University of Waterloo

Department of Mechanical Engineering

ME 322 - Mechanical Design 1 Partial notes – Part 3
(Bolted Connections)
G. Glinka

Fall 2007


Design of Bolts and Bolted Connections
Bolts are very important engineering members and their principal use is to clamp parts together with enough force to seal pressure within a vessel (or pipe) or to prevent motion between parts. Bolts and other threaded connectors have long been standardized machine components ; therefore the task of the designer is not to design bolts, but to select them, and to ensure that the bolts and the parts that they connect have adequate strength.

Thread standards and Definitions
The terminology of screw threads, illustrated below is explained as follows.

Sharp Vee threads are shown for clarity; the crests and roots are actually flatted or rounded during the forming operation. 2

* The pitch is the distance between adjacent thread forms measured parallel to the thread axis * The major diameter d is the largest diameter of a screw thread * The minor diameter d r or d 1 is the smallest diameter of a screw thread * The lead l, not shown, is the distance the nut moves parallel to the screw axis when the nut is given one turn. For a single thread, the lead is the same as the pitch Basic thread profile for metric M and MJ threads. D (d) = basic major diameter of internal (external) thread; Dr (dr) = basic minor diameter of internal (external) thread; Dp (dp) = basic pitch diameter of internal (external) thread;
Internal threads

External threads

ρ = pitch; H = 0.5(3)1/ 2 ρ .
The American National (United) thread standard has been approved in the U.K. for use on all standard threaded products (shown below). 3

From: Douglas Wright, The University of Western Australia

A thread can be likened to a piece of string wound in a tight helix around a cylinder - or around a conical frustum in the case of pipe thread designed to eliminate leakage. When a nut on a screw is rotated by one turn, it travels along the screw a distance known as the lead L. Developing one turn of the thread at the mean diameter dm ( the average of major and minor diameters ) gives the lead angle (or helix angle ) λ as tanλ = L /π·dm. Power screws may employ multiple threads, or starts, so L = p ∗ number of starts as illustrated. Fasteners on the other hand are almost invariably single start (L = p). They are also right handed to avoid confusion in tightening, though LH screws appear in turnbuckles and in certain bicycle parts where the prevailing torque would tend to loosen RH fasteners.


a) Round head

b) Flat head

c) Fillister head

d) Oval head

e) Truss head

f) Binding head

g) Hex head (trimmed)

h) Hex head (upset)

Two major United thread series are in common use : UN and UNR. The UNR difference between these is that a root radius must be used in the UNR series. Because of decreased thread stress-concentration factors, UNR series have improved fatigue strength. United threads are specified by stating the nominal major diameter, the number of threads per inch, and the thread series:

5'' 5'' − 18UNRF ; − 11UNRC ; 8 8

or 5

0.625''− 18UNRF F − fine thread C − coarse thread

6 .

metric The symbol above means : metric thread having a nominal major diameter of 12 mm and a pitch of 1. end of thread 7 . This is the area used for strength calculations Root. The area of this unthreaded rod is called the tensile-stress area At of the threaded rod.Metric threads are specified by writing the diameter and pitch in millimeters. also same as lead for single thread) Diameter corresponding to tensile stress area. or minor diameter Pitch.75 M . (= reciprocal of number of threads per inch. in that order M 12 × 1. At (Area of an unthreaded rod having the same strength) Helix angle Major diameter( about the same as nominal diameter) Run-out.75 mm Tensile stress area At (or effective area) A great many tensile tests of threaded rods have shown that an unthreaded rod having a diameter equal to the mean of the pitch diameter ‘dp’ and minor diameter will have the same tensile strength as the threaded rod.

Basic dimensions of bolt heads and nuts L L – bolt length Hexagonal nuts: a) end view. general b) washer faced regular nut c) regular nut chamfered on both sides d) jam nut with washer face e) jam nut chamfered on both sides 8 .

9 .

31. Dimensions of Hexagonal Nuts 10 .Table A.

11 .

