,

All other bolt gages are one-point bolt gages,

No more zero-crossing peak jumping,

ALL other bolt gages have problems with peak jumping,

Dramatic improvement due to a new patented DSP technique,

Proven by NASA,

Can record over a million bolt tensions with their waveforms,

Playback built in,

Excel compatible data files,

Flange bolts easily grouped together,

Critical bolts,

Verify your design,


Tension verification,


Much easier to use,

Graphical help,

On-line help,

Dynamic help,

13" Color Screen instead of 5" black & white screen,

Full keyboard instead of a few cryptic keys,

Record field notes with your tension data,

You can use long file names,

Large on-screen buttons,

Familiar WinXP/2000 operating system,

Full featured laptop - Panasonic Toughbook Model 72 computer,

1 year limited warrantee,

No need to transfer data to another machine,

No hidden information,

To sum it up, vastly easier and more reliable.

Press here for a detailed point by point comparison to all other bolt gages.

Why Did NASA Use SureBolt? 


SureBoltTM uses more than one point

Existing ultrasonic bolt gages are limited in reliability and resolution because they only use one point (one zero crossing) in the whole reflected waveform.  Distortions in the echo can cause "peak-jumping" without your knowing it (also see texts on nondestructive testing or NDT as applied to bolted joints.).

Ultrasonic bolt gages transmit a sound pulse (ultrasonic) into one end of a bolt and listen for the echo (like sonar). When you tension the bolt it takes a longer time for the echo to return (the bolt stretches and the speed of sound slows down).

For over 30 years, bolt gages have measured this “echo time” by starting and stopping a counter (clock).  The counter is started when the ultrasonic pulse is sent out, and the counter is stopped using a single zero-crossing event in the return echo as shown in the Figures below.  

Tension often induces distortion of the echo which can cause the clock to miss a peak with NO display indicating that this peak jumping has occurred.



SureBoltTM outperforms  other bolt gages by using all of the return echo’s data. This increases the reliability and accuracy dramatically.  The entire reference echo is recorded and compared to the entire new echo when you tension the bolt (see animation).  

SureBoltTM’s screen graphically overlays and displays the two echoes and lets you see any distortions that tensioning might cause.  Some distortions are caused by moving the ultrasonic transducer (slipping, off center, loss of coupling, ...), and other distortions are due to the actual tension in the bolt that deforms the surface of the bolt.  With SureBoltTM , if there are distortions, you will know this immediately!

Because of the distortion factor, some existing “one point” bolt gages include a built in scope to let you see the echo’s strength. But they still only use one point, and they do not store the zero tension’s entire echo. So how do you tell if the new echo is distorted?  

See the figure to the left and guess which zero crossing (yellow or green dot) the "one point" bolt gages will use. Answer:  

The first small peak grew and will cause the "one point" bolt gages to read far less tension than is really in the bolt.

SureBoltTM stores enough information for each bolt to make the reliability of each measurement much more obvious.  SureBoltTM uses the familiar Windows 98/2000 user interface to record and play back data. See the comparison table between SureBolt and all other bolt gages.



NASA compares SureBoltTM to one point bolt gage

Short bolts, weak echo bolts, and bolts that distort the echo when they are tensioned are unreliable with one-point bolt gages.  For example, the CBM Attach Ring bolts used to hold NASA’s Space Station together were too short and the echoes were too weak for the one-point bolt gages to be very reliable.  The pressure test, using the "old technology" bolt gages, was difficult. With SureBoltTM, it became easy. 

On the next test, a SureBoltTM prototype was used on 6 bolts, and it was fully reliable at all tensions.  The SureBoltTM prototype readings were directly compared to the one-point bolt gage readings for each of the next 5 tests.  

After the third test, NASA stopped requesting the data from the one-point bolt gages and relied solely on the SureBoltTM prototype because SureBoltTM outperformed the one-point bolt gages on every bolt and every test in reliability and accuracy (see comparison table).

Before SureBoltTM, few mechanical engineers had enough experience and training in non destructive testing (NDT), to reliably use a bolt gage. See the actual SureBoltTM screens of a typical use.  Non destructive testing specialists have used bolt gages for years.  The field of mechanical engineering can use SureBoltTM to verify their bolted joint designs.

Go to the comparison table for a more detailed list of the improvements and technical breakthroughs of SureBolt.

Back to the main SureBoltTM navigation screen.


Contact us by e-mail ( or phone (780) 983-1858. Note: We do NOT give out our client addresses to anyone, for any price.








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Let us know how we can help you.

(800) 732-7832
Postal address
1022 Antelope Trail, Winter Springs, FL 32708, USA

Send your email to with questions or  comments about how we can help. Contact us here, or type in the email address shown above (Due to spam, we have replaced the text email address, with the image email address shown above).

Note: Privacy. We will NOT give your contact information to anyone.

 No more guessing as to which "one point" is the right point.


The FIRST whole echo method (patented DSP Technique).

SureBolt picture

Built into a 
Panasonic Toughbook

Weather proof keyboard.

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Last Modified: September 27, 2011