Efficient bolted joint design is an essential part of designing the minimum weight aerospace structures, since structural failures usually occur at connections and interface. A comprehensive numerical study of three-dimensional (3D) stress variations is prohibitively expensive for a large-scale structure where hundreds of bolts can be present. In this work, the hybrid composite-to-metal bolted connections used in the upper stage of European Ariane 5ME rocket are analyzed using the global-local finite element (FE) approach which involves an approximate analysis of the whole structure followed by a detailed analysis of a significantly smaller region of interest. We calculate the Tsai-Wu failure index and the margin of safety using the stresses obtained from ABAQUS. We find that the composite part of a hybrid bolted connection is prone to failure compared to the metal part. We determine the bolt preload based on the clamp-up load calculated using a maximum preload to make the composite part safe. We conclude that the unsuitable bolt preload may cause the failure of the composite part due to the high stress concentration in the vicinity of the bolt. The global-local analysis provides an efficient computational tool for enhancing 3D stress analysis in the highly loaded region.
- bolt preload
- bolted connection
- global-local finite element approach