American Society of Civil Engineers

Numerical Modeling of Bolted Lap Joint Behavior

by John D. Pratt, P.E., M.ASCE, (Vice Pres. of Engrg., Hartwell Corp., Placentia, CA) and Gerard Pardoen, P.E., M.ASCE, (Prof., Univ. of California, Irvine, Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Irvine, CA 92717)

Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 1, January 2002, pp. 20-31, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Nonlinear finite-element models are developed that predict the load-elongation behavior of conical-head bolted lap joints, and the load-elongation predictions are compared with experimental test data. The study is conducted for several panel thicknesses with three fastener sizes and three panel materials. The model load-elongation predictions are in excellent agreement with experimental test data. Model parameters, such as part discretization, material model selection, sliding interface friction coefficients, and convergence tolerances, are discussed. A means of including clamp in the joint is also developed. The results show that nonlinear finite-element analysis may reliably predict the behavior of conical-head bolted joints.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Numerical models
Aerospace engineering
Finite element method