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The viscoelasticity of resin-based laminates allows the clampup force on bolts to relax, with a corresponding degradation in joint strength. We have studied clampup relaxation for steady temperature and moisture (T-M) conditions , but in typical applications laminate temperature and moisture both vary with time. These transient conditions influence clampup in two ways: first, the laminate thermal expansion (contraction) and moisture swelling (shrinkage) cause elastic changes in the clampup, and second, the T-M conditions influence the rate of clampup relaxation.
Senior engineer, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
National Research Council resident research associate, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
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