United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 89-59: Suppliers of Potentially Misrepresented Fasteners

                                  UNITED STATES
                          NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                             WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                                 August 16, 1989



All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power 


This information notice is being provided to inform addressees of the names of 
suppliers and/or manufacturers of suspected counterfeit fasteners that were 
identified as a result of information reported in response to NRC Bulletin 
No. 87-02, "Fastener Testing To Determine Conformance With Applicable Material 
Specifications," and Supplements 1 and 2 thereto.  Information is also 
provided on a Grand Jury indictment, dated June 27, 1989, of AIRCOM Fasteners, 
Incorporated, for allegedly providing nonconforming and falsely identified 
fasteners to Comanche Peak, the Department of Defense, and other customers.  
It is expected that recipients will review the information for applicability 
to their facilities and consider actions, as appropriate, to avoid similar 
problems.  However, suggestions contained in this information notice do not 
constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response 
is required.  

Description of Circumstances:

On November 6, 1987, the NRC issued Bulletin No. 87-02 to all holders of 
operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power reactors in order 
to determine whether counterfeit fasteners were a concern in the nuclear power 
industry.  The bulletin requested addressees to determine whether fasteners 
obtained for use in their facilities met the chemical and mechanical specifi-
cations stipulated in the procurement documents by sampling typical studs, 
bolts, cap screws, and nuts.  The bulletin also required addressees to provide 
the names of suppliers and manufacturers of the fasteners.  The NRC staff has 
compiled the information submitted by the addressees and determined that some 
fasteners supplied to the nuclear industry may have been misrepresented or 

A summary of the fastener testing data can be found in NUREG-1349, 
"Compilation of Fastener Testing Data Received in Response to NRC Compliance 
Bulletin 87-02."  The NUREG summarizes the data according to licensee, 
manufacturer, supplier, and fastener specification.  NUREG documents can be 
obtained from:  

.                                                            IN 89-59 
                                                            August 16, 1989 
                                                            Page 2 of 3 

1.  The Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Post 
    Office Box 37082, Washington, D.C.  20013-7082.  

2.  The National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia  22161.


Over the past several years, the presence of counterfeit fasteners has been 
identified throughout various industries, associations, and Federal agencies.  
These fasteners have been mismarked to indicate a material content and 
composition different from the actual bolt content.  

The primary problem has been with SAE J429 Grade 8.2 fasteners that were 
marked and sold as Grade 8.  Grade 8 refers to the highest standard strength 
achieved in the manufacture of bolts and hex cap screws.  Grade 8 bolts are 
medium carbon alloy steel, quenched and tempered at a minimum temperature of 
800� F.  The carbon content is between 0.28 and 0.55 weight percent with no 
specification for boron.  Grade 8 fasteners are heat treated to achieve a 
hardness of 33 to 39 on the Rockwell C scale.  Grade 8.2 fasteners are low 
carbon martensite steel, fully killed, fine grain, and quenched and tempered 
at a minimum temperature of 650� F.  Grade 8.2 bolts have a carbon content of 
0.15 to 0.25 weight percent and a minimum of 0.0005 weight percent boron.  
Grade 8.2 fasteners are heat treated to achieve a hardness of 35 to 42 on the 
Rockwell C scale.

Two concerns arise with regard to the use of Grade 8.2 fasteners in Grade 8 
applications.  The first concern is the failure of Grade 8.2 bolts from 
relaxation under load at elevated temperatures.  Because of the lower temper-
ing temperature, Grade 8.2 bolts will relax at a lower temperature than Grade 
8 bolts.  Secondly, industry experience has shown that bolts with hardness 
values exceeding 39 on the Rockwell C scale are prone to embrittlement if not 
properly processed during manufacture.  In certain applications, the use of 
mismarked Grade 8.2 bolts in Grade 8 applications could result in failure. 

The mismarking and selling of SAE J429 Grade 5.2 as Grade 5 fasteners is 
similar to the Grade 8 issue.  Grade 5 and Grade 5.2 fasteners are both 
tempered at a minimum temperature of 800� F; therefore, relaxation at ele-
vated temperatures is not a problem for these bolts.  However, the mismarking 
of the bolts is indicative of product substitution which may extend to other, 
more critical products.

The companies listed below have been identified from addressee responses as 
providing suspected counterfeit fasteners to the nuclear industry.                               

