Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-0178

A Study on Bolted Joint Finite Element Modeling for Vehicle Level Durability Analysis 2020-01-0178

This paper describes a study on identifying a suitable thickness for finite element modeling a “deformable washer” to simulate bolted joints for vehicle level durability analysis based on experimental results. First, a test matrix table is introduced, which is based on representative vehicle structures for different bolt/nut sizes, bolt grades, sheet gages, and sheet materials etc. Then coupon tests, both static and fatigue, are illustrated. Next, the corresponding finite element model with different thickness of “deformable washers” and results are presented. Following that, the optimal “deformable washer” thickness is recommended based on statistical parameters (mean and standard deviation) of the relative differences between finite element analysis results and physical test results. Lastly, a case study is demonstrated for the proposed strategy. The results indicate that the recommended modeling strategy overcomes the limitations of rigid element (RBE2) connections for bolt joint modeling and predicts reasonable results comparable to the physical test results.


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