On analysis and redesign of bolted L-flanged connections

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In wind turbine towers, the preferred design is circular tubes that are connected by a bolted flange joint. The design is typically that of an L-flange resulting in an eccentrically loaded bolted connection. The eccentricity results in a non-linear relationship between external load on the tower and the tensile force in the bolt. In the literature and also in standards,different models are presented for this important non-linear response. In the present paper, a simplified expression for the non-linear force response is presented based on finite element calculations using contact analysis. The L-flange connection is in essence a bad design because it leads to a non-optimal ratio between external force and bolt force. Furthermore,bolt bending results in an even higher bolt stress resulting in a reduction of strength. The present paper presents simple modifications of the L-flange design that considerably improves the connection strength.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1069-1082
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • L-flange
  • Bolt
  • Eccentric
  • Contact
  • Design
  • FE


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