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Lug Analysis | MechaniCalc


36-45 minutes

A lug, also known as a lifting lug or a padeye, is essentially a plate


with a hole in it where the hole is sized to fit a clevis pin. Lugs are
used in combination with clevis pins to transmit load between
different mechanical components. Common applications where lugs
are used include:

strongbacks with padeyes, lifted with shackles and other rigging

connections between actuators and other structure (i.e. trunnion


joint, clevis joint)

door hinges

Advantages of lugs over other types of connections that are used to


transmit load include:

rotation between components is possible

quick and simple installation

Contents

Analysis of a lug is deceptively complex since there are several


simultaneous, interacting failure modes. These failure modes are
associated with different areas of the lug, as illustrated in the figure
below (Note: Figure not to scale):

The failure modes for the lug are listed below. The numbers
correspond with the labeled sections from the above figure:

1. Tension failure across the net section

2. Shear failure along two planes

3. Bearing failure

4. Hoop tension failure / fracture on single plane

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5. Out of plane buckling ("dishing") -- (not shown in the figure)

There are several common methods of analyzing a lug:

Simplified analysis - This method is based on first principles and


involves making simplifying assumptions about the nature of the
failure and calculating factors of safety. This has the advantage of
being relatively easy, but it only gives an approximate determination
of the adequacy of the lug.

Air Force Method - This method considers most of the failure


modes above, and uses empirical curves to determine more
accurate allowable loads. This method allows for lugs under axial
loading, transverse loading, or oblique loading. This method also
accounts for the interaction between the lug and the pin.

ASME BTH - This method considers most of the failure modes


above, and uses simplified equations with correction factors based
on empirical data to determine more accurate allowable loads. This
method is simpler than the Air Force Method, but it only allows for
lugs under axial loading and does not account for the interaction
between the lug and the pin.

All of these methods are described in the following sections.

This method is based on first principles (as well as on the simplified


method outlined in Bruhn) and involves making simplifying
assumptions about the nature of the failure. While it is relatively
easy to perform, it only gives an approximate determination of the
adequacy of the lug and should not be employed for critical
structure.

In the simplified analysis, the following failure modes are


considered:

Tension failure across the net section

Shear failure along two planes

Bearing failure

A factor of safety is calculated for each of the failure modes, and as


long as each factor of safety is acceptable then the lug can be
considered to pass. The figure below shows the lug in blue and the
pin in green.

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The dimensions in the figure are:

Dh‫ܦ‬௛ = hole diameter

Dp‫ܦ‬௣ = pin diameter

Rܴ = edge distance (distance from center of hole to edge of lug in


direction of applied load)

r‫ = ݎ‬radius of curvature of edge of lug (greater than or equal to R)

aܽ = distance from edge of hole to edge of lug =R−0.5Dh = ܴ − 0.5


‫ܦ‬௛

w‫ = ݓ‬width

t‫ = ݐ‬thickness (not shown in figure -- thickness is into the page)

Zܼ = loss in shear plane length due to curvature at end of lug

ϕ߶ = shear plane locating angle = 40°

Tension failure across the net section occurs over the cross-section
highlighted in red in the figure below:

The area of the net section is given by:

‫ܣ‬௧ = (‫ ݓ‬− ‫ܦ‬௛ )‫ݐ‬


At=(w−Dh)t

The ultimate tensile load is the load that would result in tensile
failure across the net section, and is given by:

ܲ௧௨ = ܵ௧௨ ‫ܣ‬௧


Ptu=StuAt

where Stuܵ௧௨ is the ultimate tensile strength of the lug material. The
equation above assumes a uniform tensile stress over the cross-

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section. In reality there will be a stress concentration due to the flow


of stress around the hole.

The factor of safety is given by:

ܲ௧௨
FStu=PtuFapp

‫ܵܨ‬௧௨ =
‫ܨ‬௔௣௣

Shear tear out occurs over the two shear planes highlighted in red
in the figure below:

The total shear plane area is given by:

‫ܣ‬௦ = 2‫ܮ‬௦௣ ‫ݐ‬


As=2Lspt

where Lsp‫ܮ‬௦௣ is the length of the shear plane and t‫ ݐ‬is the lug
thickness. A simple and conservative approach is to calculate the
length of a single shear plane as:

‫ܮ‬௦௣ = ܽ
Lsp=a

where a=R−0.5Dhܽ = ܴ − 0.5‫ܦ‬௛ , as shown in the figure above. If it


is desired to account for a slightly longer shear plane, it is common
practice to consider a 40 degree line extending from the center of
the shear pin. At the point where that 40 degree line intersects the
pin hole, extend the shear plane horizontally to the outer edge of
the lug. In this case, Lsp‫ܮ‬௦௣ is calculated as:

‫ܦ‬௣
Lsp=a+Dp2(1−cos(ϕ))−Z

‫ܮ‬௦௣ = ܽ + (1 − cos(߶)) − ܼ
2
where ϕ߶ is the shear plane locating angle of 40° and Zܼ is the loss
in shear plane length due to the curvature at the end of the lug.
This loss is calculated as:

Z=r−r2−(Dp2sin(ϕ))2−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−√
‫ܦ‬௣

ܼ = ‫ ݎ‬− ඨ‫ ݎ‬ଶ − ቆ sin(߶)ቇ
2

Note that if the lug end is flat then r‫ ݎ‬is infinity and Zܼ is zero.

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The ultimate shear load is the load that would result in shear tear
out along the two planes, and is given by:

ܲ௦௨ = ܵ௦௨ ‫ܣ‬௦


Psu=SsuAs

where Ssuܵ௦௨ is the ultimate shear strength of the lug material.

