A Tutorial on the Basics of Bolted Joints


The complexity of the simple nut and bolt is frequently underestimated. A fully tightened bolt does not perform like a loose bolt. A fully tightened bolted joint can sustain millions of load cycles without problems, a joint consisting of untightened bolts will frequently fail within a few cycles. The reason for this is the way a bolted joint carries an external load - a fully tightened bolt sustains only a small proportion of any externally applied load. This tutorial seeks to explain why this occurs.

Presented in this tutorial are details about the basics of bolted joint technology and in particular on the mechanics of the load transfer mechanism involved in such joints. There are a number of pages to this tutorial covering the topic from the basics. Additional pages are being added as and when time permits. Bolt Science is committed to providing assistance on bolted joint technologies to individuals, companies and other organisations. If you have a question on any of the topics - why not email us and we will try to answer your query.

Why is preload important - why bolt's clamp force vital?

How a bolted joint sustains an applied force

What is a Joint Diagram?

Joint Diagram with an external force applied

The effect of a high external force on a joint

The effect of a compressive external force on a joint

The Effect of Joint Deformation loss due to Embedding

Bolt Preload Variation due to the Tightening Method

Bolted Joint Analysis using Preload Requirement Charts


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