We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Bolted Joint?

M. McGee
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A bolted joint is a type of threaded fastener that connects separate pieces. These joints often look like a standard screw hole, although the hole will extend through two or more pieces. When fully tightened, the bolted joint can withstand huge amounts of pressure and torque without damage. This is a result of the forces at work between the bolt and connected surfaces.

The primary purpose of a bolted joint is connecting objects. This is typically accomplished by using a threaded hole that sinks through one object and into the next. A bolt then screws down into the hole and connects the pieces together. This connection is exceptionally strong, much more so than other common forms of connection.

The strength of this connection primarily stems from the threads in the hole and on the bolt. These threads vastly increase the surface area between the bolt and connected object. Since the connected surface area is very high, it increases the amount of friction between the two objects. This means it requires more power to overcome the friction and make the bolt move.

Since the threads are along the shaft of the bolt and the hole, they stack on top of one another. This allows for a huge increase in surface area with a very minor use of space. Since so little space is used for such a large gain, it is possible to spread bolted joints out over a larger distance.

The biggest problem common in bolted joints comes from vibration. When a bolted joint vibrates, the two materials and the bolt will often vibrate at slightly different frequencies. This will cause the bolt to move very slightly with every vibration. This movement is so slight that it is generally invisible to the naked eye and is only noticeable over time. As the vibration continues, the bolt will slowly loosen until the connection becomes unstable.

The most common method of dealing with this problem is using a washer underneath the head of the bolt and any nuts on the fastener. Washers will help absorb a small amount of the vibrational movement and keep the fastener tight longer. In addition, a washer will provide a solid surface for the bolt or nut to sit on, allowing a tight connection in contoured or soft surfaces.

A bolted joint works best when it is designed with the forces placed upon it in mind. Certain bolt types and styles work best in certain circumstances. If the fastener has less torque on it than it was designed for, the bolt will loosen over time. If it has more than it was made for, the additional torque may cause a shearing force and break the bolt.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M. McGee
By M. McGee , Former Writer
Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences. With a background in communication-related fields, he brings strong organizational and interpersonal skills to his writing, ensuring that his work is both informative and engaging.

Discussion Comments

M. McGee

M. McGee

Former Writer

Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences....
Learn more
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.