The frictional contact of the pin-loaded joint in composite plates was studied. This included the effects of pin clearance and variations in material and geometry. Full-filed displacements were measured by high sensitivity moire´ interferometry. Considerable effort was expended to develop a loading frame, relevant fixtures and monitoring capability to ensure that the plate was loaded uniformly through its thickness, particularly at the pin-loaded hole. Numerical techniques were prepared for processing the optical fringe data. A reliable finite element model for a bolted joint was also formulated. The efficient finite element program, which is capable of handling friction and/or clearance at the loaded hole, has been validated analytically, experimentally and numerically.

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