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threaded fasteners is the best indicator of tener while monitoring both torque and

future joint performance, right? Actually, tension. At a specified torque or tension, David Archer :4,

2t1

President

bolt tension is a better performance indi- the known values for 7, D, and F are in- ln

Archetype Fasteners LLC ',,

cator, but measuring torque is far easier serted into the short-form equation to per-

Orion, Mich. ,41

Bolt tension is created when a bolt elon- Many engineers use a single value of K Edited by Jessica Shapiro

jessica.shapi ro@penton.com

,:

gates during tightening, producing the across a variety of threaded-fastener diam- *

clamp load that prevents movement be- eters and geometries. This approach is valid Key points: .4

t

tween joint members. Such movement is to some extent, because an experimentally . The experimentally determined

*ta4

arguably the most common cause of struc- determined nut factor is by definition inde- nut factot K. consolidates the

/a

tural joint failures. The relationship be- pendent of fastener diameter. But to truly friction effects on threaded- t!:

fastener systems.

tween applied torque and the tension cre- understand the factors involved, it is help-

ful to compare the short-form equation . A nut factor determined for one tt

ated is described by the relationship:

from engineering principles. fasteners of similar geometry but :al

different diameters. x

where T = torque, K = nut factor, some- Several of these equations are common, ia

times called the friction factor, D = bolt especially in designs that are primarily used .Testing joint prototypes y,;

g

diameter, and F = bolt tension generated in the E.U. Each produces similar results highlig hts fastener interactions

during tightening. This expression is often and takes the general form: and points out design flaws.

t;

L

called the short-form equation. Resources:

T=FxX *

n

ArchetypeJoint !LC,

The nut factor where X represents a series of terms w w w. a r ch ety pej o i nt. co m a,

The nut factor, K consolidates all fac- detailing fastener geometry and friction 'Joint Decisions," Mncurnr Drsrcru,

ar'

tat

tors that affect clamp load, many of which coefficients. These relationships are often April 1, 2005, http://ti ny.cc/ZgcTy

,.7

*

are difficult to quantify without mechani- referred to as long-form equations. (Three "How Tight is Right?" Mncurr're

ta

cal testing. The nut factor is, in reality, a of the most widely used long-form equa- Drsren, August 23, 2001, ta:l

ta,

fudge factor, not derived from engineering tions are discussed in the sidebar, The long http://tiny.cc/tH8zc

principles, but arrived at experimentally to wary')

make the short-form equation valid. To understand how the nut factor com-

Various torque-tension tests call for pares to the terms in the long-form equa-

i

tions, let's consider the so-called Motosh

equation:

7,,= Frx l(Pl2t) + (y,x r,lcos p1 + (y,x r,)J

where 7, = input torque, Fp = fastener pre-

load, P = thread pitch, U,= friction coefficient

in the threads, rr = effective radius ofthread

contact, p = halfangle ofthe thread form (30'

for UN and ISO threads), l, = friction coef-

ficientunderthenutorhead, andr =

effective radius ofhead contact.

The equation is essentially three -

terms, each of which represents a

reaction torque. The three reaction

torques must sum to equal the input

torque. These elements, both dimen-

sional and frictional, contribute in

varying degrees to determining the

torque-tension relationship, the pur-

pose ofcalculating nut factor.

So how do design decisions influ-

ence the nut factor that defines the

torque-tension relationship? Specifi-

cally, engineers maywonder howvalid

a nut factor determined from a torque-

tension test on one twe of fastener is

for other fastener geometries.

The short-form equation is structured so that the fas- tests on one fastener diameter can be used to calculate the

tener diameter, D, is separate from the nut factor, K. This torque-tension relationship for fasteners with a different

implies that a nut factor derived from torque-tension diameter.

r-

,,v I

J

factor itself, how- 35o/o

ever, this approach While the nut

isonlyanipproxi- factor K, in

mation. The ac- $J roo" the short-form

equation is

curacv of usine u F- experimentally

F )\o/^

nomlnal lastener determined,

diameter, D, to .g long-form

applyaconstant !2aon equations use

nut factor across E several variables

a range of fastener 3 rcon to quantify

sizes depends E the effects of

on the extent to P thread pitch and

" c ^^",

lv-/o friction on the

wnrcn lastener clr- ; torque-tension

ameter affects re- .0

relationship.The

traces shown

here help explain

the effect each

4oo/o 600/o 80o/o 1$0o/o variable has on

lncrease in variable (o/o) bolt tension.

Clearance-hole diameter, for instance, is directly tied There is a maximum deviation of 4.2o/o between the

to nominal diameter. The long-form equations calculate results ofthe short and long-form equations for stan-

that swapping a close-diametrical-clearance hole with dard-pitch, metric, hex-head-cap screws with constant

one 10% larger leads to a 2o/o reduction in bolt tension and equal coefficients offriction. As friction coefficients

for a given torque. Enlarging the fastener-head bearing increase, there's less error in assuming the nut factor var-

diameter by 35o/o, say by replacing a standard hex-head ies directly with nominal diameter because the impact of

fastener with a hex-flange-head, cuts bolt tension by 8% thread pitch, the most independent variable, falls.

for a given torque. So, if all else is held constant, it's reasonabie to apply

Both bearing diameter and hole clearance generally a nut factor calculated at one fastener diameter across a

scale linearly with bolt diameter, so their relative impor- range offastener sizes. For best resuits, engineers should

tance remains the same over a range of fastener diame- base testing on the weighted mean diameter of the fasten-

ters. However, different head styles or

clearances change the reaction torque

from underhead friction because the

contact radius changes.

