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8/24/2015

DissectingtheNutFactor|ArchetypeJoint

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DissectingtheNutFactor

Testing
TestingOverview
TestLab

ARiddle,WrappedInaMystery,InsideanEnigma

Itisrecognizedthatwemeasuretorquewhentighteningthreadedfastenersonlybecausemeasuringbolttension,

Consulting

themoreimportantquantity,ismuchmoredifficult.Therelationshipbetweenthetorqueappliedtoafastenerand
thetensioncreatedfromtheresultingboltelongationismostcommonlydescribedbyT=F*K*DwhereTistorque,
Kisthenutorfrictionfactor(nutfactorforthisarticle),DistheboltdiameterandFisthebolttensionorpreload.
Lesscommonisadiscussionofhowthisequationwasderived,inparticulartheoriginofthenutfactor.Because
thissinglevariableKdeterminesthecriticaltorquetensionrelationship,thefactorsthatcauseitsvaluetovary
about300%acrossarangeofcommonapplicationsarentclear.Examiningthesourcesandrelativesensitivelyof

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EacheditionofArchNewswill

thesefactorsisthesubjectofthiscolumn.

bringyounewfastening

Thenutfactor,asdefinedintheaboveequation(oftencalledtheshortformrelationship),isinrealityfudgefactor

applicationdataandtestresults.

developments,including

notderivedfromengineeringprinciplesbutinsteadarrivedatexperimentallytomaketheequationvalid.Various
publishedtorquetensiontestprocedurescallfortensioningathreadedfastenerinacontrolledmannerwhile
monitoringbothtorqueandtension.Atthespecifiedtorqueortension,thenutfactoriscalculatedbyinsertingT,D

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andFintheshortformequationandsolvingforK.

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Giventhisratherunsophisticatedorigin,onemaybesurprisedtoknowthatthereareanumberofpublishedtorque

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tensionrelationshipsderivedfromengineeringprinciples.Theyproducesimilarresultstooneanotherandtakethe
generalformT=F*X,whereXisaplaceholderforaseriesoftermscontainingvariablesoffastenergeometryand
frictioncoefficients.Threeofthemostwidelyusedexamplesareshownbelow.Whileatfirstglancetheymay
appeartobequitedifferentfromoneanother,theyareactuallydifferentformsofthesamerelationshipandproduce

Learnhowyourviewoffastening

thesameresults.

costsmaybecostingyou

J.BickfordIntroductiontothe
DesignandBehaviorofBolted
Joints,2ndEd.,1990
(attributedtoN.Motosh,1976)

money,andhowtogetanocost
assessmentofyourworstjoint
problems.

DIN946/VDI2230

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information?

ISO16047(attributedtoR.KellermanandH.
Klein,1955)

Where:
Motosh

Formoredetailedinformationon
DIN/VDI

ISO16047

Description
Inputtorque
Fastenerpreloadortension
Threadpitch
Effectiveradiusofheadcontact

anytopicdiscussedonthissite
pleasecontactusbyphoneat
2483771147oremailusat:

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info@archetypejoint.com

Coefficientoffrictionunderhead
Coefficientoffrictioninthreads
Effectiveradiusofthreadcontact
(halfthethreadpitchdiameter)
Halfangleofthreadform(30forUNandISOthreads)

Tounderstandwhatfactorsinfluencetherelationshipbetweentorqueandtensionwellreviewthevariables

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containedintheseequationsandquantifytheirrelativeinfluence.TheMotoshequationiseasiesttounderstandfor

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mostpeoplesowellbaseourdiscussioninitsformat.Eachtermwithinthebracketcalculatesalengththatwhen

