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International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 80 (2003) 253–271

www.elsevier.com/locate/ijpvp

Review

Finite element analysis of fastening and joining:


A bibliography (1990 – 2002)
Jaroslav Mackerle*
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Linköping Institute of Technology, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Received 30 January 2003; revised 28 February 2003; accepted 28 February 2003

Abstract
The paper gives a bibliographical review of finite element methods applied for the analysis of fastening and joining from the theoretical as
well as practical points of view. The bibliography at the end of the paper contains 726 references to papers and conference proceedings on the
subject that were published between 1990 and 2002. These are classified in the following categories: pin joints; thread connections; bolted
joints, screws, nuts; rivets; fittings; tubular joints; expansion joints; gaskets; and other types of fastening.
q 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Finite element; Bibliography; Fasteners; Joints

1. Introduction on mechanical fasteners. Mechanical fasteners are used in


assemblies for their strength, reusability and appearance.
The output of scientific papers in general is fast growing Readers interested in welding are referred to Refs. [1,2] and
and professionals are no longer able to be fully up-to-date in bonding to Refs. [3,4].
with all the relevant information. The increasing specializ- The bibliography is divided into the following parts and
ation in various engineering fields has resulted in the concerns:
proliferation of subject-oriented journals and conference
proceedings directed to specialist audiences. The research- † Pin joints;
ers have more channels for communicating the results of † Thread connections;
their research at their disposal, but on the other hand finding † Bolted joints, screws, nuts;
the necessary information may be a time-consuming and † Rivets;
uneasy process. Another question is whether researchers/ † Fittings;
scientists are willing to spend time looking for information. † Tubular joints;
It has been pointed out that in engineering, informal † Expansion joints;
knowledge channels are the most frequently used means † Gaskets;
of obtaining information. † Other types of fastening
In the last almost four decades the finite element method
(FEM) has become the prevalent technique used for The bibliography is organized into two main parts. In the
analyzing physical phenomena in the field of structural, first, each topic is handled and current trends in modelling
solid, and fluid mechanics as well as for the solution of field techniques are mentioned, usually as the keywords. The
problems. second part, Appendix A, contains a list of papers published
Fastening and joining are defined as an act of bringing in the open literature in the period of 1990– 2002 on subjects
together, connecting or uniting to becoming one or a unit. listed above. References have been retrieved from the
There are many types of fasteners such as bolts and nuts, author’s database, MAKEBASE. Also the INSPEC and
adhesive bonds, welds, etc. This paper concentrates mainly COMPENDEX databases have been checked. Hopefully,
this bibliography will save time for readers looking for
* Tel.: þ46-13-281111; fax: þ46-13-282717. information on finite element analyses of mechanical
E-mail address: jarma@ikp.liu.se (J. Mackerle). fastening and joining. Readers interested in the finite
0308-0161/03/$ - see front matter q 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/S0308-0161(03)00030-9
254 J. Mackerle / International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 80 (2003) 253–271

