A novel mathematical model is proposed for studying elastic interaction in gasketed bolted joints. The model predicts the tension changes in tightened bolts due to the subsequent tightening of other bolts in the joint. It also predicts the final clamp load distribution after the completion of joint tightening. The model is used to investigate the effect of various factors on the elastic interaction phenomenon; factors include the gasket thickness, bolt spacing, fastener preload level, and the tightening sequence of various bolts. Experimental verification is provided for the validation of the mathematical model. Experimental and analytical results are presented and discussed. The proposed model provides good prediction of the final clamp load in the joint. Moreover, the proposed model may be used to determine the level of initial bolt tension in each bolt that would be necessary to achieve the desired level of uniform clamp load in the joint at initial assembly.

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