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http://www.roymech.co.uk/Useful_Tables/Screws/Preloading.html

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Home Screws Index Page... Bolt Preloading

Bolt preloading notes.... Stiffness..... Calculating Thermal loading... Calculating initial bolt tension..... Shear load developed in tightening bolts.... Methods of setting bolt preload.... Table showing Accuracy of Bolt tensioning methods

Introduction

Calculating bolt loads is complicated if done correctly. The notes below are very limited and are reasonable for none critical applications. There are lots of specialists in this field as identified in the links on this page and on the screw index page. These notes do not include for fatigue loading, determination of stiffness of joint, joint settlement, load application factors.etc etc. It should also be noted that the bolt torque required, to achieve the same bolt stress levels, increases greatly as the bolt size increases (torque = c. d ). Therefore for larger bolts very high torques are required and used of specialist bolt tensioning systems such as the "Superbolt multi-jackbolt" option should be considered.

3

Nomenclat ure

A z = Area of plate - taking load ( m2) A b = Bolt Cross Section = Bolt thread root Area (m 2) D b = Bolt thread root diameter (m) d = Bolt nominal diameter (m) F e = External Load (N) F t = Thermal Load (N) F p = Preload Load (N) F = Total Load On Bolt (N) E z = Youngs Modulus of item z ( N / m2) L = Length of Bolt joint (m) L b = Length of Bolt (m) L j = Length of joint (m) k z = Stiffness of component z (N/m) k b = Stiffness of bolt (N/m) k j = Stiffness of joint (N/m) t z = Thickness of plate z (m) T = Bolt Tightening Torque (N.m) x z = deflection of item z /unit load (m/N) x b = deflection of bolt /unit load (m/N) α z= Coefficient of thermal expansion of component z (m/m/Deg.C) δ = deflection (m)

Bolt Loading Notes

It is accepted that a bolt preloaded to a fixed value is safer than a bolt simply tightened to an arbitrary value. A preload of about 80% of the proof strength of the bolt material is normally used. Assume a bolt is used to clamp a joint to a set preload value and the bolt has a low stiffness and the joint has a very high stiffness. An

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23.06.2010 11:48

2 -> 7 23. Part of the load will result in an increase of the joint thickness reducing of the compressive load on the joint. Some of the force will used to increase the preload on the bolt and some will be used to reduce the loading on the joint .roymech. If the bolt length clamping the joint includes a number of different sections then the resulting stiffness is determined using the relationship .Bolt Loading Notes http://www.01mm then an external load sufficient to achieve joint separation will only increase on loading of the bolt by about 0.2010 11:48 . Stress = Force (F) /Area (A) and strain = Deflection (δ ) / Length (L) E = (F/A) /(δ /L) Therefore δ = FL/EA .co.g.html external load is applied to tend separate the joint. Joint separation will occur when Fe = F (total load on the bolt) . The stiffness is effectively the same as the Spring Rate .. If the preload has resulted from a stretching of the bolt of 1mm and a compression of the joint by only 0. i. e.e when no load is being taken by the joint For an infinitely stiff bolt.01mm/1mm (1%) x preload . Assuming the assembly is bolted with a bolt preload of Fp and an external load F eis applied. For a infinitely stiff joint separation will take place when the external load exceeds the preload.. Part of this load will cause the further extension of the bolt (increase in bolt load). Stiffness = k = F / δ Stiff ness Considerations Bolt stiffness The relationship E = stress /strain = σ /e is used to determine the stiffness of a bolt. separation will never occur as all of the external load will be applied directly to the bolt with no resulting extension.uk/Useful_Tables/Screws/Preloading.. The bolt loading diagram below shows the loading regime on the bolt and joint Bolted Joint diagram The determination of the proportion of the load taken by the bolt and by the joint is calculated using the component stiffness values.06. On application of an external force Fe. It is clear?? from this example that using longer small diameter bolts to clamp surfaces results in relatively uniform bolt loading under varying external forces with reduced risk of fatigue loading..

. Additional notes on evaluating the joint stiffness are provided on page Joint Stiffness The mitcalc software (links below) is useful for obtaining a stiffness value of a joint.06.html To allow for a certain degree of elasticity of the bolt head and nut a correction factor is often used modify the length used in the stiffness calculations as shown below. The length used to calculate the shank stiffness = L se = L s + 0.5 times the bolt dia and an ID = bolt diameter. The resulting deflection of the joint and bolt are the same providing that Fe is less than the separation force.g one based on holes drilled in a plate. A rough approximation can be made by assuming joint is an annulus with and OD of 2.2010 11:48 . It follows that 3 -> 7 23.uk/Useful_Tables/Screws/Preloading.4d s The length used for the threaded length section = = L te = L t + 0.roymech.co.4d r Joint Stiffness Note: It is very difficult to calculated the stiffness of a joint e. The relationship E = stress /strain = σ /e is used to determine the stiffness of a section . The stiffness of the bolt results from the stiffness of the bolt shank (dia ds ) and the stiffness of the bolt thread (root dia dr ). Calculation of Load Distribution using Bolt/Joint Stiffness A joint preloaded with a force Fp is then subject to an additional load Fe which tends to separate the joint.Bolt Loading Notes http://www.