element literature in general are referred to the author’s maintenance. When a dynamic load is applied as is the case
Internet Finite Element Books Bibliography (http://www. in many assemblies, failure may occur due to fatigue and
solid.ikp.liu.se/fe/index.html) where approximately 500 vibration induced loosening. These failures can be avoided
book titles are listed and completed with bibliographical by proper joint design where the finite element studies can
data and abstracts. Other author’s bibliographies in be helpful. A review of the load and stress distributions in
connection with the analysis of pressure vessels and piping, the threads of fasteners can be found in Ref. [10].
where FEMs are applied, can be found in Refs. [5 – 7]. Topics and types of threaded connections. 2D and 3D
analysis of threaded connections; dynamic behavior of
threaded connections; thermomechanical analysis; stress
2. Finite element analysis of fastening and joining concentration at threaded roots; complex stress distribution
in threads; load distribution between threads; axial and
2.1. Pin joints bending stress concentration factors; fracture mechanics
problems; strength analysis; fatigue analysis and life
Pin joints represent either 3D double shear or 2D single estimation; stress intensity factor for threaded joints;
shear joints that are applied in many engineering structures residual stresses in threaded connections; effect of cracks
from the skeletal frameworks to the outer skin of aircraft, on load distribution; effect of taper variation; helical effect
automobiles, buildings, pressure vessels, etc. The stresses on threads; threaded fasteners; geometrically exact threads;
and slips in the vicinity of contact regions determine the conical threaded connections; buttress threads; drillstring
static strength, plasticity, frictional damping and vibration threaded joints; threaded end closures; threaded pressure
levels, and affect the structural performance as, for example, vessels; threaded pipes.
the fatigue life, earthquake resistance [8]. The FEM makes it
possible to analyse/simulate the more realistic pin connec- 2.3. Bolted joints, screws, nuts
tions, not only a single pinned joint as is possible by using
analytical, closed-form methods. The effect of various The FEM can study bolted joints with finite sliding
parameters (dimension, geometry, material, friction) on the deformable contact where the helical and frictional effects
contact area, contact pressure and tangential stress distri- on the load distribution of each thread are included. The
bution can also be studied. studies of bolted connections are rather complicated
The use of composite materials to strengthen engineering because the model should be 3D (2D solutions give stiffer
structures has received considerable attention in recent and stronger results) and take into account many factors
years. Mechanical joining is easier and more economical such as material and geometrical nonlinearities, contact,
than, for example, adhesive bonding but it is necessary to friction, slippage, bolt-plate interaction and fracture. The
drill holes resulting in large stress concentrations. Some quality of computed results also depends on the element
papers listed in Appendix A deal with stress and failure type used, discretization, constitutive equations, step size,
predictions in mechanically fastened joints in composite kinematic description, etc. Finite element modelling has
laminates. Applied finite element models can take into been extended to study the structural behavior of cold-
account the contact interface, large deformations, nonlinear formed steel bolted connections. The advantages of using
shear stress – strain, progressive damage and other factors. A cold-formed steel are derived from their long-term dura-
review of analytical and numerical methods applied in bility and high yield strength.
mechanically fastened joints in fiber reinforced plastics is in Composite materials with bolted joints have also been
Ref. [9]. extensively used in various assemblies in recent years
Topics included. 2D and 3D static and dynamic analysis (electronic packaging, aircraft industry, automotive indus-
of single- and multi-pin joints; deformation, stress and try, etc.). The local contact between the bolt and composite
failure analysis; thermomechanical analysis; buckling material may induce high stress concentration and break the
analysis; strength analysis; determination of load distri- material. The stress distribution near the region around
bution; effects of material nonlinearity; effect of tempera- the bolt joint where the interaction between the bolt and the
ture; effect of interface fits; thickness effects; contact loaded hole is taken into account, can be determined by
problems; fretting and wear; fracture mechanics problems; finite element analyses.
progressive failure analysis; fatigue crack growth. Topics and types of connections. 2D and 3D static and
dynamic stress and deformation analysis of bolted joints;
2.2. Thread connections thermomechanical analysis; heat transfer across bolted
joints; effect of thermal loading; thermal contact resistance;
Threaded components are the most important structural assembly stress and deflection; deformation in screw thread;
elements influencing significantly the strength and endur- mechanical properties of bolted connections; time-depen-
ance of the whole structural assembly. Threaded connec- dent behavior of bolted joints; effect of bolt threads on the
tions are used for their ability to develop a clamping force joint stiffness; computation of member stiffness; tensile
and for the disassembly possibility that is important for behavior of bolted joints; bolted joints subjected to high
J. Mackerle / International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 80 (2003) 253–271 255

