Development of bolted flange design tool based on finite element analysis and artificial neural network

Yıldırım, Alper
In bolted flange connections, commonly utilized in aircraft engine designs, structural integrity and minimization of the weight are achieved by the optimum combination of the design parameters utilizing the outcome of many structural analyses. Bolt size, number of bolts, bolt locations, casing thickness, flange thickness, bolt preload, and axial external force are some of the critical design parameters in bolted flange connections. Theoretical analysis and finite element analysis (FEA) are two main approaches to perform the structural analysis of the bolted flange connection. Theoretical approaches require the simplification of the geometry and are generally over safe. In contrast, finite element analysis is more reliable but at the cost of high computational power. In this work, the methodology developed for the iterative analyses of bolted flange utilizes artificial neural network approximation of FEA database formed with more than ten thousands of non-linear analyses involving contact. In the design tool, the structural analysis database is created by combining parametric variables by each other. The number of intervals for each variable in the upper and lower range of the variables has been determined with the parameters correlation study in which the significance of parameters are evaluated. As a follow-up study, the design tool is compared with FEA and the theoretical approach of ESDU.
Citation Formats
A. Yıldırım, “Development of bolted flange design tool based on finite element analysis and artificial neural network,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.