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multipliedbytheforcegeneratedbybolttension(Fp)resultsinatorque.Soeachtermisareactiontorquethat
resiststheinputtorqueTin,andtheirsummustbeequaltotheinputtorque.Thefirsttermproducestheclampload
duetotheinclinedplaneproducedbythethreadpitch.Thesecondtermistheresistingtorquecausedbythread
friction,andthelasttermisasimilarrestingtorquecausedinsteadbyfrictionbetweenthenutorheadface(which
everisrotated)andthematingsurface.Thereforethevalueofeachtermindicatestherelativeinfluenceofthe
variablesineachterm.Forexample,solvingforanM121.75flangeheadscrewwith0.15frictioncoefficients
producesvaluesof0.28Nm,0.93Nmand1.35NmforeachkNoftension.Thisbreaksoutto10.9%,36.3%and
52.8%ofthe2.56Nmtotal,andillustratesthecommoncommentthatonlyabout1015%ofinputtorquegoes
towardstretchingthebolt.
Howdoourdesigndecisionsinfluencethetorquetensionrelationship?Toanswerthat,Figure1showstheeffectof
doublingthevalueofeachvariableintheshortformequationwhileholdingtheothersfixed.Itshowsthatifthe
threadfrictioncoefficientwasdoubledwhiletheothervariablesremainedthesame,thebolttensiongeneratedfor
thesameinstallationtorquewoulddecreaseabout28%.Whilefrictioncoefficientsoccuronacontinuousspectrum,
thedimensionsofstandardfastenersandaccompanyingclearanceholestendtobediscrete.Toillustrate,Figure1
alsocontainsthreepointsshowingtheeffectofthefollowingdesignalternativesreplacingafinepitchthreadwitha
standardpitch,replacingahexheadwithahexflangehead,andreplacingaclosediameterclearanceholewitha
largediameterhole.Forexample,replacingahexheadfastenerwithahexflangehead(butnotchangingfriction
coefficients,threadpitchorholediameter)increasesthebearingdiameterbyabout35%whichinturnwillcause
bolttensiontobereducedbyabout8%foragiventorque.Whilethesevaluesvaryabitwithfastenersize,the
relativeimportanceofeachvariablewillremainthesame.

Wearesometimesaskedthequestion.Ifweperformatorquetensiontestwithaparticularfastenerdiameterto
calculatenutfactor,dothoseresultsapplytootherdiameters,assumingallotherconditionsarethesame?Infact
thenominaldiameterisseparatedfromthenutfactorintheshortformequationforjustthatreason,sothattest
resultscanbescaledtootherfastenersizes.Isthisanassumptionbasedonengineeringprinciples?Actually,itis
onlyapproximationasnoneofthetermsinthelongformequationscontainthenominaldiameterasavariable.
ThereforetheaccuracyofusingthenominalfastenerdiameterDasameansofapplyingaconstantnutfactor
acrossallfastenersizesisdependentonwhethertheeffectedvariablesinthelongformequationsvaryindirect
proportiontothenominaldiameter.TheanswerisshowninFigure2wherethelongformequationissolvedfor
standardpitchmetrichexheadcapscrewswithconstantandequalcoefficientsoffriction.Thetraces,normalized
atM101.5,showa4.2%maximumdeviationbetweentheshortandlongformequations,decreasingasthefriction
coefficientsincrease.Thevariablewiththegreatestrelativedeviationfromnominaldiameterthroughtherangeof
fastenersizesisthethreadpitch,asthepitchissomewhatarbitrarilyselected,whiledimensionsofthethreadform
andtheclearanceholediameterarealldirectlytiedtonominaldiameter.Becausethefirsttermcontainingthepitch
diameterdoesnotcontainafrictioncoefficient,asfrictionincreasestherelativeimportanceofpitchisdecreased,
andthereforethefactthatpitchdoesnotvarydirectlywithnominaldiameterhaslessimpactontheresultofthe
torquetensioncalculations.
Therefore,holdingallelseconstant,applyinganutfactorthatwascalculatedatonediameteracrossarangeof
fastenersizesisareasonableassumption.Forbestresultstheweightedmeandiameterofthefastenersonwhich
thenutfactorwillbeusedshouldbethebasisoftesting.Inreality,mostorganizationsapplynutfactorsacrossa
greatersetofconditions.Forexample,fastenersmaynothavethesameheadstyleorclearanceholediameter.
Whenaconstantnutfactorisappliedtojointswheregeometryvariablesotherthannominaldiameterarechanging,

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calculateddeviationsof15%canoccurbetweenshortandlongformequationsevenforstandardgeometries.

