An experimental investigation was conducted to study the effects of clamped length and loading direction on the self-loosening behavior of bolted joints. Specially designed fixtures were used for the study. The experiments mimicked two plates jointed by an M12×1.75 Class 10.9 bolt and a nut. The joints were subjected to cyclic external loading. A constant preload of 25 kN was used for all the experiments conducted. During an experiment, the relative displacement between the two clamped plates, δ, was a controlling parameter. The reduction in clamping force, the applied transverse load, and the nut rotation were measured cycle by cycle. The relationship between, Δδ/2, the amplitude of the relative displacement between the two clamped plates, and, NL, the number of loading cycles to loosening is referred to as self-loosening curve and was obtained for different clamped lengths and applied load directions. Similar to a fatigue curve, an endurance limit can be identified from the self-loosening curve. It was found that increasing the clamped length can enhance the self-loosening endurance limits in terms of the controlled relative displacement of the two clamped plates. However, the load carrying capability was not influenced significantly due to the thickness of the clamped plates. For a given bolted jointed structure, an angle of the external load from the pure shearing direction resulted in an increase in self-loosening resistance.

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