A finite element stress analysis of aircraft bolted joints loaded in tension

Reza Oskouei, Mehdi Keikhosravy, Constantinos Soutis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Accurate stress and strain analysis in bolted joints is of considerable interest in order to design more efficient and safer aerospace structural elements. In this paper, a finite element modelling of aluminium alloy 7075-T6 bolted plates, which are extensively used in aircraft structures, is discussed. The ANSYS Finite Element (FE) package was used for modelling the joint and estimating the stresses and strains created in the joint due to initial clamping forces and subsequent longitudinal tensile loadings. A double-lap bolted joint with a single bolt and nut was considered in the study. A three-dimensional (3D) finite element model of the joint was generated, and then subjected to three different simulated clamping forces followed by different levels of longitudinal tensile load. 3D surface-to-surface contact elements were employed to model the contact between the various components of the bolted joint. Friction effects were considered in the numerical analysis; and moreover, the clearance between the bolt and the plates was simulated in the model. FE results revealed beneficial compressive stresses near the hole edge as a result of applying the clamping. It was found that a higher clamping force can significantly decrease the magnitude of the resultant tensile stress at the hole edge and also bearing stress in the joint when subjected to the longitudinal tensile load.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)315-320
    Number of pages6
    JournalAeronautical Journal
    Issue number1155
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010


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