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Prediction of Clamp Load Loss Under Fully Reversed Cyclic Loads in Bolted Joints

[+] Author Affiliations
Payam H. Matin, Sayed A. Nassar

Oakland University, Rochester, MI

Paper No. DETC2005-84039, pp. 567-584; 18 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4c: 18th Reliability, Stress Analysis, and Failure Prevention Conference
  • Long Beach, California, USA, September 24–28, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4741-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3766-1
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The amount of clamp load loss due to a fully reversed cyclic service load is determined for a bolted assembly in which both the fastener and the joint were initially tightened beyond their respective proportional limits. After the initial tightening of the fastener, the joint is subsequently subjected to a fully reversed cyclic load that acts as a tensile separating force in the first half cycle, and as a compressive force on the joints during the second half cycle of the loading. During the first quarter cycle, the separating force would increase the fastener tensile stress further into the non-linear range. Such separating force would simultaneously reduce the clamping force in the bolted joint. At the end of the following quarter of the cycle, the bolted joint system reaches a new equilibrium point between the fastener tension and the joint clamping force. At the new equilibrium point, the clamp load is reduced from its initial value, due to the plastic elongation of the fastener. In the third quarter of the cycle, the compressive service load would increase the joint compressive stress into the non-linear range. Similarly, the clamp load loss would be increased at the end of the second half cycle, due to the plastic compression in the joint. The total clamp load loss may significantly lead to joint leakage, loosening, or fatigue failure. A non-linear strain hardening model is implemented in order to determine the clamp load loss due to accumulative effect of the permanent set in the fastener and the joint after the service load had been removed. Various rates of strain hardening are used for modeling the behavior of the fastener and joint materials. The effect of three non-dimensional variables on the amount of clamp load loss is investigated. The variables include the joint-to-fastener stiffness ratio, the ratio of the initial fastener tension to its elastic limit, and the ratio of the external force to its maximum tensile value that would cause joint separation to start.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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