     Supplier Name                 Address

     Bennett Bolt Works            Unknown
     Bolts & Nuts, Inc.            Chattanooga, Tennessee
     Glasser & Associates          El Cerrito, California
     Knoxville Bolt & Screw        Knoxville, Tennessee
     Metal Fastener Supply         Decatur, Alabama
     Phoell Manufacturing Co.      Minneapolis, Minnesota
     Service Supply Co.            Unknown
     Southeastern Bolt & Screw     Chattanooga, Tennessee
     Sure-Loc, Inc.                Charlotte, North Carolina
     Victory Bolt, Inc.            Knoxville, Tennessee
.                                                            IN 89-59 
                                                            August 16, 1989 
                                                            Page 3 of 3 

On June 27, 1989, a Fort Worth, Texas, Grand Jury handed down an indictment of 
AIRCOM Fasteners, Incorporated, of Arlington, Texas, and Yamaguchi-Seisakusho 
Company, Limited, of Japan, for allegedly providing nonconforming and falsely 
identified fasteners to Comanche Peak and other customers. 

The indictment further alleges that false, fictitious, and fraudulent docu-
ments were made and caused to be made at AIRCOM for delivery to the Department
of Defense, Peterbilt Motors Company, and Texas Utilities at Comanche Peak 
Nuclear Power Plant to execute and cover up the scheme, including certificates 
of conformance, certified material test reports, laboratory reports, 
metallurgical reports, plating certificates, gage certifications, heat treat 
certifications, purchase orders, vendor quote sheets, correspondence, 
invoices, quality assurance records, and affidavits. 

As a result of the above information and the indictments identifying alleged 
record falsification and misrepresentation, addressees may wish to review 
nuclear procurements from these vendors to ensure that appropriate bases exist 
for the use of fasteners that they may have supplied for safety-related 
applications or to be upgraded for use in safety-related applications.  
Further, it is important for addressees performing audits of fastener manu-
facturers and suppliers to include a review of the basis for certifications 
provided by vendors and the supporting tests and records of traceability.  
Addressees may wish to review the adequacy of previous vendor audits and their 
general vendor approval process in light of this information (reference 
Information Notice No. 88-35, "Inadequate Licensee Performed Vendor Audits"). 

This information notice requires no specific action or written response.  If 
you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact 
the technical contact listed below or the appropriate NRR project manager. 

                              Charles E. Rossi, Director
                              Division of Operational Events Assessment
                              Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical Contact:  Gregory C. Cwalina, NRR
                    (301) 492-3221

Attachment:  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices 
.                                                            Attachment 
                                                            IN 89-59 
                                                            August 16, 1989 
                                                            Page 1 of 1

                             LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED
                             NRC INFORMATION NOTICES
Information                                  Date of 
Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to_______

89-58          Disablement of Turbine-Driven 8/3/89         All holders of OLs
               Auxiliary Feedwater Pump Due                 or CPs for PWRs. 
               to Closure of One of the 
               Parallel Steam Supply Valves 

89-57          Unqualified Electrical        7/26/89        All holders of OLs
               Splices in Vendor-Supplied                   or CPs for nuclear
               Environmentally Qualified                    power reactors. 

89-56          Questionable Certification    7/20/89        All holders of OLs
               of Material Supplied to the                  or CPs for nuclear
               Defense Department by Nuclear                power reactors. 

89-45,         Metalclad, Low-Voltage        7/6/89         All holders of OLs
Supp. 1        Power Circuit Breakers                       or CPs for nuclear 
               Refurbished With Substandard                 power reactors. 

89-55          Degradation of Containment    6/30/89        All holders of OLs
               Isolation Capability by a                    or CPs for nuclear
               High-Energy Line Break                       power reactors. 

89-54          Potential Overpressurization  6/23/89        All holders of OLs
               of the Component Cooling                     or CPs for nuclear
               Water System                                 power reactors. 

89-53          Rupture of Extraction         6/13/89        All holders of OLs 
               Steam Line on High                           or CPs for nuclear 
               Pressure Turbine                             power reactors. 

88-46,         Licensee Report of            6/8/89         All holders of OLs
Supp. 3        Defective Refurbished                        or CPs for nuclear
               Circuit Breakers                             power reactors. 

89-52          Potential Fire Damper         6/8/89         All holders of OLs
               Operational Problems                         or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors. 

89-51          Potential Loss of Required    5/31/89        All holders of OLs
               Shutdown Margin During                       or CPs for nuclear
               Refueling Operations                         power reactors. 
OL = Operating License 
CP = Construction Permit 
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015