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Best Practice for Modeling Bolts Instead of Using Bolted Connector

Question asked by Bjorn Sorenson on Jan 2, 2015
Latest reply on Jan 4, 2015 by Jared Conway

I have a model with a couple of plates tack welded together so that holes can be drilled and tapped through both plates and they line up, threads are continuous, etc.  There is another component with through holes that gets bolted to the threads in the two welded plates.

I have tried running a static simulation on the assembly replacing all of the bolts with the bolted connection, and I'm getting a classic singularity on an edge of one of the welded plates in the vicinity of one of the bolt holes.  I've tried radiusing the corner of the plate and this just moves the singularity closer to the bolt hole.  Unfortunately, this region of the model is my area of interest, so I'm thinking about modeling the bolts themselves (in order to remove the high-stress error introduced at the bolt hole region by Simulation's connection method) and am wondering about the best way to apply the preload to physically-modeled bolts.

I came across this:  SolidWorks Simulation: Bolted Joints in FEA - Sim3 Engineering Consulting , and the Split Bolt method looks promising.  Does anyone have any experience doing it this way or have their own preferred method?