Stiffness Analysis and Improvement of Bolt-Plate Contact Assemblies

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In a previous study it was shown that, a simplified expression for the stiffness of the plate member in a bolt-plate assembly can be found. The stiffnesses of the bolt and the connected plates are the primary quantities that control the lifetime of a dynamically loaded connection. The present study of stiffnesses is extended to include different material parameters by including the influence of Poisson's ratio. Two simple practical formulas are suggested and their accuracies are documented for different bolts and different material (Poisson's ratio). Secondly, the contact analysis between the bolt head and the plate is extended by the possibility of designing a gap, that is, a nonuniform distance between the bolt and plate before prestressing. Designing the gap function generates the possibility for a better stress field by which the stiffness of the bolt is lowered, and at the same time the stiffness of the members is increased. Both of these changes have a positive influence on the lifetime of the connections. From designing a varying gap size distribution, it is found that the stiffness become a function of the loading. It is shown that similar improvements in the stiffness ratio between the bolt and the member can be achieved by adding a chamfer to the hole in the members, or by changing the washer. In the two latter cases constant stiffness is obtained.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMechanics Based Design of Structures and Machines
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)47-66
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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