Clamp force errors in bolted joints often cause accidents in various mechanical structures. Therefore, the clamp force must be controlled accurately and main-tained for securing the reliability of mechanical structures such as vehicles. However, the clamp force can-not be controlled easily during tightening. Moreover, it is difficult to detect the clamp force after tighten-ing. We previously proposed a method to easily detect the clamp force of a bolted joint that has been tightened. In that method, the bolt thread protruding from the nut is pulled while the nut’s upper surface is supported. The relationship between tensile force and displacement at the pulling point where the tensile force is applied differs before and after the tensile force reaches the clamp force. The method detects the tensile force at the point, where the relationship changes, as the clamp force. In this study, we investigate the influence of squareness error on the bearing surface of the clamped part in a bolted joint on the detection error of the method using experiments and finite element (FE) analysis. The experimental results show that the squareness error has an influence on the detection accuracy. The average detection error in the experiments increases by approximately 10% with an increase in the squareness error. To understand the cause of this phenomenon, we investigate the effects of backlash between mating thread surfaces of bolts and nuts on the detection error. The results show that the error decreased because of the backlash. Conse-quently, it is assumed that the error is caused by the non-separation of the mating thread surfaces when the tensile force reached the clamp force. Furthermore, the FE analysis results show that the squareness error on the bearing surface of the clamped part has an influence of the squareness error on the detection ac-curacy. The results indicate that we should control the tolerance of squareness errors on the bearing surface of the clamped part when the clamp force detection method is applied to bolted joints.
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