Sensors 2020, 20(11), 3165; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20113165 (registering DOI) - 02 Jun 2020
Pre-stressed bolted joints are widely used in civil structures and industries. The tightening force of a bolt is crucial to the reliability of the joint connection. Loosening or over-tightening of a bolt may lead to connectors slipping or bolt strength failure, which are [...] Read more.
Pre-stressed bolted joints are widely used in civil structures and industries. The tightening force of a bolt is crucial to the reliability of the joint connection. Loosening or over-tightening of a bolt may lead to connectors slipping or bolt strength failure, which are both harmful to the main structure. In most practical cases it is extremely difficult, even impossible, to install the bolts to ensure there is a precise tension force during the construction phase. Furthermore, it is inevitable that the bolts will loosen due to long-term usage under high stress. The identification of bolt tension is therefore of great significance for monitoring the health of existing structures. This paper reviews state-of-the-art research on bolt tightening force measurement and loosening detection, including fundamental theories, algorithms, experimental set-ups, and practical applications. In general, methods based on the acoustoelastic principle are capable of calculating the value of bolt axial stress if both the time of incident wave and reflected wave can be clearly recognized. The relevant commercial instrument has been developed and its algorithm will be briefly introduced. Methods based on contact dynamic phenomena such as wave energy attenuation, high-order harmonics, sidebands, and impedance, are able to correlate interface stiffness and the clamping force of bolted joints with respective dynamic indicators. Therefore, they are able to detect or quantify bolt tightness. The related technologies will be reviewed in detail. Potential challenges and research trends will also be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fault Diagnosis & Sensors)