While there have been methods of modeling bolt preloads in a finite element model for a long time, some are not straightforward and somewhat awkward to set up. For example you can apply thermal loads to beams such that they will contract to create the desired preloading effect. NX Nastran includes more direct methods that can apply the desired compression loading directly to beams or solid elements. In this video we’ll take a look at the solid element approach, which is easy to set up in Femap and allows for a more detailed stress recovery in and around the bolt locations.
Watch the Bolt Preloads with Solid Elements video onYouTube