Non-linear FEA of Combined Joint of Metal and Nonmetal Structure Components

Anderson, Eric A., Henry, Robert F., Shkolnikov, Vladimir M.
Art Anderson Associates, Bremerton, WA, USA Combined bonding/fastening joints of metal and non-metal structure components are quite beneficial for heterogeneous structural systems to maximize their capacity/weight efficiency. Correct design analysis of such joints is, however, a challenging task that requires sophisticated non-linear 3D structure simulation. Paper reflects results of ABAQUS FE analysis of such a combined joint utilized in composite module of floating lighter system.



The paper is related to design and production of large heterogeneous load-bearing systems such as ships and marine floating platforms. The joints of metal and non-metal structural components are an integral part of such constructions. The joined components could be either composite sections of metal ships, for instance composite superstructures of a metal surface vessels, outboard structural structures (sail, stabilizer, nose dome etc) of a submarine, or metal connectors and other installations for a composite module of a floating lighter platform. The module is being developed by Art Anderson Association (AAA) in the frameworks of an engineering investigation aimed at creation of Navy Shore Entry Amphibious and Barge Offloading System (SEABOS). The module is an elementary unit of the deployable floating platform for discharging cargo from ships and moving that to shore in the event a port is denied, degraded or not available [1, 2]. This is a relatively large composite structure, the overall dimensions of which are 80’×24’×8’ = 24.4×7.3×2.4m. The principal module’s distinction from the conventional marine structures is that this is outfitted with rigid and flex connectors for joining with other modules to be deployed as various floating platform configurations. The platforms are subjected to high sea state that brings about severe operational conditions for the modules. Specifically, the paper is dedicated to a FE analysis of joint of the metal rigid connector with the basic composite structure of the module. The FE analysis is performed regarding a non-uniform non-linear structural model constructed of 3D solid elements with utilization of ABAQUS software.


Problem identification

Three typical techniques are commonly used for the joining of heterogeneous load-bearing structures: 1) mechanical fastening with utilization of bolts, screws, or rivets; 2) bonding using a polymer resin or an adhesive; 3) combined bonding/fastening. The primary benefit of mechanically fastening is easy disassembly, inspection, and repairing of the joined components. The major drawback is the stress concentration nearby fastener holes and non-uniform stress distribution between the holes. That leads to high failure probability of the

2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference


when a standard non-tapered structural profile (angle) is employed as a joining agent. This ideal mental picture of a combined joint behavior might be reflected at a simplified expression relevant to the overall joint bearing capability Q : Q= c ∑ ∑ j   fi i  Y f A fi + cb S b Ab   j (1) where: Y is the yield strength of a metal fastener. A fastener could achieve its yield point continuingly bearing its partial load and allowing underloaded fasteners to take higher load. if applied. Particularly. In addition. the hole inner surface is subject of intensive corrosion due to the seawater exposure. are configured so that their strength potential is limited by adhered failure outside of the joint boundary. The greatest benefit is reduction of stress concentration nearby the holes and smoothing of the non-uniform stress distribution. f and b are indexes denoting fasteners and bonding film respectfully. Watertightness of the mechanically fastened joint is also a significant issue pertinent to most marine engineering structures. there are penalties in weight. Particularly. production cost. Nevertheless. 4].entire joint when one fastener fails and to lowering the joint actual efficiency depending on individual capability of the fasteners. Interaction of the bonding and fastening brings about the mutually supportive effect. To avoid that. In addition. the watertight integrity and corrosion protection are both maintained in a natural way by filling up all gaps and cavities of the combined joints with a polymer resin/adhesive. 2 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference . Stress determination and strength reconciliation of the combined joints both are not trivial computational tasks. that smoothes the load distribution and heightens the joint capability. That includes areas inaccessible for inspection and application of protective anticorrosion coating. All that considerably increases serviceability and reliability of the structure and lessens its weight. i and j are count indexes of the individual fasteners and contacting surfaces. The combination of bonding and fastening substantially reduces the shortcomings pointed-out above. and maintenance expenses. thereby ensuring full structural redundancy. c is a reduction coefficient relevant to partial involvement of an individual joining agent due to non-uniformity of stress distribution over the entire joint structure. and lowered structural efficiency as a result of the redundancy. it is necessary to perform a detail FE simulation to obtain analytically verified data on determination and optimization of the joint design parameters. Obviously. which significantly increases load-bearing capability of a combined joint. Overall. while fasteners are unbroken the adhesive film can not be destroyed. cost. minimization of the peel stresses is a tricky task. Concurrently. A is the cross-section area of each a joining component. while the bonding adhesive film exists the fasteners can not fail. Bonding joints. While the benefits of the combined bonding/fastening are recognized. Apparently. if more than one is designed. the peel stresses known to significantly reduce joint strength are the primary cause of failure of the bonding joints. this is only a reason for the existing conservative requirement that each component of the combined joint. applicable for comparatively low-loaded heterogeneous structures. S is the allowed strength of an adhesive film. it is difficult to achieve them executing the conventional structural design procedure. is designed to carry the entire load. The known results of previous investigations and collected design and operation experience testifies convincingly for considering a combined joint as a consolidated structural unit [3.

