EL512_EL2024_04 - The Bolted Joint has been added to your cart.

The Bolted Joint

Learn the fundamentals of bolts and bolted joints, including their strength, behavior, design approaches and failure prevention.

Buying for a Group?

Get 5 seats or more for the same Guided Study course and save 25%.  (This cannot be combined with any other offer).

This Standard was last reviewed and reaffirmed in {{activeProduct.ReaffirmationYear}}. Therefore this version remains in effect.

{{ onlyLocationDate }}
This product is offered through an ASME partner.
Please complete your transaction through their site
{{ errorMessage }}

Final invoices will include applicable sales and use tax.

Print or Share
Already bought it?

Product Options

  • Location and Date
    Seats Left
    List Price
    Member Price
  • Jul 08-Aug 19th, 2024


  • Aug 26-Oct 07th, 2024


  • Oct 21-Dec 02nd, 2024



Extended Enrollment Available

Enrollment in Guided Study courses via the shopping cart automatically closes the day before each session begins. If you wish to enroll in a session in progress, please call ASME Customer Care:

U.S./Canada: (800) 843-2763
Mexico: (001)-800-843-2763
Outside of North America: (973) 882-1170

Please note: When choosing extended enrollment, keep in mind that all sessions end on the originally published date.

Package Items
Quantity Item
{{ package.Quantity }} {{ package.Title }}

The bolted joint is an important element of many products, systems, and structures. Learn the fundamentals of threaded fasteners with a focus on bolts, bolted joints, bolted flange joints, including their strength, behavior, design approaches and failure prevention. Bolted joints with and without gaskets are presented to provide a broad understanding of the various loads and stresses bolted joints experience.
In this guided study course, students will use illustrative case histories and calculation examples to design and apply safe and reliable bolted joints. Bolt tightening pre-load calculations presented will consider the many variables that affect a bolted joint for the student to diagnose and solve bolted joint problems and specify appropriate assembly practices. 
Beginning with an introduction to the basic mechanics, thread standards and materials for the bolted connection and its components, the student gains an appreciation of the challenges presented to the designer and user to apply and maintain a safe and appropriate clamping load for various applications. The behavior of bolted joints is examined during assembly and in-service. Failure mechanisms are reviewed, and avoidance guidelines given including self-loosening, fatigue and corrosion. Clamping force reduction mechanisms are presented including embedment, elastic interaction, thermal and mechanical effects. Proper assembly of bolted joints are presented using manual, torque, turn of the nut, stretch and direct tension methods. The course prepares the student for optimizing the bolted joint design with bolt torque and stretch calculations along with selecting the assembly method most applicable for bolts, screws and stud bolts with a threaded nut or blind tapped hole. 
You will learn to:

  • Recognize various thread profiles, classes, tolerances and allowances for threaded fasteners.
  • Calculate the optimum assembly bolt preload using torque and bolt stretch calculation methods
  • Assess the mechanical stress and strain of a bolted joint and the challenges for specifying an optimum bolt load, given the external loads
  • Explain how to increase the functional life of a bolted joint with an understanding of failure mechanisms such as pre-load loss, fatigue and self-loosening
  • Explain the merits of torque, turn of the nut, stretch and direct tension methods for assembling bolted joints
  • Recognize the importance of assembly procedures using proven bolting patterns

Recommended Reading
It is recommended that you obtain either one of the following:

  • Bickford, John, H. (1997). An Introduction to Design and Behavior of Bolted Joints, 3rd Edition. New York: CRC Press; or
  • Bickford, John, H. & Payne, James, R. (2007). Introduction to the Design and Behavior of Bolted Joints: Non-Gasketed Joints, 4th Edition, Volume 1. New York: CRC Press.

Who Should Attend
Engineers, engineering managers/supervisors and technical staff involved in the design, specification, procurement, application, inspection, maintenance, assembling and project management of products and equipment utilizing bolts and bolted joints.
Participants are recommended to have at least 2 years of engineering experience, as the learning content involves solving equations. While a technical background is helpful, enough general information is included in the course to be beneficial for those wanting to expand their knowledge with no engineering experience.

To take this course you should have a personal computer, Web browser, Internet connection, and software to display PDF files (such as Adobe Reader®).


Module One - Introduction to the Bolted Joint

  • Basic Concepts & Mechanics of Bolted Joints
  • The Challenge
  • Stress and Strength Considerations
  • Threads and Their Strength
  • Quiz + Exercise

Module Two - Materials Properties, Behavior, and Specifications

  • Properties Affecting the Clamping Force
  • Appropriate Bolt Material Standards
  • Bolting Material Properties and Materials Selection
  • Quiz

Module Three - Stiffness and Strain Considerations

  • Bolt Stretch and Stiffness
  • Stiffness of the Joint
  • The Load factor and Some Design Goals
  • Quiz + Exercise

Module Four - Joint Diagrams, Load Factors, and Loading Planes

  • Understanding the joint diagram
  • Minimum and Maximum Preload
  • The Load Factor and Some Design Goals
  • Loading Planes
  • Quiz

Module 5 - Assembly Basics & Methods

  • Introduction to Assembly
  • Joint Problems
  • Improving Results
  • Pros and Cons of Manual, Torque, Tensioning and Stretch Control
  • Quiz

Module 6 - Lubrication and Tightening Patterns

  • Bolting Pattern Research for Bolted Joints
  • Lubrication Research
  • Non-Circular Patterns
  • Quiz + Exercise

Module 7 - Joint Analysis Calculations

  • VDI Analysis Procedure
  • VDI Analysis Example
  • NASA Shuttle Procedure
  • Web-Based resources
  • Quiz

Module 8 - Understanding Failures & Failure Prevention Considerations

  • The Nature of Failure
  • Self-loosening
  • Fatigue
  • Corrosion
  • Quiz

Module 9 - Selecting Preload for an Existing Joint

  • The Simple Path to an Appropriate Preload
  • Factors Affecting Preload Selection
  • Minimum vs. Maximum Approach to Selecting a Preload
  • Getting an Accurate Clamp Load
  • Quiz + Exercise

Patrick Cooper, P.E.

Patrick Cooper, P.E., has over 35 years of experience in the design, specification, maintenance and troubleshooting of process equipment within the petrochemical industry.

More Information


Guided Study

Online learning augmented with instructor-supported activities and/or graded assignments to complete at your own pace. Courses run in 6-week sessions.
Buying for your team?

Set up a customized session of this course for your workforce.

You are now leaving ASME.org