Externally loaded bolt joints of different design are investigated. The bolt load is substantially lower than that predicted by the mounting stiffnesses of bolt and abutment. A load application fraction n is introduced in VDI 2230 and some thumb rules are suggested. New fractions are determined which are much lower than the suggested ones. It appears that the application fraction n is almost independent of the location of the external load in practical design but it is influenced by the layout of the bolt joint.

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