8. 7.LT Length of the threaded portion within the grip from the equation LT = L. Thread length LT from Table 8-7 Bolt length L from the relation L > l+H (Table 8-7 for preferred length) Length of the unthreaded portion from the relation ld = L . 4. 3.ld Area of the unthreaded portion from the equation Ad = πd2/4 Area of threaded portion At is the same as the tensile-stress area. Grip or thickness of connected members.Recommended procedure for the determination of bolted joint dimensions (bolt and nut joint) ld lt t LT l = LG Given: 1. Nut height H from Table A-31 Washer thickness t from Table A -32 or A -33. 6. l = LG Bolt diameter d and pitch p or number of threads per inch Find: 1. Bolt stiffness kb from Eq. 2. 9. 2. 5. (8-17) 12 .

2. Washer thickness t from Table A-32 or A-33. t2 < d ⎪ l ' = L'G = ⎨ ⎪h + d . (8-17) 13 .Recommended procedure for the determination of bolted joint dimensions (cap srew joint) h t t1 t2 d l l’ ld L LT Effective grip ⎧ t2 ⎪ h + 2 .ld Area of unthreaded portion: Ad= πd 2/ 4 Area of threaded portion: AT = At (from Table 8 -1. 4. 7. t ≥ d 2 ⎪ ⎩ 2 Find: 1. 8. use Table 8-7 Cap screw length from expression: L>h+1.LT Length of useful threaded portion from: l = l’ . Thread length LT.5d Length of unthreaded portion from: ld= L . same as for bolts. 8 -2) Cap screw (fastener) stiffness kb from: Eq. 5. 6. 3.

14 . If any mark is missing the bolt may be imported or home made. The tensile strength is the stress at which failure of the joint may occur (analogous to the ultimate strength). in addition to the grade marking. The proof load is the maximum load (force) that a bolt can withstand without acquiring a permanent set (corresponding to 0.Bolt Strength The bolt strength is the key factor in the design or analysis of bolted connections.0001 permanent strain in the fastener) The proof strength is the quotient of the proof load and the tensile-stress area. and the minimum tensile strength. This is confirmation that the bolt meets or exceeds specifications. The proof strength = The prooof load Tensile stress area The proof strength thus correspond roughly to the yieldpoint strength and is about 90% of the 0. Note! All specification-grade bolts made in the US bear a manufacturer’s mark or logo. on the bolt head. the strength is specified by stating the minimum proof strength. The bolts strength parameters are given in various specification codes.2 percent offset yield strength. In the specification standard for bolts. or minimum proof load.

15 .

These names are associated with the three basic clamping arrangements. the bolt passes through the hole in the part being clamped and mates with a nut (Fig. 16 . which includes the subcategories cap screws and studs. shown below. rather than with a nut.Basic bolting arrangements Our discussion concerns that class of fasteners known as bolts. the bolts mates with threads with one of the member. c) Stud. In the majority of cases. The unthreaded shank of a stud or bolt helps to locate the part being assembled. b) Cap screw or tap bolt. a). P P P a) P b) P P c) Basic bolted arrangements. a) Bolt and nut. Occasionally.

and notice how the bolt threads extend into the body of the connection. the clamping force which produces tension in the bolt induces compression in the members. Since the members are being clamped together. This clamping force is called the pre-tension or the bolt preload. 17 . l l’ p a) b) Notice the clearance space provided by the bolts holes. Twisting the nut in Fig. A streches the bolts to produce the clamping force.Joint Analysis Tension Connections – Preloading Theory Stiffeness of a fastener Sections through two typical tension-loaded joints are illustrated in Figures below.

Special nuts which alleviate non-uniform load distribution are available. so it is hardly surprising that bolt fractures usually occur in the exposed threads close to the nut face. It is clear that there is little benefit from an engagement length exceeding half-a-dozen threads. 18 . The University of Western Australia We have noted that the elastic behaviour of connected members has a significant effect upon the distribution of load between their connectors. In an elastic bolt and nut connected by a number of thread turns. the first 'thread' takes a disproportionate fraction of the total tensile load (see the sketch above).Stress concentration and load distribution along the threaded part of the bolt Nut P Bolt From: Douglas Wright. The variation of normal stress σ over a crosssection adjacent to the nut face ( as sketched ) is dominated by stress concentration induced by the thread root.

b) is. in reality. It is generally assumed that in the case of a bolt with a nut (Fig. (a) Forces applied under the head of the bolt and the nut. P P P P P (a) (b) P (c) Extremes of external loading application. (b) Opposite extreme is application of the forces at the joint interface. a) that the forces are applied under the head of the bolt and of the nut.The difference between the solution A and B can be illustrated by the locations of the points of external load application. (a) and (b). the nut. The actual location is somewhere between the two. (c) Force application in a tap bolt. and the load can be assumed to act where the threads begin. This is the worst case. In the case of a cup screw the threaded part of the joint (Fig. 19 .