Computational model Such a FE analysis has been carried out based on ABAQUS software regarding a combined joint of a metal rigid connector with a basic composite module structure of a SEABOS floatable platform [1. and its boundary-loading conditions are represented on Figure 1. respectfully. This can model the processes of non-linear deforming of multi-laminate composite systems under arbitrary loading and enables evaluation of stress-strain state. The GRP applied for the module skins is a fiber glass – epoxy resin quadraxial (0°/+45°/-45°/90°) stitch-bonded composition based on Glass = P4MA to BFG spec ES0024 and a toughened epoxy = Formulation B to BFG spec ES0023 system. The glass package includes a small amount of a mat. So far.01” epoxy film. This is a representative example to illustrate the structural behavior of a combined joint as well as the efficiency of the applied FE computational model and software. In particular. The stiffeners of the GRP rib cage are ¾” thick plates spaced 3½” apart. a backing GRP rib cage. The model undergoes global bending relevant to the required sea state 5 conditions in the PiersonMoskowitz spectrum [1. 3. The model comprises of a composite (GRP) structure. The bolt heads are tied to the steel plates. a polymer adhesive film. The adhesive is considered as a linearly elastic material. and maintenance cost reduction regarding heavy-loaded heterogeneous structures. Restraints are applied to the top deck and to the vertical stiffeners and bottom face of the exterior skin. Two runs have been completed on this model. One is with a bolt pretension of 28 kips per bolt and the global tension load of 582kips. Another has been done with a bolt pretension load of 1. The ¾” bolts fastening the steel and GRP sections via barrel-nuts are modeled as steel round rods. The individual plastic properties of the utilized steels are approximated as shown on Figure 2 based on the given properties data [5].The expression (1) is simple however quantification of the c coefficients is quite problematical in simplified modeling. The coefficients c are variable in range 0 ≤ c ≤ 1 depending on actual structure configuration and loading conditions.5 kips 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference 3 . The adhesive is represented as 0. cycle time and/or material cost savings. The structure is modeled as a section of the module and reflects its basic design parameters. and steel barrel-nuts with fastening bolts. a steel housing structure of the rigid connector. 2]. strength. vibration and dynamic resistance pertinent to the problem under consideration. At the present. the composite part is modeled as a structure 48” tall by 27” wide with a 5/8” thick top deck and a 1¾” thick end wall. the bolts to GRP and to barrel. 2]. Mechanical properties of the applied GRP composition as well as of other utilized materials are summarized in Tables 1 and 2. The barrelnuts themselves are modeled as 4½”(OD)×3/8” steel pipes. The bolts are loaded with additional pretension load. the task is resolvable throughout a non-linear FE analysis with application of advanced commercially available FE software. Only way to determine them analytically is accurate simulation of the combined joints with a non-uniform computational model in its nonlinear deforming. the whole model assembly. the adequate and accurate simulation of the combined joints under operational exposure is the pressing task with respect to the development of efficient heterogeneous structural systems. Presumably. elastic stability. by the barrel to GRP ribs. The connector housing is assembled of two welded ½” steel plates. design improvements. ABAQUS FE software is quite suitable for the above-described problem. such the analysis will result in measurable labor. All these features. The parts are assembled and tied by contact surfaces of the GRP and steel plates with adhesive film.

