A flat steel flange clamped by 14 bolts was modelled by three dimensional finite element analysis to evaluate its stiffness in compression relative to each bolt. The bolt load was applied via an extremely stiff washer to eliminate the effect of bolt head deflection on the results. The dimensionless stiffness varied linearly with bolt aspect ratio d/L. The slope of this relation was equal to that predicted by a simple cylindrical model with outside diameter of 1.56 d. The pressure between flanges along the bolt circle was calculated for two values of bolt spacing.

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