The factor of safety is given by:

ܲ௦௨
FStu=PsuFapp

‫ܵܨ‬௧௨ =
‫ܨ‬௔௣௣

Bearing occurs between the surface of the pin and the inner
surface of the hole in the lug, as shown in the figure below:

The bearing area is given by:

‫ܣ‬௕௥ = ‫ܦ‬௣ ‫ݐ‬


Abr=Dpt

Note that since the length of the bearing surface is equal to the

by C=πD‫ܦߨ = ܥ‬, then:


diameter of the pin, and since the circumference of a circle is given

the length of the bearing surface is also equal to 1/π1/ߨ times the
circumference of the pin

the swept angle of the bearing surface is equal to 2 radians ≈≈


115°

The ultimate bearing load is the load that would result in bearing
failure, and is given by:

ܲ௕௥௨ = ܵ௕௥௨ ‫ܣ‬௕௥


Pbru=SbruAbr

where Sbruܵ௕௥௨ is the minimum of the ultimate bearing strength of


the lug material and the ultimate bearing strength of the pin
material. The ultimate bearing strength can be approximated as
1.5Stu1.5ܵ௧௨ .

The factor of safety is given by:

ܲ௕௥௨
FSbru=PbruFapp

‫ܵܨ‬௕௥௨ =
‫ܨ‬௔௣௣

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If a bushing is pressed into the lug, then bearing needs to be


calculated for both sets of contact:

Pin on bushing

Bushing on lug

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The Air Force Method is widely used in industry and is documented


in the Stress Analysis Manual of the Air Force Flight Dynamics
Laboratory (FDL). This method follows closely with the methods
presented in Melcon & Hoblit and Bruhn, and it relies heavily on
curves generated by empirical data. Although this method is
somewhat more complex than other lug analysis methods, it is
incredibly useful because it allows for lugs under axial loading,
transverse loading, or oblique loading, and because it accounts for
the interaction between the lug and the pin.

This section discusses axial loading, transverse loading, and


oblique loading separately. These sections disregard the effect of
the pin on the lug strength. A discussion of the pin and lug
interaction is given at the end.

For axially loaded lugs, the Air Force method evaluates the lug for
bearing failure, shear-out failure, hoop tension failure, and failure
across the net section. Three of the failure modes are actually
combined into a single failure mode -- the "bearing strength"
accounts for bearing, shear-out, and hoop tension. This is
consistent with Bruhn and Melcon & Hoblit.

The dimensions of interest for an axially loaded lug are shown in


the figure below:

The dimensions from the figure include:

D‫ = ܦ‬hole diameter

Dp‫ܦ‬௣ = pin diameter

e݁ = edge distance

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aܽ = distance from edge of hole to edge of lug =e−0.5D = ݁ − 0.5‫ܦ‬

w‫ = ݓ‬width

t‫ = ݐ‬thickness

The ultimate bearing load, accounting for bearing, shear-out, and


hoop tension, is given by:

‫ܨ‬௕௥௨.௅ ‫ݐܦ‬ if ܵ௧௨ ≤ 1.304ܵ௧௬


Pbru.L=∣∣∣Fbru.LDt1.304Fbry.LDtif Stu≤1.304Styotherwise

ܲ௕௥௨.௅ = อ
1.304‫ܨ‬௕௥௬.௅ ‫ݐܦ‬ otherwise

‫ܨ‬௕௥௨.௅ and Fbry.L‫ܨ‬௕௥௬.௅ are the lug ultimate and yield bearing
where D‫ ܦ‬is the hole diameter and t‫ ݐ‬is the lug thickness. Fbru.L

stresses, respectively, and are given by the following equations:

݁/‫ < ܦ‬1.5 ݁/‫ ≥ ܦ‬1.5


e/D<1.5 e/D≥1.5

ܽ
KaDStu

‫ܵ ܭ‬௧௨ ‫ܵܭ‬௧௨
KStu
Ultimate Bearing Stress, Fbru.L‫ܨ‬௕௥௨.௅ :
‫ܦ‬

ܽ
KaDSty

‫ܵ ܭ‬௧௬ ‫ܵܭ‬௧௬
KSty
Yield Bearing Stress, Fbry.L‫ܨ‬௕௥௬.௅ :
‫ܦ‬

The equation for ultimate bearing load can be condensed down to:
Pbru.L=K⋅min(Stu,1.304Sty)⋅Dt⋅∣∣∣aD1if e/D<1.5otherwise
if ݁/‫ < ܦ‬1.5

ܲ௕௥௨.௅ = ‫ ⋅ ܭ‬min (ܵ௧௨ , 1.304ܵ௧௬ ) ⋅ ‫ ⋅ ݐܦ‬ቮ ஽
1 otherwise

For ratios of e/D݁/‫ ܦ‬less than 1.5, the hole is close to the edge of
the lug and so shear-out and hoop tension are likely to be the most
critical failure modes. For larger values of e/D݁/‫ܦ‬, the hole is
spaced farther from the edge and so bearing is likely to be the
critical failure mode.

The factor K‫ ܭ‬in the equations above is the allowable axial load
coefficient which accounts for the interaction effects between the
different failure modes (bearing, shear-out, and hoop tension). The

plot is used for D/t≤5‫ܦ‬/‫ ≤ ݐ‬5, which is the most common case. If
value of K‫ ܭ‬is read off of one of the following two plots. The first

D/t>5‫ܦ‬/‫ > ݐ‬5 then the lug is thin, and in that case the value of K‫ܭ‬
is read off of the second plot below. (Note 2)

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If there is a bushing in the lug, then the bearing strength for the
bushing must be calculated. The bushing ultimate load is given by:

ܲ௨.஻ = 1.304ܵ௖௬.஻ ‫ܦ‬௣ ‫ݐ‬


Pu.B=1.304Scy.BDpt

where Dp‫ܦ‬௣ is the pin diameter, t‫ ݐ‬is the bushing thickness


(assumed to be equal to the lug thickness), and Scy.Bܵ௖௬.஻ is the
compressive yield strength of the bushing material. The Air Force
manual assumes the compressive ultimate strength of the bushing
material, Scu.Bܵ௖௨.஻ , to be equal to 1.304Scy.B1.304ܵ௖௬.஻ .

If there is no bushing in the lug, then the calculation should still be

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performed assuming that the lug material is the bushing material.