4 km .3 km .Modeling of the bolted region in grip P t d 3 2 4 5 1 t2 P It is assumed that the two cone (frustum) region in grip is resisting the gripping force from the bolt! The resultant stiffness of all members in grip: The resultant stiffness of all members in grip: 1 1 1 1 = + + km km .5 1 1 1 = + kb kb .2 20 .1 kb .

1 1 1 = + kb kb.The Bolt Stiffeness The spring constant or the stiffness constant of an elastic member such as a bolt. is the ratio between the force applied to the member and the deflection produced be the force.2 = δ2 Fb .1 kb.2 Fb Fb kb. (a) Defining stiffness. .1 kb.2 21 Calculating bolt stiffness.1 kb. (b) Bars in series are springs in series.1 = δ1 Fb . kb. Fb Fb Slope k ( Fb = kδ ) k= 0 a) Fb δ Fb Fb kb.2 Fb b) kb.

σ 0 Fb Fb Fb σ= 4 Fb πd2 σ= 4 Fb At Fb l Fb d = nominal diameter. = . σ . At E kT At E Bolt stiffness kb! 1 1 1 = + kb kd kT ⇒ Ad At E kb = Ad lT + At ld 22 . δT = .average stress F/A Fb ld ld 1 δd = . that of the unthreaded portion and that of the threaded portion. Thus the stiffness constant of the bolt is equivalent to the stiffness of the spring in series. A t = stress area. Ad E kd Ad E l 1 Fb lT = T .The stiffness of the portion of a bolt or screw within clamped zone will generally consists of two parts.

Stiffness of clamped members – the model Joint stiffness model (Cone – frustum model) di = 2r0 d = 2ri di = 2r0 Compression of a member in the clamp assumed to be confined to the frustum of a hollow cone! 23 .

dw – washer diameter 24 .

deflection curves of the bolt and the joint members can be plotted as shown above. When we tighten a bolt. ( a) we apply torque to the nut. the bolt is put into an initial tension Fi (preload) and the joint will be under equal but opposite compression. ( c) the bolt stretches. 25 .' It helps to consider the bolt as a tension spring. with stiffness kb and the joint members it clamps as compression spring with stiffness km. The load vs.Analysis of bolted joints under external load To start the analysis let examine the bolt holding two parts of a joint together. When the joint is assembled. ( b) the nut turns. as shown in the Figure below. ( d) creating preload.

The statics of a bolted joint in grip P P It is assumed that the gripping force Fb and the load P are transferred by the material volume represented by the two cone shaped frusta (shaded). 26 .

P=0) Fi Free body diagrams Fi Fi Fi Fi Fi -initial pre-load Fi 27 .e. i.Static equilibrium of pre-looded (pre-torqued) bolted joint (no external load.

Static equilibrium of pre-looded (pre-torqued) bolted joint (with applied external load. P) P P δ Fi Fb Fi P Free body diagrams P Fb Fb P Fb P Fm Fb Fm 28 Fi -initial pre-load Fb .

Equilibrium of forces The task of the analyst is to determine the tensile load on the bolt and the compressive load on the members in grip! P + Fm − Fb = 0 Fm = Fi − kmδ Fb = Fi + kbδ P + Fi − kmδ − Fi − kbδ b = 0 P = kbδ + kmδ δ= P kb + km The force on the bolt: kb Fb = Fi + kbδ = Fi + P kb + km km P kb + km The force on the members in grip: Fm = Fi − kmδ = Fi − The resultant forces Fb and Fm on the bolt and members in grip respectively are linear functions of the load but the increase (change) of the load from 0 to P changes the bolt and members load by a fraction of the applied load P because: kb < km < 1 kb + km kb + km 29 .