Thesecomparisonsusingnutfactorinrelativetothelongformrelationshipsmayimplythattheseimpressive
lookingequationsproducetherightanswerduetotheirfundamentalcorrectness.Thisisinfactnottrue,asthere
assumptionsandapproximationsinherentintheirderivation.Howeverthepotentialerroroftheseassumptionspale
incomparisontothevariationthatexistsinrealworldjoints.Asanexample,Figure3ashowstheresultoftorque
tensiontestingonthebenchtopsetupandcontrolledtestconditionsspecifiedbypublishedtestmethods.Even
thoughallfastenersandbearingmaterialsarethesameforeachtest,andareactuallyswappedoutforfreshones,
thereisapproximately10%variationwithinthegroup.Accordingtoboththeshortandlongformequationsthere
shouldbenovariationatall.Figure3bshowsasimilargraphgeneratedfromintorquetensiontesting.Using
ultrasonicpulseechotechniquesbolttensioncanbemeasuredrealtimeintheactualjointwithoutalteringjoint
characteristics.Thegraphshownreflectsthedynamictorquetensionrelationshipsofsingleassemblywitha
circularsixboltpattern.Thevariationinherentinhowcomponentsactuallyfittooneanotheraddsanothersourceof
torquetensionvariationontopofthevariationseeninthebenchtoptest.ThevariationinFigure3aisprimarilydue
tothefactthatthefrictioncoefficientsforeachsamplewereinrealitynotidentical.Theextreme60%variationseen
inFigure3boccurredbecausethejointconfigurationmagnifiedtheeffectofimperfectcontact.Thisresultsin
changestoboththegeometryandfrictionvariables.

Theseexamplesillustratewhytherelationshipbetweentorqueandtensioncanonlybeaccuratelydetermined
throughtesting,whereboththemeananddistributionaboutthatmeancanbedetermined.
WhilethenutfactorKisthemostpopularmeansofquantifythetorquetensionrelationshipintheU.S.,inEuropeor
withinorganizationsthatdesignstrictlytoISOorDINstandards,thelongformequationsareutilized.Because
separatingthreadandheadfrictionsignificantlylimitsthetestequipmentthatcanbeused,andeliminatesthe
potentialforinjointtestingwithactualcomponents,itiscommontomaketheassumptionthatbothunderheadand
frictioncoefficientsareequal(ISO16047estimatesa1%2%errorforthisassumption).UsingISOdesignations,
thelongformequivalentofKisshownbelowtotheleftofshortformarrangedtosolveforK.TheVDI/DIN
designationfortotisges
BecausetheterminologyusedwhendescribingtotandKaresimilar(frictionfactor,frictioncoefficient),errorsare
sometimesmadebyunknowinglysubstitutingonefortheother.AsshowninFigure2,toarriveathetsameresult

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thevalueofKisapproximately35%greaterthantot.
Insummary,theabilitytopredictthetensioninathreadedfastenforagiventorqueinputislargelyafunctionof
understandingthefrictionpresentbetweenmatingsurfacescontainingrelativemotion.Onlytestingcanaccurately
determinethesefrictionconditions,whicharesosensitivetocomponentvariationthatonlyinjointtestingcan
determinetherelationshipwhencontrollingbolttensioniscritical.OrganizationscalculatingthenutfactorKin
testingmaywanttoconsiderthesimplifiedlongformequations(frictioncoefficientsassumedequal)forgreater
sensitivityoverarangeapplications,particularlywhenmorethannominaldiameterisexpectedtovary.

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