Structural integrity of bolted joints for pultruded GRP profiles
Pultruded glass-fibre reinforced plastics (GRP) are becoming a popular alternative to conventional materials in Civil Engineering industry. The work presented in this thesis attempts to carry out an integrated and comprehensive programme of research on pultruded GRP bolted joints, in order to provide useful data, knowledge and guidance for design engineers seeking to use bolted joints in pultruded GRP structures.
The research was sub-divided into three phases. Phase 1 included determining material properties, conducting tests in double-lap single-bolt tension joints at elevated temperature and starting to develop ANSYS FE models of single-bolt joints. Phase 2 covered testing of double-lap single-bolt tension joints under wet and hot-wet conditions, FE stress and displacement analyses of the tested joint geometries and assessing existing joint design approaches. In Phase 3 the focus was on testing concentrically loaded double-lap multi-bolt tension joints and FE modelling of these joints.
In addition, work was undertaken on correlating strains around the hole edge, recorded using the PhotoStress method and conventional strain gauges, with FE analysis. Work was also undertaken on an assessment of current approaches to the design of bolted joints in fibre-reinforced polymeric composite materials, particularly the EUROCOMP Simplified and Hart-Smith design methods.