Int. J. Simul. Multisci. Des. Optim.
Volume 7, 2016
|Number of page(s)
|19 September 2016
Optimal tightening process of bolted joints
MZ Intelligent Systems, 21 Boulevard de Lozère, 91120
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 17 June 2016
Threaded fasteners were developed long time (let’s remember that Archimedes – 287-212 BC – invented the water screw). Nowadays, bolted joints are used in almost all sectors of the industry. But in spite of having been an important machine part for centuries, problems may be encountered with them. They are so common that they are taken for granted and too often, not analyzed as deeply as it should be. The wrong tightening is one of the most frequent causes of ductile rupture and by far the most frequent cause of fatigue failure. The tightening operation is never easy. It is necessary to pay particular attention to the choice of the tightening tool, the process and the control method. The tightening operation may itself cause damage on parts. The tightening load must not be too low, or excessive or not equally distributed among the bolts. These three defects can even be made on the same bolted joint! This impacts badly the performance of the assembly and leads to a shorter lifespan. If insufficient precautions are taken, the real tightening preload on all the bolts will not fit well with the requirements and would be badly distributed. Consequently, the practical conditions are quite different from the hypothesizes which are taken for the initial calculations (analytics or FEM) at the design stage. Thus, the results of the calculations of bolted joints cannot be considered as accurate and reliable. Practically, there are several means to tighten a bolt. The two ways most frequently used are torque wrench and hydraulic bolt tensioner. Torque wrench involves exerting a torque to the bolt head or the nut. Hydraulic bolt tensioner applies a traction load directly on the bolt. It is well known that bolt tensioners give better accuracy and homogeneity in the final tightening load than the torque method, but the tension load applied with the tensioner must be higher than the final remaining tightening load. So, the paper focusses on the hydraulic tensioner to show how the tightening load can be obtained from the applied tension load and to propose a way to optimize and secure the tightening process. However, for the reasons above mentioned it appears necessary to first make a general description of technical aspects of bolted joints. What really happens when tightening with torque wrench or with bolt tensioner is explained.
Key words: Bolted joints / Multiple bolts / Tightening preload / Optimum tightening process
© J.-M. Monville, Published by EDP Sciences, 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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