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Research Papers: Design and Analysis

A Tetraparametric Metamodel for the Analysis and Design of Bolting Sequences for Wind Generator Flanges

[+] Author and Article Information
Mikel Abasolo

Department of Mechanical Engineering, ETSI-BILBAO, University of the Basque Country, 48013 Bilbao, Spainmikel.abasolo@ehu.es

Josu Aguirrebeitia, Rafael Avilés, Igor Fernández de Bustos

Department of Mechanical Engineering, ETSI-BILBAO, University of the Basque Country, 48013 Bilbao, Spain

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 133(4), 041202 (May 09, 2011) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002541 History: Received November 18, 2009; Revised September 01, 2010; Published May 09, 2011; Online May 09, 2011

This paper presents a metamodel that enables estimation of the elastic interaction that occurs in the bolted joints of a wind generator tower during the tightening sequence. In this kind of joint, there is a gap between the contact surfaces of the flanges. The metamodel is composed of four parameters, which are enough to simulate the response of the flange under the tightening loads of the bolts. Even though the behavior of the joint is nonlinear because of the gap, the parameters are obtained from two simple linear elastic analyses of a finite element (FE) model of the flange. The corresponding loss of load in the bolts has been estimated for various sequences with minimum computational cost. Thus, there is no need for costly experimental measurements or nonlinear FE simulations.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Stress , Flanges , Generators , Wind
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

(a) Bolt 2 is tightened. (b) Tightening of bolt 1 causes loss of preload in bolt 2. (c) Tightening of bolt 3 causes loss of preload in bolts 1 and 2.

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Figure 2

Welded and bolted joints

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Figure 4

FE model generation process

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Figure 5

Geometric characteristics of the flange

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Figure 6

Mesh for half sector

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Figure 7

Detail of the full flange mesh

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Figure 8

Area of load application

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Figure 10

Equilibria for the master nodes

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Figure 11

Load case to obtain k1u and k1l

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Figure 12

Equilibrium equations for the master nodes for the case shown in Fig. 1

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Figure 13

Load case to obtain k2u and k2l

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Figure 14

Equilibrium equations for the master nodes for the case shown in Fig. 1

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Figure 15

Displacements of the master nodes

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Figure 16

Values of k2u and k2l

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Figure 17

Optimum values of k2u and k2l

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Figure 18

Displacement of the upper face of the flange (metamodel versus FE model)

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Figure 19

Displacement of the lower face of the flange (metamodel versus FE model)

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Figure 20

Algorithm to reproduce tightening sequences

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Figure 21

Tightening sequences studied

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Figure 22

Bolt loads at the end of the four-point star pattern with an initial load of 100,000 N

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Figure 23

Bolt loads after tightening steps 28, 56, 84, and 112 of the four-point star pattern and at the end with an initial load of 100,000 N

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Figure 24

Bolt loads at the end of the clockwise pattern with an initial load of 100,000 N

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Figure 25

Bolt loads after tightening steps 28, 56, 84, and 112 of the clockwise pattern and at the end with an initial load of 100,000 N

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Figure 26

Bolt loads at the end of the four-point star pattern with an initial load of 500,000 N

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Figure 27

Bolt loads after tightening steps 28, 56, 84, and 112 of the four-point star pattern and at the end with an initial load of 500,000 N

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Figure 28

Bolt loads at the end of the clockwise pattern with an initial load of 500,000 N

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Figure 29

Bolt loads after tightening steps 28, 56, 84, and 112 of the clockwise pattern and at the end with an initial load of 500,000 N

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Figure 30

Bolt loads at the end of the clockwise pattern with an initial load of 100,000 N (metamodel versus FE model)

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Figure 31

Bolt loads at the end of the clockwise pattern with an initial load of 500,000 N (metamodel versus FE model)

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