Behavior of the Joint Loaded in Tension: A Closer Look


more, somewhat reducing the clamping force and stress on the gasket. Because the aluminum still wants to expand more than the other materials, the steady-state stress on the gasket remains higher than the initial assembly stress. When the engine is turned off, and returns to room temperature, the stress on the gasket returns to the original value. At least it will do this if the added stress has not caused some irreversible plastic deformation in the gasket. Thermal cycles can ‘‘ratchet’’ all of the clamping force out of a gasketed joint, thanks to hysteresis and creep in the gasket. In the present example, however, the manufacturer says that the stress merely returns to the original value. It’s often useful to be able to estimate the change (increase or decrease) in bolt tension, and clamping force on the joint, created by thermal expansion. We can proceed as follows. The relationship between initial preload in a bolt, and the change of length of that bolt, can be estimated with Hooke’s law. FP ¼ AS E DLB LE (11:12)

where FP ¼ preload (lb, N) AS ¼ tensile stress area (in.2, mm2) E ¼ modulus of elasticity of bolt (psi, N=mm2) LE ¼ effective length of bolt (in., mm) DLB ¼ change in length of bolt (in., mm) The additional tension (or loss of tension) created in the bolt by differential expansion between joint members and bolt (FT) can be approximated by FT ¼ AS E ðDLJ À DLB Þ LE (11:13)

where DLJ ¼ change in length (thickness) of the joint (in., mm) DLB ¼ change in length of the bolt (in., mm) FT ¼ the additional tension or loss of tension created by differential expansion (lb, N) Both the tension in the bolt and the clamping force on the joint will be increased if DLJ is greater than DLB. They’ll be decreased if the bolt expands more than the joint. We can compute these changes in length=thickness as follows: DLB ¼ r1 LG (Dt) DLJ ¼ r2 LG (Dt) where r1 ¼ coefficient of thermal expansion of the bolt material (in.=in.=8F, mm=mm=8C) r2 ¼ coefficient of thermal expansion of the joint material (in.=in.=8F, mm=mm=T) LG ¼ the grip length of the joint (in., mm) Dt ¼ the change in temperature (8F, 8C) It’s important to note that the length=thickness changes used in Equations 11.13 through 11.15 are changes that would be caused by a change in temperature if the bolts had not been tightened. For example, if the bolts and joint members were lying on a bench, and the temperature in the room raised or lowered, the parts would experience the changes in (11:14) (11:15)

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