Analysis of bolted flanged panel joint for GRP sectional tanks

S. M. Menon Radhakrishnan, B. Dyer, M. Kashtalyan, A. R. Akisanya, I. Guz, C. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The performance of flanged panel bolted joints used in Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) sectional tanks is investigated using a combination of experimental and computational methods. A four-panel bolted assembly is subjected to varying pressure in a rupture test rig to study damage development at the intersection of the four panels. It is found that cracking initiates at a panel corner at the four panel intersection at a pressure of 35 kPa and propagates to other panel corners with increasing pressure. This is attributed to the excessive deformation at the four panel intersection. The effect of bolt spacing, varying end distances and bolt pre-tension in decreasing the localized deformation and maximum induced stresses are investigated using finite element analysis. It is found that varying the amount of bolt spacing and end distances had a considerable influence on the joint performance whereas varying bolt pretension had very negligible effect. Consequently, this study establishes the maximum pressure which the GRP panel joint can withstand without failure and the corresponding optimum joint parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-261
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Composite Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • bolted flanged panel joints
  • sheet moulding compounds
  • joint parameters
  • experimental testing
  • finite element modelling


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