Finite Element Modeling of Bolt Load Retention of Die-Cast Magnesium
The use of die cast magnesium for automobile transmission cases offers promise for reducing weight and improving fuel economy. However, the inferior creep resistance of magnesium alloys at high temperature is of concern since transmission cases are typically assembled and joined by pre-loaded bolts. The stress relaxation of the material could thus adversely impact the sealing of the joint. One means of assessing the structural integrity of magnesium transmission cases is modeling the bolted joint, the topic of this paper. The commercial finite element code, ABAQUS, was used to simulate a well characterized bolt joint sample. The geometry was simulated with axi-symmetric elements with the exact geometry of a M10 screw. Frictional contact between the male and female parts is modeled by using interface elements. Material creep is described by a time hardening power law whose parameters are fit to experimental creep test data.