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A Simple, Reusable and Low-Cost LVDT-Based in Situ Bolt Preload Monitoring System during Fastening for a Truck Wheel Assembly

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hanyang University, 55 Hanyangdaehak-ro, Sangrok-gu, Ansan, Gyeonggi-do 15588, Korea
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Metals 2019, 9(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9030336
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Joining of Automotive Alloys)
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to design and test a new, simple, and reusable linear variable differential transformer (LVDT)-based in situ bolt preload monitoring system (L-PMS) during fastening of a truck wheel assembly. Instead of measuring the elongation of a bolt, the distance between the end surfaces of both the bolt and nut was monitored via the L-PMS. The distance obtained from the L-PMS was experimentally correlated with the actual preload measured by a washer-type load cell. Since the variation of the distance is related to the stiffness of the bolt and clamped parts, a finite element analysis was also conducted to predict the sensitivity of L-PMS. There was a strong linear relationship between the distance and bolt preload after the bolt and nut were fully snugged. However, a logarithm-shaped nonlinear relationship was irregularly observed before getting snugged, making it difficult to define a clear relationship. In order to tackle this issue, an arc-shaped conductive line was screen-printed onto the surface of the clamped parts using a conductive carbon paste. The results show that a resistance variation of the conductive line during fastening enables to determine the snug point, so the L-PMS combined with resistance measurement results in an approximately ±6% error in the measurement of bolt preload. The proposed L-PMS offers a simple but highly reliable way for measuring bolt preload during fastening, which could be utilized in a heavy-truck production line. View Full-Text
Keywords: bolted joint; bolt preload; preload monitoring; resistance change; snug point; truck wheel bolted joint; bolt preload; preload monitoring; resistance change; snug point; truck wheel
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Jang, S.; Nam, J.; Lee, S.; Oh, J.H. A Simple, Reusable and Low-Cost LVDT-Based in Situ Bolt Preload Monitoring System during Fastening for a Truck Wheel Assembly. Metals 2019, 9, 336.

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