This paper describes the thermal behavior of a single bolt-flange assembly, emphasizing the correlation between the thermal contact resistance, thermal deformation of joint surroundings and interface pressure distribution, i.e., mechanically-thermally closed loop effect. Through a series of experiments, the major findings are as follows: (1) The thermal behavior of the bolted joint is dependent upon the sinusoidal-like distribution of the interface pressure, for instance, it showing the additional heat flow in radial direction under the axial heat flux. (2) The bolted joint with ordinarily geometric specification is in thermal stability except for a short period after thermal loading.

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