The net-section ultimate load accounts for tension failure across the
net section and is calculated by:

‫ܨ‬௡௨.௅ (‫ ݓ‬− ‫ݐ)ܦ‬ if ܵ௧௨ ≤ 1.304ܵ௧௬


Pnu.L=∣∣∣Fnu.L(w−D)t1.304Fny.L(w−D)tif Stu≤1.304Styotherwise

ܲ௡௨.௅ = อ
1.304‫ܨ‬௡௬.௅ (‫ ݓ‬− ‫ݐ)ܦ‬ otherwise

where w‫ ݓ‬is the width and D‫ ܦ‬is the hole diameter. Fnu.L‫ܨ‬௡௨.௅ and
Fny.L‫ܨ‬௡௬.௅ are the ultimate and yield net-section stresses,
respectively, and are given by the following equations:

Ultimate Net-Section Stress: ‫ܨ‬


௡௨.௅ = ‫ܭ‬௡ ܵ௧௨
Fnu.L=KnStu

‫ܨ‬௡௬.௅ = ‫ܭ‬௡ ܵ௧௬


Fny.L=KnSty
Yield Net-Section Stress:

The equation for net section ultimate load can be condensed down
to:

ܲ௡௨ .௅ = ‫ܭ‬௡ ⋅ min (ܵ௧௨ , 1.304ܵ௧௬ ) ⋅ (‫ ݓ‬− ‫ݐ ⋅ )ܦ‬


Pnu.L=Kn⋅min(Stu,1.304Sty)⋅(w−D)⋅t

The factor Kn‫ܭ‬௡ in the equations above is the net tension stress
coefficient which is a knock-down on the allowable stresses. The
value of Kn‫ܭ‬௡ is determined by interpolating between the following
plots:

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The design ultimate load for an axially loaded lug is the minimum of
the ultimate bearing load, the ultimate bushing load, and the
ultimate net-section load:

ܲ௨ .௅.஻ = min (ܲ௕௥௨.௅ , ܲ௨.஻ , ܲ௡௨.௅ )


Pu.L.B=min(Pbru.L,Pu.B,Pnu.L)

The analysis for a transversely loaded lug is similar to that for an


axially loaded lug. However, the failure mode for transverse loading
is more complicated than for axial loading, and different dimensions
are critical for determining lug strength. The dimensions of interest
for a transversely loaded lug are shown in the figure below:

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where h1ℎଵ , h2ℎଶ , h3ℎଷ , and h4ℎସ are failure planes of interest. If
the lug is symmetric, then the values for these dimensions can be
easily obtained from the dimensions for an axially loaded lug:

h2=0.5(w−D)ℎଶ = 0.5(‫ ݓ‬− ‫)ܦ‬


h1=h4=h2+0.5D(1−cos45∘)ℎଵ = ℎସ = ℎଶ + 0.5‫(ܦ‬1 − cos 45 ∘)
h3=aℎଷ = ܽ
It should be noted that h3ℎଷ is defined as the smallest dimension
on any radial section around the hole, but it will typically be equal to
aܽ. From the above dimensions, the effective edge distance is
calculated:

6
hav=63/h1+1/h2+1/h3+1/h4

ℎ௔௩ =
3/ℎଵ + 1/ℎଶ + 1/ℎଷ + 1/ℎସ

The equation above is simply a "reciprocal average" that gives


more weighting to dimension h1ℎଵ since that section takes most of
the load. (Note 3)

The ultimate transverse load is given by:

‫ܨ‬௕௥௨.௅ ‫ݐܦ‬ if ܵ௧௨ ≤ 1.304ܵ௧௬


Ptru.L=∣∣∣Fbru.LDt1.304Fbry.LDtif Stu≤1.304Styotherwise

ܲ௧௥௨.௅ = อ
1.304‫ܨ‬௕௥௬.௅ ‫ݐܦ‬ otherwise

‫ܨ‬௕௥௨.௅ and Fbry.L‫ܨ‬௕௥௬.௅ are the lug ultimate and yield bearing
where D‫ ܦ‬is the hole diameter and t‫ ݐ‬is the lug thickness. Fbru.L

stresses, respectively, and are given by the following equations:

Ultimate Bearing Stress: ‫ܨ‬


௕௥௨.௅ = ‫ܭ‬௧௥௨ ܵ௧௨
Fbru.L=KtruStu

‫ܨ‬௕௥௬.௅ = ‫ܭ‬௧௥௬ ܵ௧௬


Fbry.L=KtrySty
Yield Bearing Stress:

where Ktru‫ܭ‬௧௥௨ and Ktry‫ܭ‬௧௥௬ are the transverse ultimate and yield
load coefficients and are determined from the following plot:

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The bearing strength for the bushing in a transversely loaded lug is


the same as for an axially loaded lug:

ܲ௧௥௨.஻ = ܲ௨.஻
Ptru.B=Pu.B

where Pu.Bܲ௨.஻ is the bushing bearing strength for an axially


loaded lug.

The design ultimate load for a transversely loaded lug is the


minimum of the ultimate lug load and the ultimate bushing load:

ܲ௧௥௨.௅.஻ = min (ܲ௧௥௨.௅ , ܲ௧௥௨.஻ )


Ptru.L.B=min(Ptru.L,Ptru.B)

Looking for a Lug Calculator?

Check out our lug calculator based on the methodology described


here.

