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Publication

Title:Stress Analysis of Single-Bolt, Single-Lap, Countersunk Composite Joints with Variable Bolt-Hole Clearance
Authors:B. Egan, C.T. McCarthy, M.A. McCarthy, R.F. Frizzell, 2011
Abstract: Single-lap, carbon–epoxy joints with countersunk fasteners were modelled using the nonlinear finite element code Abaqus. A highly-detailed analysis of the stress distribution at the countersunk hole boundary is provided. Bolt-hole clearance, which arises due to limitations in manufacturing capabilities, is modelled extensively. Clearance levels both inside and outside typical aerospace fitting tolerances are studied and the finite element model is validated with experimental data. Plots of radial stress in each ply of the countersunk laminate show the load transfer to be severely localised, with only a few plies bearing the majority of the load. The inclusion of clearance in the model was shown to result in far higher radial stresses compared to those in the neat-fit joint model. An associated loss in joint stiffness of more than 10% was recorded for the highest clearance considered (240 μm). Finally compressive through-thickness stresses are shown to be present at the damageable region of the countersunk hole, and increase with bolt-hole clearance. These compressive stresses, which are an indicator of lateral constraint, are seen to suppress “brooming” failure in the countersunk laminate.
ICHEC Project:Finite Element Modelling of Countersunk Composite Joints subjected to Variable-Rate Loadings
Publication:Composite Structures
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruct.2011.10.004
Keywords: Finite element analysis; Carbon–epoxy; Clearance; joints; Countersunk; Bearing failure
Status: Published

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