Optimization of bolt thread stress concentrations

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Designs of threaded fasteners are controlled by different standards, and the number of different thread definitions is large. The most commonly used thread is probably the metric ISO thread, and this design is therefore used in the present paper. Thread root design controls the stress concentration factor of threads and therefore indirectly the bolt fatigue life. The root shape is circular, and from shape optimization for minimum stress concentration it is well known that the circular shape is seldom optimal. An axisymmetric Finite Element formulation is used to analyze the bolted connection, and a study is performed to establish the need for contact modeling with regard to finding the correct stress concentration factor. Optimization is performed with a simple parameterization with two design variables. Stress reduction of up to 9% is found in the optimization process, and some similarities are found in the optimized designs leading to the proposal of a new standard. The reductions in the stress are achieved by rather simple changes made to the cutting tool.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchive of Applied Mechanics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-14
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Metric ISO thread
  • Rot design
  • Stress concentration
  • Optimization
  • Contact


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