Allows for axial, transverse, or oblique loading

Performs calculations for lug strength, pin strength, and double


shear joint strength

In an obliquely loaded lug, the applied load has both axial and
transverse components, as shown in the figure below:

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For an obliquely loaded lug, the applied load should be broken out
into the axial and transverse components, Paxܲ௔௫ and Ptrܲ௧௥ , and
the strengths in the axial and transverse directions should be
calculated as discussed in the previous sections. An allowable load
curve can then be defined which takes the form of an interaction
equation, and is given below:

ܲ௔௫.௨௟௧ ܲ௧௥.௨௟௧
(Pax.ultPu.L.B)1.6+(Ptr.ultPtru.L.B)1.6=1
ଵ.଺ ଵ.଺
ቆ ቇ +ቆ ቇ =1
ܲ௨.௅.஻ ܲ௧௥௨.௅.஻

The allowable load curve defines the limits at which the lug is
expected to fail -- it defines the ultimate load for a given
combination of applied axial and transverse load. In the equation
above, Pax.ultܲ௔௫.௨௟௧ is the axial component of the ultimate load,
Ptr.ultܲ௧௥.௨௟௧ is the transverse component of the ultimate load,
Pu.L.Bܲ௨.௅.஻ is the design strength under axial load, and Ptru.L.B
ܲ௧௥௨.௅.஻ is the design strength under transverse load. The allowable
load curve is shown below:

In the figure above, the values along the y-axis are the ratios of the
transverse applied load to the transverse strength, and the values

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along the x-axis are the ratios of the axial applied load to the axial
strength.

Axial Load Ratio Transverse Load Ratio

ܲ௔௫ ܲ௧௥
Rax=PaxPu.L.B Rtr=PtrPtru.L.B

ܴ௔௫ = ܴ௧௥ =
ܲ௨ .௅.஻ ܲ௧௥௨.௅.஻

The point for the applied load with coordinates of (Rax,Rtr)(ܴ௔௫ , ܴ௧௥
) should be plotted. Any point that falls within the allowable load
curve has a factor of safety ≥ 1 with respect to the ultimate load.

Rtrܴ௧௥ is 0 and the point (Rax,Rtr)(ܴ௔௫ , ܴ௧௥ ) lies along the x-axis,
Note that if the applied load is completely axial, then the value for

and so the ultimate load is simply the axial design strength.


Likewise for a completely transverse applied load; in this case, the
point lies along the y-axis and so the ultimate load is the transverse
design strength.

For an applied load with both axial and transverse components, the

the point (Rax,Rtr)(ܴ௔௫ , ܴ௧௥ ), and then through the allowable load
ultimate load is calculated by drawing a line from the origin, through

curve. This is the load line, and it has a slope of:

ܴ௧௥ ܲ௧௥ ܲ௨.௅.஻


m=RtrRax=PtrPtru.L.BPu.L.BPax

݉= =
ܴ௔௫ ܲ௧௥௨ .௅.஻ ܲ௔௫

The ultimate load ratios are given by the intersection of the load line
with the allowable load curve. These ultimate ratios can then be
used to calculate the ultimate load values in the axial and
transverse directions.

Ultimate Axial Load Ratio Ultimate Transverse Load Ratio

ܲ௔௫.௨௟௧ ܲ௧௥.௨௟௧
Rax.ult=Pax.ultPu.L.B Rtr.ult=Ptr.ultPtru.L.B

ܴ௔௫.௨௟௧ = ܴ௧௥.௨௟௧ =
ܲ௨.௅.஻ ܲ௧௥௨.௅.஻

It should be noted that the equation for the slope given above
disagrees with the slope specified in the Air Force Manual. A
discussion is given in the Appendix.

Instead of determining the ultimate values by plotting, they can be


calculated directly by noting that the ultimate load components,
Pax.ultܲ௔௫.௨௟௧ and Ptr.ultܲ௧௥.௨௟௧ are related by:

ܲ௧௥.௨௟௧ = ܲ௔௫.௨௟௧ ⋅ tan (ߙ)


Ptr.ult=Pax.ult⋅tan(α)

where αߙ is the angle of the applied load with respect to the axial
direction. (Note 4) The equation defining the allowable load curve
can then be solved for the ultimate axial load, with the relationship

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above substituted for the ultimate transverse load:

Pax.ult=⎛⎝⎜⎜1(1Pu.L.B)1.6+(tan(α)Ptru.L.B)1.6

ܲ௔௫.௨௟௧ ܲ௧௥.௨௟௧ 1
(Pax.ultPu.L.B)1.6+(Ptr.ultPtru.L.B)1.6=1
ଵ.଺ ଵ.଺
ቆ ቇ +ቆ ቇ =1 ܲ௔௫.௨௟௧ = ⎛ ⎞
ܲ௨.௅.஻ ܲ௧௥௨.௅.஻ ⎜ ⎟

ଵ.଺ ଵ.଺
൬ ൰ +൬ ൰
ଵ ୲ୟ୬ (ఈ)
⎝ ೠ.ಽ.ಳ
௉ ௉ ೟ೝೠ.ಽ.ಳ ⎠

The ultimate applied load can then be determined by:

Pult=P2ax.ult+P2tr.ult−−−−−−−−−−−√
ܲ௨௟௧ = ටܲ௔௫.௨௟௧

+ ܲ௧௥.௨௟௧

The factor of safety is calculated by: (Note 5)

ܲ௨௟௧
FS=PultPapp

‫= ܵܨ‬
ܲ௔௣௣

It is important for the pin in the joint to be strong enough that it will
distribute the load evenly over the lugs. Even though a weak pin will
not commonly break in practice, excessive flexure of the pin will
cause the load to "peak up" near the shear planes such that the
outer edges of the lugs see high loads and the inner portions of the
lugs are relatively unloaded. This can cause the material around
the holes on the outer surfaces of the lugs to stretch far enough to
initiate a fracture, and the lug will fail at a lower load than predicted.

One effect that helps the situation is that as the load concentrates
near the shear planes, the bending arm is reduced, and therefore
the bending moment in the pin is reduced. However, a study cited
by Molcon and Hoblit found that this decrease in bending moment
is "seldom more than 25 percent and usually much less."

Since bending in the pin affects the strength of the lug, it is critical
to account for the pin strength when analyzing the joint. In this
section, a method for calculating the allowable load for a double
shear joint is presented. An example of a double shear joint is
shown below:

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In a double shear joint, there are two outer (female) lugs, a single
inner (male) lug, and a pin.

