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Non-linear Analysis of Bolt Preload

Question asked by Prashanth Srinivasan on Apr 21, 2009
Latest reply on Jul 15, 2009 by Poovaiah Devenira
Hello all,

This is my first post on these forums, so I would like to say hello to everyone :-)

So far at our company we have done FEA (Linear Static) of structural assemblies involving bolts & nuts tightened to a specified preload torque - which is converted into tensile contact forces using the thread equation F=T/(0.2*D) and applied at the contact areas between each bolt with the contacting plate & each nut with the contacting plate.

However, I recently read in an internet article that the best way to simulate bolt preload in FEA is to perform a Non-Linear Analysis which takes into account thermal stresses induced in the members due to friction/tightening. I am interested in learning more about this, so could someone please tell me what it exactly means & which books or internet articles would you recommend us to study about non-linear themal analysis in detail?