Variation of the force Fb and Fm as a function of the external load P Fb Fm Fi kb Fb = Fi + P kb + km kb·δ P km·δ km P Fm = Fi − kb + km 0 P Because the stiffness kb is less than the stiffness km therefore the increase of the bolt load Fb is smaller than the decrease of the load Fm on members in grip. 30 .

kb + km or and at separation : Fi = kmδ 0 P0 = kb P0 + Fi ⇒ P0 = kb + km Fi kb 1− kb + km P0 = Fi kb + km Fi kb = . where : C = km kb + km 1− C 31 .Separation of the joint and the separation load Po Fb Fm kb·δo Fi Po km·δo 45o 0 P0 = kbδ 0 + kmδ 0 ⇒ Po P δ0 = P0 .

i.e. no external load. P=0) The same analysis can be carried out in terms of the displacement δ ! Fb Fi Fi Fm δm 0b Extension δb Contraction δm 0m Compression 32 Tension .Analysis of bolted joints under external load (pre-torqued.

through some distance δ which can be related to the load δ =Pb/kb and δ =Pm/km P P δ Fi .kmδ Fi +kbδ = Fb 33 .Nomenclature: Fi – preload P – external tensile load Pb – portion of P taken by the bolt Pm – portion of P taken be members Fb=Pb+Fi – resultant bolt load Fm=Pm-Fi – resultant load in member The load P is tension. and it causes the connection to stretch.

P·km/(kb + km) .Analysis of bolted joints under external load (under external load. P) Fb Compression 34 Fb=Fi + kbδ Fi Tension Fm Pb Pm Fi Fm=Fi .kmδ 0b δ Extension δb δm 0m Contraction δm δ – extension of bolt = reduction in contraction of members in grip P + Fi – kmδ = Fi + kbδ → P = kmδ + kbδ = Pm + Pb δ = P⁄ (kb +km) Fb = Fi + P·kb/(kb + km) Fm = Fi .

respectively. Since C is always less than 1 it means that only fraction of the load is taken by the bolt! 35 .The ratios C and (1-C) are the coefficients of load P and they describe the proportion of the external load taken by the bolt (Pb=CP) and by the member (Pm=(1-C)P).

Fatigue loading of bolted joints It has been observed that the distribution of typical bolt failures is about 15% under the head. and 65% in the thread at the nut face. should be accounted for. load. But first. σ σ l 0 The stresses used in the calculations are the average stresses σ and therefore all necessary corrections such as correction for the surface. size. This coincides with the section of the highest stress concentration. loading on the bolt has to be determined! 36 . stress concentration etc. 20% in the end of the thread.

Pmax 37 0 .Cyclic load and cyclic stress in the bolt Fb.min=Fi Fb.m Fb.max Fb Pb Fb= Fi+kbδ Fi Fm Fm= Fi-kmδ 0b P=Pmax t δb δ δm 0m P Loading history Due to cyclic loading: 0 .max-Fi)/2 Fb.a= (Fb.a Fb.

Relation between stress amplitude σa and the mean stress σm σa=CP/2At. σm=σa+Fi/At Because the term (Fi/At) is constant then the relation σa-σm can be represented by straight line with the slope 1 beginning at σm=Fi/At. Fi σm = σa + At σa Se + σm S uts =1 38 .

safe Safety factor against fatigue: n = Sa /σa After solving for the factor of safety guarding against fatigue failure.The σm . B . Sm C – failure point.σa relation and the Goodman diagram can also be shown in the form of the diagram below. one should also check the possibility of yielding. n= Sy σ max Fi = Sy σm + σa = At = Sy Fi At + 2σ a n= Sy At + CP At S y Fi + CP 39 .

Fatigue Strength of Bolts The fatigue endurance of a bolt can be estimated as in cases described in the section on Fatigue. emprically determined fatigue notch factors are recommended to be used in the equation above. Fatigue notch factors Kf’ for threaded elements Note! The fatigue notch factors Kf’ given in Table A-31 are not exactly as the fatigue notch factors Kf discussed in the section on Fatigue because the Kf’ factors include both the effect of the stress concentration factor Kt and the surface finish factor ka. given below. In addition. are also corrected for the surface finish.e. Therefore the fatigue limit of bolts should be determined as: Se = 1 ·kb·kc·kd·1/Kf’·S’e Table A-31. Kf’ = ka/Kf 40 . Therefore. the fatigue notche factors Kf for bolts. determination of the fatigue factor Kf for bolts is somewhat complex. i. Se = ka ·kb·kc·kd·ke·S’e However.