The overall process of determining the allowable load is illustrated


in the diagram below:

Initially ignoring the effects of pin bending, calculate the ultimate


load of each lug in the joint using the methods described in the
previous sections. Then calculate the nominal ultimate joint load
(which does not account for the pin strength):

ܲ௨.௃.௡௢௠ = min (2 ⋅ ܲ௨௟௧.ி , ܲ௨௟௧.ெ )


Pu.J.nom=min(2⋅Pult.F,Pult.M)

where Pult.Mܲ௨௟௧.ெ is the ultimate load for the male lug and Pult.F
ܲ௨௟௧.ி is the ultimate load for a single female lug. Since there are 2

to the female lugs is 2⋅Pult.F2 ⋅ ܲ௨௟௧.ி .


female lugs supporting the load, then the ultimate load with respect

The shear strength and the bending strength of the pin should both

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be calculated.

Pin Shear Strength

The ultimate shear load is calculated by:

ߨ
Pus.P=2(π4D2p)Ssu.P

ܲ௨௦.௉ = 2൬ ‫ܦ‬௣ଶ ൰ܵ௦௨.௉


4
where DP‫ܦ‬௉ is the pin diameter and Ssu.Pܵ௦௨.௉ is the ultimate
shear strength of the pin material. Note that twice the area is used
in calculating pin shear strength since there are two shear planes.

Pin Bending Strength

The ultimate bending load is the applied load that would result in
bending failure of the pin, and is calculated by:

2‫ܯ‬௨.௉
Pub.P=2Mu.PLarm

ܲ௨௕.௉ =
‫ܮ‬௔௥௠

where Larm‫ܮ‬௔௥௠ is the moment arm and Mu.P‫ܯ‬௨.௉ is the ultimate


failing moment for the pin. If the load is distributed evenly across
the entire width of the lugs, then the moment arm is calculated by:

‫ݐ‬ଵ ‫ݐ‬ଶ
Larm=(t12+t24+g)

‫ܮ‬௔௥௠ = ൬ + + ݃൰
2 4
where t1‫ݐ‬ଵ is the thickness of a single female lug, t2‫ݐ‬ଶ is the
thickness of the male lug, and g݃ is the gap between the male and
female lugs when the male lug is centered between the female
lugs.

The ultimate failing moment for the pin is calculated by:

ߨ‫ܦ‬௉ଷ
Mu.P=πD3P32⋅kb.P⋅Stu.P

‫ܯ‬௨.௉ = ⋅ ݇௕.௉ ⋅ ܵ௧௨.௉


32
where Stu.Pܵ௧௨.௉ is the ultimate tensile strength of the pin material
and kb.P݇௕.௉ is the plastic bending coefficient. According to the Air
Force Manual, "the value of kb.P݇௕.௉ varies from 1.0 for a perfectly
elastic pin to 1.7 for a perfectly plastic pin, with a value of 1.56 for
pins made from reasonably ductile materials (more than 5%
elongation)."

Once the pin strengths are calculated, determine whether the pin is

ܲ௨௕.௉ ) is greater than either the pin ultimate shear load (Pus.P)(
strong or weak in bending. If the pin ultimate bending load (Pub.P)(

ܲ௨௦.௉ ) or the nominal ultimate joint load (Pu.J.nom)(ܲ௨.௃.௡௢௠ ), then


the pin is relatively strong and is not critical in bending. Otherwise,
the pin is weak and is critical in bending.

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Yes → Strong
Pub.P≥Pu.J.nomܲ௨௕.௉ ≥ ܲ௨.௃.௡௢௠ or Pub.P≥Pus.P Pin
ܲ௨௕.௉ ≥ ܲ௨௦.௉ ? No → Weak
Pin
If the pin is strong, the joint strength will be limited by either the pin
shear strength or by the nominal joint strength. In the case of a
strong pin, the pin ultimate bending load is calculated assuming
that the load distributes evenly over the full width of the lugs:

ߨ‫ܦ‬௉ଷ ⋅ ݇௕.௉ ⋅ ܵ௧௨.௉


Pub.P=πD3P⋅kb.P⋅Stu.P16(t12+t24+g)

ܲ௨௕.௉ =
16ቀ భ + మ + ݃ቁ
௧ ௧
ଶ ସ

The equation above is the same as the equation presented earlier


for the ultimate pin bending load, but with the terms combined into
a single equation.

For a strong pin, the pin bending does not affect the joint strength
and the ultimate joint load is equal to the nominal ultimate joint
load:

ܲ௨.௃ = ܲ௨.௃.௡௢௠
Pu.J=Pu.J.nom

If the pin is weak in bending, then the load will not be distributed
evenly over the lug widths. Instead, the load will concentrate toward
the shear planes, and the inner portions of the lugs will be relatively
unloaded. Because of this, the lugs will fail at a lower load than
predicted.

To account for the low pin bending strength, a "balanced design"


ultimate load is calculated. The goal is to determine the actual
bearing widths over which the lugs support the load. Instead of the
load being supported over the full lug thicknesses, t1‫ݐ‬ଵ and t2‫ݐ‬ଶ ,
the load will instead be distributed over some smaller widths, b1ܾଵ
and b2ܾଶ , as shown in the figure below. It is assumed that the load
is uniformly distributed over these widths.

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Reducing the bearing width has two effects:

The ultimate load is reduced for the lugs (the lugs fail at a lower
load).

The moment arm for the pin is reduced, which increases the pin's
ultimate bending load (the pin fails at a higher load).

The new, increased value of the pin ultimate bending load is


calculated by:

ߨ‫ܦ‬௉ଷ ⋅ ݇௕.௉ ⋅ ܵ௧௨.௉


Pub.P=πD3P⋅kb.P⋅Stu.P16(b12+b22+g)

ܲ௨௕.௉ =
16ቀ భ + మ + ݃ቁ
௕ ௕
ଶ ଶ

where, in the equation above, b1ܾଵ and 2b22ܾଶ were substituted for
t1‫ݐ‬ଵ and t2‫ݐ‬ଶ from the previous pin bending equation.

