Optical Monitoring of Bolt Tightening Using 3D Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry

[+] Author and Article Information
Sayed A. Nassar, Aidong Meng

Fastening and Joining Research Institute Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 129(1), 89-95 (Jan 04, 2006) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2389024 History: Received May 09, 2005; Revised January 04, 2006

An optical method is presented for the real-time monitoring of the bolt tightening process that provides the necessary clamping force in bolted assemblies. The method uses the 3D electronic speckle pattern interferometry (ESPI) technique to measure and monitor the joint deformation and strain fields in the joint around the tightened fastener, and establish a reliable correlation with the clamp load provided by the fastener tightening. Because the relationship between the clamp load and joint deformation is independent of the frictional variables of the fastener, the direct monitoring of the deformation and strain fields in the clamped joint would provide a more reliable measure of the clamp load level, as compared to the conventional reliance on the tightening torque to predict the resulting clamp load level. This technique is beneficial, especially for monitoring, with high precision, the proper tightening of critical bolted connections such as those used in many pressure vessels in the nuclear power industry. The validity of the optical technique is also ascertained by comparing the results to that obtained by using finite element analysis and other classical mechanics of materials methods.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 15

The bolted joint symmetrical FEA model

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Figure 1

Schematic diagram of the ESPI for the out-of-plane deformation measurement

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Figure 2

Schematic diagram of the ESPI for the in-plane deformation measurement

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Figure 3

(a) Schematic of the single bolt joint; (b) plan view of the test coupon and measured area; (c) the bolted joint is fixed by a vice

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Figure 5

Out-of-plane deformation w(μm) field by the ESPI system at the 26kN clamp load

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Figure 6

Out-of-plane deformation w(μm) profile along L1

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Figure 7

Out-of-plane deformation w(μm) profile along line L2

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Figure 8

Torque-clamp load curves obtained from experiments for six bolts used as-received

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Figure 9

Deformation-clamp load curves from experiments and FEM

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Figure 10

Phase map of deformation w corresponding to the initial load of 4kN

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Figure 11

The deformation phase map corresponding to the increment of the lamp load from 8.4kN to 14.9kN

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Figure 12

Distributed load q on the elastically supported beam

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Figure 13

Theoretical and experimental data correlation

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Figure 14

The bolted joint solid model



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