Correspondingly to possible failure modes of composite parts. the lay up technology commonly used for marine structures is associated more with the initiation and propagation of embedded cracks or flaws than with in-plane fracturing.e. for laminated structures. Failure of joined metal part (mode 3). intralaminar cracking (mode 2). The shown Moiré pictures reflect Von Misses stresses of the joint structural components. Overall. The 28 kips is based on the AISC standard bolt pretension for a ¾” diameter bolt and the 1. σ y and shear σ xy stresses results in a critical stress equal to the yield strength this combination of the stresses is assumed to just produce the yielding. in general. The stress disturbance inherent to a structural joint due to its complicated configuration brings about distinct 3D stress state which requires. when the applied tension has approached its maximum. 3D failure analysis of applied materials. For metal parts. The common used quadratic 3D criterion relevant to the mode 1 failure of a structural orthotropic composite is expressed as [9]: 4 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference . Those are reflecting specified conditions of operation and individual properties of an applied material composition. For instance. 4. i. Figures 3 . delamination due to transverse normal and/or shear stresses (interlaminar separation). dictate that each failure mechanism be evaluated in the structural analysis. The failure modes typically inherent to joints of heterogeneous structures are the following: Failure of fiber reinforcement of composite structural part (mode 1). particular design solutions.7 illustrate the computational results regarding the bolt pretension load of 1. Breakage of mechanical fasteners (mode 4). and manufacturing processes. all stress components of the structure on varied load steps are gained. Results analysis and discussion In a result of the performed FE simulation. Specific conditions of the operation. 2D and 3D failure criteria should be applied to characterize the material stress level. selected materials. that could be done via strength reconciliation applying the Huber-Mises formula convenient for checking the effect of applied stresses on the yielding of metal plates: 2 σ cr = σ x − σ xσ y + σ 2 y + 3σ xy (2) If a certain combination of normal σ x .and the same global load. Debonding of the joined structures as result of adhesive film failure (mode 2a). resulting in delaminations through the thickness of the laminated shell structures. causing loss of in-plane shear load carrying capability due to extensive matrix damage and. Matrix damage. all are factors affecting the joint failure mode.5 kips has been based on 5% of the AISC standard. That could be done conventionally via comparison of the acting stresses with allowed stresses which are determined as a function of the ultimate strength taking into account knockdown and safety factors.5 kips at the final loading conditions. Changeability of the severe operational conditions that affect marine structures. the character of the structure behavior completely agrees with the preliminary constructed mental picture: the initial zones of high stress are getting non-linear widening along with the linear loading increase thus smoothing the stress distribution among the fasteners.

k = 1. 3 (5) To assess the initiation (or propagation) of a GRP delamination and/or debonds of an adhesive film the criterion (3) is simplified to 2D failure consideration: ~ ∑σ k =1 k3 2 2 for σ 33 ≤ 0 =H. So that. The FE analysis has validated the sufficient strength of the combined joint with regards to the particular design solution to meet the given operational requirements. The structure under consideration has been designed so that the metal section is the weakest link. edge delamination is driven by interlaminar stresses that exist near the free edges of a laminate. Depending on the sign of the normal stresses σ kk resulting in tension or compression. 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference 5 . All structural and joining components have been verified in their bearing capability based on the above represented criteria. 3 . temperature. The analysis performed with the 28 kip bolt pretension results in the bolts yielding while the analysis performed with the 1. the ~ are components of characteristic stresses: situation. regardless of the nature of loading. moisturizing.~ ∑∑ σ k =1 l =1 3 k kl 2 =H (3) where: H is a parameter summarizing actual stress level in a particular structure area.5 kip bolt pretension does not. Conclusions The computational results have clearly demonstrated that the applied FE model and software ABAQUS both are satisfactory to reflect structural behavior of the combined bonding/fastening joint. 5. l = 1. 2. For design reconciliation purposes. σ kl are acting stress components. The performed analytical work validated legitimacy and workability of this design concept. S k k are determined as   Skk Skk =  S   kk ( )t ( )c m for σ k k ≥ 0 for σ k k < 0 . m= 3 for σ 33 > 0 (6) This assumes that. answers to the failure onset. The performed simulation is quite useful to verify analytically the preliminary engineering assumption on the interaction of the structural components. S k l imply design allowable stresses conventionally reflecting design safety margin and strength knockdowns covering fatigue. S k l are ultimate stresses of a utilized GRP. 2. σ kl ~ = σ kl σ kl S kl (4) about the axes of orthotropy k . when H = 1 . and UV reducing influences. the 5% value is recommended to provide effective interaction of the bonding and fastening elements of the combined joint.