8 grade bolts and above. Coefficient of thermal expansion of joint material = α j Coefficient of thermal expansion of bolt = α b Change of temperature = ∆T Length of joint = Length of Bolt ( L j = L b = L ) The expansion of the joint = ∆L j= α j ∆T.roymech. T = Fp * K * d Typical K factors Steel Thread Condition as received.L The expansion of the bolt = ∆L b= α b ∆T. However if the joint materials have coefficients of thermal expansion different to the bolt material changes in the joint loading result from changes in temperature.75 x 10 6 N/m to 2.. The tension resulting from this equation would be reasonable safe for M8.Bolt Loading Notes http://www. Let .uk/Useful_Tables/Screws/Preloading.. The total bolt load following temperature change is thus.8. Initial Tension in Bolt The initial tension in a bolt is crudely estimated for a bolt tightened by hand by an experienced mechanic as follows.L The overall stiffness of the joint is calculated as follows.html Following application of the external force the resulting total force on the bolt = and the total force on the joint = Thermal Loading If all of the materials of the joint and the bolt are the same then any changes in temperature will have negligible effect of the joint loadings.30 4 -> 7 23.2010 11:48 . The resulting change in the joint load is calculated as follows. 1.. Fp = K*d d = nominal diameter of bolt (m) Fp = Preload (N) K = Coefficient vary from.8 x 10 6 N /m For a bolt tightened with a torque wrench the torque required to provide an initial bolt tension may be approximated by the formula.co... stainless on mild or alloy K 0..06.

Coefficient of Friction It can be proved that the majority of the torque is required to overcome the thread and collar friction forces (approx 90%).16 0.625 d.d ) This provides a very crude relationship between the torque and the resulting bolt tension for a standard hex screw with no washer.roymech. For less conservative designs A r can be replaced by A t as defined on page Thread calcs and d r can be replaced by d t = Sqrt( 4.2010 11:48 .co. Therefore any error in the value of the friction coefficient will have a large variation on the bolt tensile load. The combined resulting shear stress is calculated as follows F Bolt Tension (N) Tf = Thread torque(N.html as received.dm The equation reduces to T = F p (0.. If the denominator is simplified to π.uk/Useful_Tables/Screws/Preloading.92 d . d m = 0..159.m) A r = Thread Root Area (m ) d r = Thread Root diameter 2 This formula is relatively conservative. r c = Collar friction radius (m) Note: Friction values are found on this site on the coefficient of friction page.156. Shear St ress In Bolts In tightening a bolt stress is induced as a result of the bolt tension and bolt torque. mild or alloy on same cadmium plated molybdenum-disulphide grease PTFE lubrication 0. α = 30o ..p + 1.Bolt Loading Notes http://www. rc = 0.A t /π ) In general for static loading.20 0. For important bolting applications it is recommended that the bolt preload is is determined using direct bolt tension measuring techniques see notes below.12 A more accurate value can be determined using the formula Note: Relevant formulea for calculating Power thread torques and efficiencies are derived on webpage Power Screw Equations F p = Desired bolt Preload (N) p = Thread pitch (m) d m = Mean diameter of thread (m) µ = Coefficient of Thread friction µ c = Coefficient of collar friction α is the thread angle / 2 (α = 30 o for standard metric threads & α = 29 o /2 for acme threads).14 0. the maximum shear stress in a bolt should not exceed about 75% of the shear yield stress of the material.06. µ. The above formula is in essence not a lot more accurate than the approximate formulae above. Note: A very simplified version of this formula can be derive by assuming µc = µ . For 5 -> 7 23.

