Modeling Multi-Bolted Systems

Modeling a single bolt in a finite element analysis raises questions of how much complexity to include. But, modeling a system of bolts adds more considerations. The first and foremost consideration is the bolt type to be used in the finite element model (Line, Hybrid, Solid, etc.). This is determined by the analyst resource limitations. Then one must consider system level pre-load and load redistribution. This paper looks at how these and other considerations must be taken into account when modeling multi-bolted systems. It also includes the discussion of bolt pre-stress relaxation and flange stiffness effects in load redistribution. This will be done while exploring bolting features in release 10.0 of ANSYS.
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