Doubling the thread friction coef-

ficient on its own, say by changing the

finish or removing lubricant, reduces 50

bolt tension by 28Vo for a given torque.

Engineers should note that the thread 240

and underhead friction coefficients are CJ

nience in test setups and calculations.

ISO 16047 estimates that this assumD- 20

tion can lead to errors of I to 2o/o.

Thread pitch tends to be more 10

indeoendent of nominal diameter

thanlhe other variables. Increasing

just thread pitch by 40% cuts tension 0l020304050

5o/o for a given torque. However, the Tension (kN)

reaction-torque term containing the

thread pitch, P Torque-tension tests on simplified representative joints let engineers

- Pl2n - does not

contain a friction coefficient. There-

determine a nut factor that can define the torque-tension relationship for

similar fasteners with different diameters. However, sample-to-sample

fore, as fastener diameter and, conse- variations in friction can make results vary by as much as 10o/o.

quently, friction increase, the relative

a; .f the long-

The long and short of it ri)r:m equa-

Theshort-form tlons get en-

equation, I=K

xDxF,usingan gli'eers closer

experimentilly to the "right"

derived nutfactor, aF 'wer thanks

F=0.16,K=0.206 K,givesslightly to their fun-

f=008,K=0115 different results da.nental cor-

90ok -i '-i thanthelong-form re tness. How-

>s;:

-:l equationovera e,.

- r lnno_fnrm

""'

xii rangeoffastener "'""b

Q B0olo -r-, sizesasshown here

ei atlons' even

xl

v fortwo different \'! en oerlveo

frictionlevels. tI. n enqlneer-

700/0 ;--'-.*- 1..--.- Results fall within ing principles,

i: I

5oloofeachother. u, l assumP-

l

Thevaluesforpand ti ns and ap-

600/0! :- -.. :, - "M; ,,.-,;...-..-.,-.---,..,-,,...,...."-,..,.,-...,....:,.- ........-..,.---.--,-,;--..---,"-..';-) Kwere chosen to pr ximations

-.

--

-.. - -

M5 M6 Mlo M12 M14 M16 M20 M22 M24 normalizetracesfor ih t may make

Ml2fasteners. tt m no more

Nominal fastener diameter

, ,:i,r,t:t,t,t1: I t,t:

I i :. .. :-.:::':' :' '... . (lC fect than an

rr( ation using

ers forwhich the nut factor will be used. an experimentally derived nut factor.

Many engineers find it expedient to apply a single nut The potential errors in both types of e uations pale

factor across even greater fastener ranges, such as those compared to the variations in real-world jo, ts. Benchtop

with different head styles or clearance diameters. Apply- torque-tension testing shows approximate y 10% varia-

ing the nut factor to joints where geometric variables other tions within samples even when all fastt:ner and bearing

than nominal diameters are changing causes the short- materials are the same. According to both s, trt and long-

form-equation results to differ from the long-form results form equations, there should be no variatir n at all. Fric-

byupto l5%. tion coefficients seem to vary from sample t sample.

The situation is even worse in prodtr.ct )n-represen-

Long or short? tative joints. One in-joint torque-lension est with bolt

all the discussion about which variables im-

So given tension measured in real time using ultraso c pulse-echo

pact the nut factor and when it is reasonable to use a con- techniques revealed variations inherent in how compo-

stant nut factor across a range offasteners, it may seem nents fit together. A slx-bolt pattern magnil ed the effects

of imperfect contacl i :tween bolts

and the bearing surfa ce ind produced

a 607o sample-to-sample variation

because both geometric and friction

variables were changinS tver the sam-

ple set.

t

The bottom line is it neither the

nut factor nor the lon -form equa-

E

tion's friction coefficier .s can be reli-

z

OJ

ably established using reference ta-

bles. Only testing acci,rately deter-

mines friction conditicns. As we have

seen, these are too sensitive to com-

ponent and assembly variation to be

determined by analysis lone.

Testing reliably c verts input

torque to induced te ion, Ietting

0102030405060 engineers determine ean friction

coefficients or nut fa iors and the

Tension (kN)

distributions about 1 rose means.

Torque-tension tests on prototype joints, like this one on a six-bolt pattern,

Tests may also help en;ineers iden-

can highlight design problems in joint design. ln this <ase, variations of up to

600lo from sample to sample indicated that the joint geometry was magnifying

tify inherent shortcomings in joints

the effects of imperfect contact between fastener and bearing surface. that need to be revised o make them

more reliable. MD

AUGUST20,2009 IVACHINEDesign,com

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