Embedment can be prevented by designing mating surfaces of a joint to have high surface hardness and very smooth surface finish. Exceptionally hard and smooth surfaces will have less susceptibility to the mechanism that causes embedment.
In most cases, some degree of embedment is inevitable. That said, short grip lengths should be avoided. For two bolted joints of identical design and installation, except the second having a longer grip length, the first joint will be more likely to loosen and fail. Since both joints have the same loading, the surfaces will experience the same amount of embedment. However, the relaxation in strain is less significant to the longer grip length and the loss in preload will be minimized. For this reason, bolted joints should always be designed with careful consideration for the grip length.
If a short grip length can not be avoided, the use of conical spring washers (Belleville washers or disc springs) can also reduce the loss of bolt pre-load due to embedment.
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