The trick is to find the values of b1ܾଵ and b2ܾଶ that result in the
"balanced design" ultimate load. To determine the balanced design
ultimate load, reduce the bearing widths of each of the lugs until the
ultimate load for the lugs are equal to one other as well as equal to
the ultimate bending load of the pin. This requires an iterative
process.

Once the balanced design ultimate load is found, the ultimate joint
load and the pin ultimate bending load are each equal to the
balanced load:

ܲ௨.௃ = ܲ௨௕.௉ = ܲ௕௔௟௔௡௖௘ௗ


Pu.J=Pub.P=Pbalanced

The ultimate joint load (Pu.Jܲ௨.௃ ) should have been calculated in


one of the two previous sections, depending on whether the pin
was strong or weak in bending:

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Strong pin: ܲ = ܲ
Pu.J=Pu.J.nom
௨ .௃ ௨.௃.௡௢௠

Weak pin: ܲ = ܲ
Pu.J=Pbalanced
௨.௃ ௕௔௟௔௡௖௘ௗ

The overall ultimate load accounting for both the ultimate joint load
and the ultimate pin shear load is calculated by:

ܲ௨௟௧ = min (ܲ௨.௃ , ܲ௨௦.௉ )


Pult=min(Pu.J,Pus.P)

The factor of safety is calculated by:

ܲ௨௟௧
FS=PultPapplied

‫= ܵܨ‬
ܲ௔௣௣௟௜௘ௗ

Looking for a Lug Calculator?

Check out our lug calculator based on the methodology described


here.

Allows for axial, transverse, or oblique loading

Performs calculations for lug strength, pin strength, and double


shear joint strength

The ASME method of lug analysis is described in ASME BTH-1,


"Design of Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices." This method considers
the following failure modes, where the numbers correspond to the
figure:

1. Tension failure across the net section

2. Shear failure along two planes

3. Bearing failure

4. Fracture on single plane

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While the factor of safety on dishing (out-of-plane buckling) is not


explicitly calculated, the effective width calculation accounts for the
lug thickness in an attempt to protect against dishing failure.

The dimensions of interest for the lug analysis are shown in the
figure below:

The dimensions from the figure include:

Dh‫ܦ‬௛ = hole diameter

Dp‫ܦ‬௣ = pin diameter

beܾ௘ = net width (distance between the edge of the hole and the
edge of the lug in the transverse direction)

Rܴ = edge distance (distance from the center of the hole to the


edge of the lug in the direction of applied load)

r‫ = ݎ‬radius of curvature of edge of lug (greater than or equal to Rܴ)

=R−0.5Dh = ܴ − 0.5‫ܦ‬௛
aܽ = distance from the edge of the hole to the edge of the lug

t‫ = ݐ‬thickness (not shown in figure -- thickness is into the page)

Zܼ = loss in shear plane length due to curvature at the end of the


lug

ϕ߶ = shear plane locating angle

The analysis in ASME BTH is very similar to the simplified analysis,


with the exception of several correction factors that are calculated
based on test results. These correction factors are discussed
below.

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The lug strength is reduced as the fit between the pin and the hole
is loosened. The lug strength is not much affected as long as the
pin and hole are a relatively tight fit. ASME defines a strength
reduction factor that can be used to account for the pin-to-hole
clearance as:

1 if ‫ܦ‬௣ /‫ܦ‬௛ > 0.9


Cr=∣∣∣∣11−0.2751−D2pD2h−−−−−−√if Dp/Dh>0.9otherwise

‫ܥ‬௥ = ተ
1 − 0.275ට1 − ஽ మ otherwise
஽೛మ

where Dp‫ܦ‬௣ is the pin diameter and Dh‫ܦ‬௛ is the hole diameter.

A shear plane locating angle, ϕ߶, is used to locate the two planes
along which shear tear out occurs, as shown in the figure:

A larger value of ϕ߶ results in a larger shear plane area. Other


methodologies commonly take ϕ߶ as a constant value (typically
40°), but ASME relates it to the ratio of the pin diameter to the hole
diameter such that a loose-fitting pin has a smaller shear plane
area than a tight-fitting pin:

‫ܦ‬௣
ϕ=55∘DpDh

߶ = 55 ∘
‫ܦ‬௛

The term beܾ௘ is referred to as the net width and is the distance
between the edge of the hole and the edge of the lug in the
transverse direction, as shown in the figure:

In the tension calculations, an effective width is calculated and is


the smallest of the following:

• beff.1=beܾ௘௙௙.ଵ = ܾ௘ The effective width should not be

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larger than the actual net width.


This limit is intended to protect
against dishing failure (once the
lug thickness drops below 1/4 of

• beff.2=4tܾ௘௙௙.ଶ = 4‫ݐ‬
the net width beܾ௘ , the effective
width is driven down). This limit
can be ignored if the lug is
stiffened or constrained against
buckling.
beff.3=0.6beStuStyDhbe−−−√
ܾ௘௙௙.ଷ = 0.6ܾ௘ ௌ ට ௕
ௌ೟ೠ ஽೓
This equation is empirical, fitted

೟೤ ೐
to test results.

The effective width is calculated as:

ܾ௘௙௙ = min (ܾ௘௙௙.ଵ , ܾ௘௙௙.ଶ , ܾ௘௙௙.ଷ )


beff=min(beff.1,beff.2,beff.3)

A design factor (i.e. required factor of safety), Ndܰௗ , is used in the


strength calculations. The value for Ndܰௗ can be found from the
table below:

Design
Condition
Factor
Design Category A lifters (predictable loads, accurately
Ndܰௗ =
defined or non-severe environmental conditions, no
2.00
more than 20,000 load cycles)
Ndܰௗ = Design Category B lifters (unpredictable loads,
3.00 uncertain or severe environmental conditions)
A service class is used to account for fatigue life and is defined
based on the table below:

Service Class Load Cycles


0 0 - 20,000
1 20,001 - 100,000
2 100,001 - 500,000
3 500,001 - 2,000,000
4 Over 2,000,000

These strength calculations are only applicable for axially applied


loads, as indicated by the applied force arrow in the figure below:

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To determine whether the lug has sufficient strength, calculate a


factor of safety for each of the failure modes described below. As
long as the applied force is within the allowable load, and as long
as each factor of safety is acceptable, then the lug can be
considered to pass.