Leningrad. Outer Composite Hulls of Submarines. This situation necessitates the development of a specialized. 8. St..Shipbuilding Industry. P. 01.554. Another appropriate approach to resolve the problem related to the combine joint design is collecting of relevant computational data and construction on this base calculation instructions and diagrams regarding typical design solutions for a wide range of applications. 3. 24p.174. The optimization enables one to predetermine the weakest link of the joint and to control the mode of its failure onset.. Camanho. Petersburg (Russia): CSRI CM 4. 1983. 1991 Annual Book of ASTM Standards.10. 2001. Operational Requirements Document for Joint Modular Lighter System (JMLS). Railway Camanho. serviceable. 906-927.Shipbuilding Standard B. 2. 2/13/2001.. F. 28A (1997) 529 . The authors wish to express their gratitude for the financial support as well as for the contributions that have been made by other organizations and individuals involved in the project. 5.-v. . As the performed detailed FE analysis with 3D failure evaluations has demonstrated. References 1. pp. Shkolnikov. pp. US Navy.33. 136-162. F. 1999. V.. “Delamination Onset in Mechanically Fastened Joints in Composite Laminates”. Shkolnikov. Leningrad.. Nikolaev.M. Those approaches could be implemented in parallel to cover all practical design cases. V. Section 1. Stress analysis and strength prediction of mechanically fastened joint in FRP: a Revieu. Version 7. AAA. L.5. Design and Strength of Joints.ser.P. Guidance for Conceptual Structural Design. V.. Service Life of Composite Structures Undergoing Variable Operational Exposure. No.M. v. v. JMLS Program Management.Questions of Material-Science. 1988. the engineering problem associated with the structural design of reliable and cost effective large metal to composite joints structures goes beyond routine structural design practices. Matthews.The performed analysis is helpful in handling a factual stress situation and optimizing the joint configuration. Acknowledgement The work reported in the paper is a part of the authors’ research carried out at Art Anderson Association under the Navy sponsored research and development contract. P. Pressure Vessel. and cost effective composite structures for military and commercial marine applications. The commercially available FE code ABAQUS is well suited for such the problem resolution and could be considered as a basis for its further development. Design of Ships.L. this complex analysis is currently necessary in order to create reliable. Convertible Floating Dock JMLS-SEABOS.... On the other hand. Vol. problem-oriented computational tool covering both conventional and innovative design solutions. Shipbuilding.1067-83. #N00014-01-C-0081.Composites: Part A. V.. Bremerton. 7. Steel – Structural. 6 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference . 6..04. Matthews. The development and running time of the detail models and assessment of the results are quite time consuming. 3. reinforcing.P. Shkolnikov.L. Shipbuilding. Iron and steel Product. Shkolnikov.S.M. Pressing Problems of Composites Application for Submarine Outboard Structures.M. Journal of Composite Materials.

1 In-plane Bearing 7 . Numerical and Experimental Failure Analysis of Composite Laminates with Bolted Joints under Bending Loads.S. 9. 29.75 285 0.000 0. Journal of Composite Materials. Mechanical Properties of GRP Ultimate/Yield strength. ksi Modulus of elasticity.27 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference Throughthickness 0..3 29. No.30-38. 1995.400 1.29 Table 2.000 0. ksi Yield strength.H.1 4. Ksi Flatwise tension In-plane tension In-plane shear In-plane compression Interlaminar shear Modulus of elasticity.1 2.000 720 370 0. Ksi Throughthickness shear In-plane tension/compre ssion Flatwise tension/compre ssion In-plane shear Poisson’s ratio 47."Prometey". S. W.1.15 1995. p.000 0. pp..3 29. Mechanical Properties of Isotropic Components Ultimate strength. and Lee. ksi Poisson’s ratio Steel Connector Housing (A572) 65 50 Steel (A500) Barrel 45 33 Steel (A325) Bolts 120 92 Polymer Adhesive 2.4 20. Vol.9 60. Tables Table 1. Chen.3 30.5 5.3 39.

Boundary & loading conditions 8 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference .Figures Figure 1. Full assembly.

Figure 2. Stress-strain diagrams of applied steels 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference 9 .

Steel connector section 10 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference .Figure 3.

GRP section (front) 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference 11 .Figure 4.

Figure 5. Adhesive film 12 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference .

Figure 6. Fastening bolts 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference 13 .

Figure 7. Barrel nuts 14 2002 ABAQUS Users’ Conference .

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