. even when this method is followed exactly. The success of the method is dependent on a correct snugging of the joint.Accurate and not expensive over the long term. Actual results of tension in bolts produced by this method are acknowledged to be highly variable.. Note: Using heat is based on heating the bolt(and nut) to a set temperature. The wrench is then set to cut out at that torque (the wrench becomes "calibrated").To = ambient temperature (deg. . a DTI washer is put on the head or nut end of the bolt. The hydraulic method can provide very accurate preload (+/.06.2010 11:48 . Turn Of Nut After snugging the joint.C. The bolt is inserted quickly and the nut tightened snugly. Direct Tension Indicator Washers A number of direct tension indicator systems are available (see links below) the most popular being the DTI washers.Accurate /complicated /expensive.. and then all similar bolts that day are installed to that torque after the joint is snugged first. DTI's are completely independent of the torque resistance of the bolt assembly. The bolt is then allowed to cool and the contraction results in the required tension.. It also specifies three methods of determining bolt tension. and is dependent on the bolt head being held from turning so the bolt does not spin in the hole.. loads to be achieved (see Table 1). Some skill required Using ultrasonics instruments.e)] + T o E= Youngs Modulus (N/m2 ). Then all the bolts are tightened such that the DTI's are "crushed" to the point where a feeler gage cannot be inserted half way around (tightening the nut). Hydraulic bolt tensioners use an annular hydraulic jack placed around the screw. Met hods of sett ing bolt preload /t ension High strength friction grip bolts and nuts require to be tensioned in accordance with BS 4604 which specifies min.uk/Useful_Tables/Screws/Preloading. C) This method is very difficult to implement the bolt has to be heated while the bolted joint has to be kept at ambient temperature.. If a tension Fp is required for a bolt with a CSA of Ab then the required bolt stress is calculated σ= F p / Ab The bolt is heated to a temperature of T = [σ /(E. By far the simplest method. The bolts are tensioned in a tension calibrator on the site.html variable loading the bolt should be designed for endurance stress levels.roymech.e = Coefficient of thermal expansion (m/m)/deg. i. Note: Turn-of-nut does not work correctly when the steel surfaces are coated with a compressible coating such as high paint thickness or hot dipped galvanized zinc. The bolts are then slightly tensioned snugging the joint by partially (but not fully) compressing the DTI (tightening the nut).: i) Torque Control ii) Part Turn of Nut iii) Direct Tension Measurement Torque Wrench This method is sometimes known erroneously as "torque control".co. The amount of rotation differs for different bolt lengths and diameters and therefore must be known and understood by the bolt installers in advance. resulting in a preloaded bolt without any frictional or torsional stresses. Rotation during the tightening process must be limited to a specific value. If the DTI is put on the nut end of the bolt.Bolt Loading Notes http://www.. The accuracy of the heating method is very much limited by quality of the procedure followed. When the required stress level is reached. DTI washers measure the bolt tension developed during tightening. stretching it axially. the nut is tightened snugly and then the pressure released. Good but relatively expensive Using hydraulics (or heat) to pretension bolts See note below Using multi-jackbolt system (Superbolt) a variation of torque control.The notes below relate to DTI washers.e. tightening can be done by one person because it is not necessary access the bolt head side..1%) on long bolts but it is less accurate on short bolts. Some skill required Using special bolts with built-in (mechanical or electronic) extension measurement e. the bolt shank and nut is marked and then a specific amount of rotation is induced between the nut and the bolt. regardless of the torque resistance of the bolt. Other met hods of set ting Bolt tension There are a number of more exotic methods of pre-setting the bolt tension including Using Strain gauges. Bolts subject to dynamic loading often lose their initial torsion stress because the nut/bolt head tends to slip back if the collar friction is not sufficient...g Rotobolt. 6 -> 7 23.

4.roymech.A simple and reliable mechanical (DTI) bolt system for ensuring accurate preload Bolt torque Calculator.Very Informative Web site MITCALC.06....5% +/.. 3. 9.25% +/..1% +/..15% +/.Bolt Loading Notes http://www....A company providing DTI Washers Applied Bolting.uk/Useful_Tables/Screws/Preloading.co.35% +/.10% +/. 2..Supplier of DTI Washers -Lots of useful notes Surebolt. Please Send Comments to Roy@roymech.A "clever" bolt with DTI built in Cooper and Turner.co.(1% to 10%) +/.A company providing an Ultrasonics tensions system .An accurate and reliable solution for bolts sizes M16 and larger Rotabolt .html Preload Setting Error Operator "Feel" Torque Wrench Angle Torquing (Turn of nut) Load Indicating Washer Measuring Bolt elongation Hydraulic Bolt pretension Strain Gauges / Ultrasonics Superbolt multi-jackbolt tensioners +/. 5.5% Sites Providing Information On Bolt Loading Ads by Google 1.uk Last Updated 23/12/2009 7 -> 7 23.A Useful Calculator from Futek Smartbolts. 6.2010 11:48 .. 7. 8.. Superbolt (Europe) . Superbolt .Very detailed notes on bolt loading Stud Bolt NAS Bolt Eye Bolt Nut and Bolt ASTM A325 Bolt This Page is being dev eloped Home Screws Index Page.Provides a good Excel based bolt calculator at reasonable cost DAN_notes Loads in an elastic bolted assembly..

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