eccentric loads; load distribution studies; load distribution elbow and tee fittings; pipe fittings; plumbing fittings; fitted
in bolt-nut connector; centrically loaded bolt joints; load cylindrical liners.
distribution in screws; determination of bolt forces;
environmental effects; fracture mechanics problems; ulti-
mate limit load calculation; strength analysis; stress 2.6. Tubular joints
intensity factor; mixed-mode fracture; contact problems;
thermoelastic contact problems; constraining effect of Some structures, i.e. offshore structures, consist of a large
bolted joints; fatigue analysis; damage; progressive damage number of tubular members connected to one another by
modelling; lifetime prediction; deformation and fracture of special joints. Tubular members are jointed together at their
nuts; separation problems of bolted connection; bending of a intersections in a variety of geometrical forms. These joints
screw plate; prying and shear in end-plate connection; axial represent structural discontinuities that give rise to stress
loads due to screw fastening; relaxation in bolted connec- concentrations. Parametric finite element studies can
tion; tightening process of bolted joints; bolted joints with generate a database of stress concentrations and degree of
various clamping configurations; bolted joints with ten- bending for various geometries of tubular joints.
sioner; prestressed bolted connections; prestressed screw The combination of high stress concentration with
joints; pretension in bolted connections; leakage of bolted dynamic loads makes fatigue damage almost unavoidable.
flanged joints; nut-bolt connections; axisymmetric bolt Due to high stress concentrations, plastic deformation can
joints; end-plate connections; isolated and extended bolted occur at the intersection before the ultimate failure of the
end-plate connections; semi-rigid bolted end-plate connec- joint. The elastoplastic finite element analyses can estimate
tions; semi-rigid bolted beam connections; bolted flanged the static and fatigue strengths of tubular joints. In
connections; rectangular bolted flanged connections; computations various conditions such as combined modes
flanged connections for high temperature applications; of loading, size effects, materials, environmental factors,
bolted joints at cryogenic temperature; bolted beam to etc. can be included to get a more realistic stress behavior of
column joints; cold formed bolts; cheese-head bolts; an entire tubular joint. A review of fracture mechanics
countersunk bolts; U-bolts; self-threading bolts; rockbolts; models for tubular joints is in Ref. [11] and various methods
bolted brackets; swaged bolts; railroad bolts; anchor bolts; for determining stress intensity factors for these joints are
cable bolt support system; bolt-nut-washer-compressed discussed in Refs. [12,13].
sheet joints; hollow type bolted joints; stud bolt fastening; Topics and types of tubular joints. 2D and 3D linear and
multiple-row bolted connection; multiple-bolted joints; nonlinear stress and deflection analysis; static and dynamic
bonded/bolted joints; single lap screw connection; ball- studies; stress concentration factors; force-displacement
screw joints; bolted connections in wood; bolted connec- characteristics; joint flexibility; hot spot stresses; influence
tions in composites; combining adhesive with bolts. of loading on the joint performance; fracture mechanics
problems; strength and failure analysis; ultimate strength
2.4. Rivets analysis; stress intensity factors; cracked tubular joints;
damage; fatigue; multiaxial fatigue; residual stresses; NDT
Topics of this section. 2D and 3D static and dynamic detection of cracks; effect of imperfection on the strength;
riveted joint modelling and analysis; fracture mechanics stiffened and unstiffened tubular joints; multiplanar tubular
problems; joint failure; strength evaluation; fatigue life joints; square-to-round tubular joints; square-to-square
prediction; stress intensity factor; crack nucleation; fretting tubular joints; tubular joints with brackets; tubular lap
problems; energy absorption; skin-rivet contact prediction; joints; overlapped tubular joints; plate-reinforced tubular
effect of interference and clamping on fretting; residual joints; circular flange joints; grouted tubular joints;
stresses; riveted joint design; laminates connected by rivets; composite-to-metal tubular joints; tubular stub-columns;
riveted single lap joints; adhesively bonded joints with K-, L-, T-, X-, Y-, ST-, KK-, DT-, DX, XX-, XT and YT-
rivets; riveted airframes. tubular joints.

2.5. Fittings
2.7. Expansion joints
Topics and type of fittings. 2D and 3D mechanical and
thermomechanical analysis of fit joining; stress and deflec- Topics and types of expansion joints. 2D and 3D static
tion analysis; thermally loaded fits; fracture mechanics and dynamic analysis of expansion joints; creep, shrinkage
problems; contact problems; creep at the interface; stress and temperature effects; fracture mechanics problems;
intensity factor; fatigue evaluation; residual stresses; press residual stresses; fatigue analysis; expanded tube-to-tube-
fits; clearance-fit joining; interference fits; shrink-fits; end sheet joints; modular expansion joints; bellows-type expan-
fittings; crimped end fittings; ball snap-fits; cantilever snap- sion joints; expansion joints for seismic protection;
fits; L- and U-shaped snap-fits; bayonet-finger snap-fits; expansion joints in piping systems.
256 J. Mackerle / International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 80 (2003) 253–271

2.8. Gaskets References

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Pin joints

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