The ultimate tensile load is the load that would result in tensile
failure across the net section, and is given by:

ܲ௧.௨ = ‫ܥ‬௥ ⋅ ܵ௧௨ ⋅ ‫ܣ‬௧


Pt.u=Cr⋅Stu⋅At

where Cr‫ܥ‬௥ is the strength reduction factor and Stuܵ௧௨ is the


ultimate tensile strength of the lug. At‫ܣ‬௧ is the area of the net
section and is calculated by:

‫ܣ‬௧ = 2 ⋅ ‫ܾ ⋅ ݐ‬௘௙௙
At=2⋅t⋅beff

where beffܾ௘௙௙ is the effective width and t‫ ݐ‬is the lug thickness.

The allowable tensile load is based on the design factor, Ndܰௗ , and
is given by:

ܲ௧.௨
Pt=Pt.u1.20Nd

ܲ௧ =
1.20ܰௗ

Note that the allowable tensile load is based on the design factor
multiplied by 1.20. ASME requires the design factor for some of the
strength calculations to be higher than the nominal value. The
factor of safety is given by:

ܲ௧.௨
FSt=Pt.uFapp

‫ܵܨ‬௧ =
‫ܨ‬௔௣௣

1.20ܰௗ , but the required factor of safety may be larger depending


To meet ASME BTH, the factor of safety must be at least 1.20Nd

on customer requirements or engineering judgement.

The ultimate single plane fracture load is the load that would result

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in failure along the plane collinear with the applied load, and is
given by:

ܲ௕.௨ = ‫ܥ‬௥ ⋅ ܵ௧௨ ⋅ ‫ܣ‬௕


Pb.u=Cr⋅Stu⋅Ab

where Cr‫ܥ‬௥ is the strength reduction factor and Stuܵ௧௨ is the


ultimate tensile strength of the lug. Ab‫ܣ‬௕ is an effective area that is
calculated as:

‫ܦ‬௛ 0.92ܾ௘
Ab=[1.13(R−Dh2)+0.92be1+be/Dh]⋅t

‫ܣ‬௕ = ቈ1.13ቆܴ − ቇ+ ቉⋅‫ݐ‬


2 1 + ܾ௘ /‫ܦ‬௛

where Rܴ is the edge distance, Dh‫ܦ‬௛ is the hole diameter, beܾ௘ is


the net width, and t‫ ݐ‬is the lug thickness.

The allowable single plane fracture load is based on the design


factor, Ndܰௗ , and is given by:

ܲ௕.௨
Pb=Pb.u1.20Nd

ܲ௕ =
1.20ܰௗ

The factor of safety is given by:

ܲ௕.௨
FSb=Pb.uFapp

‫ܵܨ‬௕ =
‫ܨ‬௔௣௣

The ultimate double plane shear load is the load that would result in
shear tear out along the two planes, and is given by:

ܲ௩.௨ = 0.70ܵ௧௨ ‫ܣ‬௩


Pv.u=0.70StuAv

where Cr‫ܥ‬௥ is the strength reduction factor and Stuܵ௧௨ is the


ultimate tensile strength of the lug. Av‫ܣ‬௩ is the total area of the two
shear planes and is given by:

‫ܦ‬௣
Av=2⋅[a+Dp2(1−cos(ϕ))−Z]⋅t

‫ܣ‬௩ = 2 ⋅ ቈܽ + (1 − cos (߶)) − ܼ቉ ⋅ ‫ݐ‬


2

where ϕ߶ is the shear plane locating angle and Zܼ is the loss in


shear plane length due to the curvature at the end of the lug. This
loss is calculated as:

Z=r−r2−(Dp2sin(ϕ))2−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−√
‫ܦ‬௣

ܼ = ‫ ݎ‬− ඨ‫ ݎ‬ଶ − ቆ sin (߶)ቇ
2

Note that if the lug end is flat then r‫ ݎ‬is infinity and Zܼ is zero.

The allowable double plane shear load is based on the design

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factor, Ndܰௗ , and is given by:

ܲ௩.௨
Pv=Pv.u1.20Nd

ܲ௩ =
1.20ܰௗ

The factor of safety is given by:

ܲ௩.௨
FSv=Pv.uFapp

‫ܵܨ‬௩ =
‫ܨ‬௔௣௣

The ultimate bearing load is the load that would result in bearing
failure on either the lug or the pin. This ultimate load is dependent
on the number of load cycles that the connection will be subjected
to, and is given by:

1.25 ⋅ ܵ௧௬.௠௜௡ ⋅ ‫ܣ‬௣ for Service Class 0


Pp.u=∣∣∣1.25⋅Sty.min⋅Ap0.63⋅Sty.min⋅Apfor Service Class 0for Service Class 1 or higher

ܲ௣.௨ = อ
0.63 ⋅ ܵ௧௬.௠௜௡ ⋅ ‫ܣ‬௣ for Service Class 1 or higher

where Sty.minܵ௧௬.௠௜௡ is the minimum yield strength between the lug


and the pin (i.e. Sty.min=min(Sty.lug,Sty.pin)ܵ௧௬.௠௜௡ = min
(ܵ௧௬.௟௨௚ , ܵ௧௬.௣௜௡ ) ). Ap‫ܣ‬௣ is the pin bearing area and is calculated by:

‫ܣ‬௣ = ‫ܦ‬௣ ‫ݐ‬


Ap=Dpt

The allowable bearing load is based on the design factor, Ndܰௗ ,


and is given by:

ܲ௣.௨
Pp=Pp.uNd

ܲ௣ =
ܰௗ

The factor of safety is given by:

ܲ௣.௨
FSp=Pp.uFapp

‫ܵܨ‬௣ =
‫ܨ‬௔௣௣

The Air Force Manual specifies to calculate the factor of safety for
an obliquely loaded lug by drawing a line from the origin that
intersects with the allowable load curve, where the slope of the line

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is given by:

ܲ௨.௅
m=Pu.LPtru.L

݉=
ܲ௧௥௨.௅

where Pu.Lܲ௨.௅ is the ultimate load for an axially loaded lug and
Ptru.Lܲ௧௥௨.௅ is the ultimate load for a transversely loaded lug.

