Embedment - Consequences

Consequences

In critical fastener joints, embedment can mean loss of preload. Flattening of a surface allows the strain of a screw to relax, which in turn correlates with a loss in tension and thus preload. In bolted joints with particularly short grip lengths, the loss of preload due to embedment can be especially significant, causing complete loss of preload. Therefore, embedment can lead directly to loosening of a fastener joint and subsequent fatigue failure.

In bolted joints, most of the embedment occurs during torquing. Only embedment that occurs after installation can cause a loss of preload, and values of up to 0.0005 inches can be seen at each surface mate, as reported by SAE.

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