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How to - Model Bolted and Riveted Joints

Bolts and threaded fasteners are used in almost all items which people use or rely upon, and are a highly cost-effective means of connecting components, particularly if they may need to be disassembled.

Understanding how joints will behave and knowing their load carrying capacity is critical when designing new products or structures, as frequently bolted joints will be part of a load path, or will be used to create seals etc, and hence if failure of a joint was to occur, which may be manifested in a number of ways, the product or structure will be deemed as inadequate, and will require redesigning.

As there is a continuous drive for improved reliability combined with minimal weight and manufacturing cost, there is increasing use of finite element modelling (simulation) which provides virtual testing. This is used to confirm the adequacy of bolted joints, to optimise joint designs and to reduce development costs.

Using finite element analysis (FEA), the effects of many factors which influence the behaviour of a joint can be represented accurately, leading to reliable results being obtained.

This book is structured to provide information on:

  • Types of joints, how they work and what affects their performance (e.g. preloading, friction, gasket behaviour).
  • Reasons for analysing joints and how to plan an analysis.
  • A range of FE modelling approaches to calculate the structural and/or thermal behaviour of bolted/riveted joints.
  • How to assess the analysis results for the bolts/rivets and joint members and arrive at engineering conclusions.




Overview of Bolted and Riveted Joints


Reasons for Performing FEA of Joints and Planning an Analysis


Considerations Relating to Modelling Bolted Joints26
Structural Analysis of Bolted Joints46
Thermal Analysis of Bolted Joints74
Assessment of Results from Bolted Joint Analyses84
Modelling of Riveted Joints106
Assessment of Results from Riveted Joint Analyses108
Professional Simulation Engineer124

Document Details

AuthorWilliams. B
Date 30th April 2020
OrganisationNAFEMS CSMWG


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Purchase Book

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Member Price £25.00 | $31.59 | €29.21
Non-member Price £120.00 | $151.61 | €140.21

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