Impulsively loaded pressure vessels are often closed using a bolted joint configured in a double staggered row pattern. The bolted joint design must maintain the placement of the vessel opening covers to support the structural integrity of the shell and also provide the necessary preload of sealing surfaces for leak prevention. Good design practice suggests configuring tensile loaded bolted joints with a double rows pattern in order to minimize prying against the bolt head induced by localized moments. Double bolt row patterns allow moments induced by load offsets to be reacted through contact of the faying surfaces of the bolted members and if separation occurs by differential axial loading of the two bolt rows. This acts to reduce direct prying of the mated members against the bolt heads. Material cost and operational time savings could be realized if a single bolt row design with acceptable performance was implemented. In this paper a detailed finite element model is described and calculation results are presented for two vessel configurations subjected to an impulsive load; a double staggered 64 bolt pattern and a single row 32 bolt pattern. Finite element results are compared to each other and to the rules of ASME Code Case 2564 in Section VIII, Division 3. Special attention is given to the loading induced in the bolts and to the relative deflection of faying surfaces containing seals. It will be shown that reducing the bolt count per opening from 64 to 32 results in increased peak response of the bolts, seal opening gaps, and shell. Nonetheless a single row bolt pattern does appear feasible and within the bounds of the Code Case.

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