The problem with using the above equation for the slope is that the
intersection line is the same regardless of the angle of the applied
force. This problem is illustrated in the figure below:

If the applied force is at an angle of 5° such that it is almost entirely


axial, then the point for the applied load would lie along the blue
line as shown in the figure, and the intersection point should reflect
a factor of safety that is very close to that of a pure axially loaded
lug. Likewise, if the applied force is at an angle of 85° such that it is
almost entirely transverse, then the point for the applied load would
lie along the red line as shown in the figure, and the intersection
point should reflect a factor of safety that is very close to that of a
pure transversely loaded lug. Based on this reasoning, the slope of
the line should reflect the applied loading condition:

ܲ௧௥ /ܲ௧௥௨.௅ ܲ௧௥ ܲ௨ .௅


m=Ptr/Ptru.LPax/Pu.L=PtrPtru.LPu.LPax

݉= =
ܲ௔௫ /ܲ௨.௅ ܲ௧௥௨.௅ ܲ௔௫

It should be noted that the figure showing the lug with the clevis pin
does not accurately depict the relative sizing. The clevis pin should
be a relatively tight fit in the lug. Per ASME, the pin diameter should
be at least 90% of the lug hole diameter to avoid a reduction in the

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joint strength.

The variable names used in the Axial Load Coefficient plot from the
Air Force Manual are inconsistent with the rest of the variable
names throughout the manual. This plot originated in Melcon &
Hoblit, and the variable names from the plot were not updated to
match. The Air Force Manual uses the variable e݁ for edge
distance (center of hole to edge of lug) and aܽ for the distance
between the edge of the hole to the edge of the lug. However, the
plot uses aܽ for the edge distance (center of hole to edge of lug).

The effective edge distance for a transversely loaded lug is


calculated using a reciprocal average. The effect of the reciprocal
average is that the result is dominated by the smaller terms such
that a disproportionately large value will not drive up the average
much, but a disproportionately small value will drop the average
significantly (i.e. a weak link -- this is the same effect seen by
placing springs in series). The use of this equation for calculating
the effective edge distance for a transversely loaded lug originated
with Melcon and Hoblit. They stated that the reason for the
coefficient 3 on the h1ℎଵ term was to reduce scatter on their test
data, but that it made sense because in a transversely loaded lug
the h1ℎଵ section will be taking most of the load.

To calculate the ultimate load components for an obliquely loaded


lug, it is necessary to determine a relationship between the ultimate
components. It is known that the actual load ratios are proportional
to the ultimate load ratios since these ratios lie along the same load
line:

ܴ௧௥ ܴ௧௥.௨௟௧
RtrRax=Rtr.ultRax.ult

=
ܴ௔௫ ܴ௔௫.௨௟௧

Express the ratios in terms of the load components and simplify:

ܲ௧௥ ܲ௨.௅.஻ ܲ௧௥.௨௟௧ ܲ௨.௅.஻


PtrPtru.L.B⋅Pu.L.BPax=Ptr.ultPtru.L.B⋅Pu.L.BPax.ult

⋅ = ⋅
ܲ௧௥௨.௅.஻ ܲ௔௫ ܲ௧௥௨.௅.஻ ܲ௔௫.௨௟௧

ܲ௧௥ ܲ௧௥.௨௟௧
PtrPax=Ptr.ultPax.ult

=
ܲ௔௫ ܲ௔௫.௨௟௧

The load components are related by the angle of the applied load:

ܲ௧௥ ܲ௧௥.௨௟௧
tan(α)=PtrPax=Ptr.ultPax.ult

tan (ߙ) = =
ܲ௔௫ ܲ௔௫.௨௟௧

It should be noted that the factor of safety for an obliquely loaded


lug can be incorporated into the allowable load curve itself by:

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ܲ௔௫.௔௟௟௢௪ ܲ௧௥.௔௟௟௢௪ 1
(Pax.allowPu.L.B)1.6+(Ptr.allowPtru.L.B)1.6=(1FS)1.6
ଵ.଺ ଵ.଺ ଵ.଺
ቆ ቇ +ቆ ቇ =ቆ ቇ
ܲ௨.௅.஻ ܲ௧௥௨.௅.஻ ‫ܵܨ‬

The factor of safety can then be calculated directly by:

FS=⎛⎝⎜⎜1(Pax.allowPu.L.B)1.6+(Ptr.allowPtru.L.B)1.6⎞⎠⎟⎟0.625
଴.଺ଶହ

1
‫⎛ = ܵܨ‬ ⎞
⎜ ௉ೌೣ.ೌ೗೗೚ೢ ଵ.଺ ଵ.଺

൬ ൰ +൬ ൰
௉೟ೝ.ೌ೗೗೚ೢ
⎝ ௉ೠ.ಽ.ಳ ௉ ೟ೝೠ.ಽ.ಳ ⎠

Mailing List

Subscribe to receive occasional updates on the latest


improvements:

1. ASME BTH-1, "Design of Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices," The


American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2014.

2. Bruhn, E.F., "Analysis and Design of Flight Vehicle Structures,"


June 1973.

3. Melcon, M.A and F.M. Hoblit, "Development in the Analysis of Lugs


and Shear Pins," Product Engineering, June 1953.

4. Niu, Michael C., "Airframe Stress Analysis and Sizing," October


2011.

5. "Stress Analysis Manual," Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory,


October 1986.

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