Robust Analysis of Clamp Load Loss in Aluminum Threads due to Thermal Cycling
A DFSS study identified a new mechanism for clamp load loss in aluminum threads due to thermal cycling. In bolted joints tightened to yield, the difference in thermal expansion between the aluminum and steel threads can result in a loss of clamp load with each thermal cycle. This clamp load loss is significantly greater than the loss that can be explained by creep alone. A math model was created and used to conduct a robust analysis. This analysis led to an understanding of the design factors necessary to reduce the cyclic clamp load loss in the aluminum threads. This understanding was then used to create optimized design solutions that satisfy constraints common to powertrain applications. Estimations of clamp load loss due to thermal cycling from the math model will be presented. The estimates of the model will be compared to observed physical test data. A robust analysis, including S/N and mean effect summary will be presented.