In the case of SAE and ISO rolled threads the amount of cold work and strain hardening is known to the designer. therefore full corrected axial fatigue limit (endurance limit) Se is reported. It means that the designer does not need to make any corrections to the fatigue limits given in the Table below! 41 .

The members have modulus of elasticity E= 16 Mpsi: All bolts have been carefully preloaded to the load level Fi=25 kip each: a) If hardened-steel washers and C c) Using the modified Goodman line. 42 . what length of bolts should be used? b) Find stiffness kb .Example: The section of the scaled joint shown in the figure is loaded by a repeated force P= 6 kip. find the factor of safety guarding against fatigue failure d) Find the load factor guarding against over-proof loading.134 in thick are to be used under the heal and nut.

a) b) c) joint ( butt splice) under axial loading gusset plate – axial and eccentric loading bracket – eccentric loading 43 . The Figure below shows joints of this type. Bolt locations are designated by a circle ‘●’. When the forces on a joint tend to slide the members over each other . the joint is loaded in shear. Bolted/riveted jojnts in shear.Bolted and riveted joints loaded in shear Riveted and bolted joints loaded in shear are treated exactly alike in design and analysis.

failure by shearing of the bolt (rivet) 2. failure by crushing of the bolt (bolt in bearing) 3. failure by crushing of the plate at a bolt location (member in bearing) 4a. failure of a member in tension 4b. failure of a member in combined tension and bending 5. failure of a member in shear tear-out 44 .Modes of failure – for bolted joints in shear There are five basic modes of failure of a bolted/riveted joint subjected to shear loading : 1.

the loading is said to be axial. 1. shear stress in the bolt: τ= F F 4F = = A πd2 /4 πd2 Allowable force based on the distortion strain energy hypothesis and the bolt material yield strength: 3τ 2 ≤ S ys ⇒ τ 3 ≤ S ys 4F 3 ≤ S ys 2 πd F≤ S ysπ d 2 4 3 45 .Bolted joints under axial shear load If the load application is through the centroid of the bolt pattern. Bolt in shear (bolt failure due to shear).

y2).e. A2…. The location of each bolt is characterized by the coordinates of each bolt.A5 be the respective cross-sectional areas of a group of five bolts. A2 (x2. A3 (x3..y3). A5 (x5.y1) . A1 (x1.y4).y5). Therefore one has to know the coordinates of the bolt pattern centroid G (x.Bolted and riveted joints under eccentric shear load A joint is eccentrically loaded when the line of action of the load not pass through the bolt pattern centroid. A4 (x4. y A2 A3 G A1 A4 y 0 A5 x x n A1 x 1 + A 2 x 2 + A 3 x 3 + A 4 x 4 + A 5 x 5 ∑ = 1n x= A1 + A 2 + A 3 + A 4 + A 5 Ai x i ∑ Ai 1 n A1 y 1 + A 2 y 2 + A 3 y 3 + A 4 y 4 + A 5 y 5 ∑ = 1n y= A1 + A 2 + A 3 + A 4 + A 5 Ai y i ∑ Ai 1 46 . i. Using rules of statics we can calculate the coordinates of the centroid G. y) Coordinates of the bolt pattern centroid G Let (figure below) A1.

. When an eccentric joint is a bearing joint. the load can be transferred to the centroid of the bolt group as a force plus moment as illustrated below 47 . motion is prevented by interference between bolts and plates.Shear forces acting upon bolts The location of the centroid of the group of bolts is needed to be known in order to determine the shear forces which act upon each bolt. i.e.

Loads on Bolts under eccentric loading .Example 48 .

2A 49 .

Example The figure below shows a welded fitting which has been tentatively designed to be bolted to the channel so as to transfer the 2500 lb load into the channel. the two fitting plates are of hot-rolled stock having a minimum Sys of 45. The channel is made of hot-rolled law-carbon steel having a minimum yield strength 46ksi.5ksi. The fitting is to be bolted using six standard SAE grade-2 bolts. Check the strength of the design by computing the factor of safety for all possible modes of failure! 50 .

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