Prestressed joints are widely used in construction using connectors in the form of screws, whose task is to strong clamping of joined parts, thereby the internal forces in joint are transferred by surface friction contact of the elements. In the automotive and aerospace industries hybrid joints are more widely applied. Mechanical connectors are added to the adhesive joint in form of rivets, screws or clinch increasing its strength properties.
The aim of this study was to determine how the prestressed connectors influence the mechanical response of hybrid, single and double lap joints. The influence of different distribution of the connectors was also investigated. Numerical study was conducted in ABAQUS program. Mechanical connectors were modeled by using fasteners, that allowed for a considerable simplification of the numerical model. In their application, there is no need for an additional submodels for connectors in the form of the rivet or the bolt. Prestressing is activated by direct application of the force to the connector.
In the numerical examples the authors assumed that the diameter of the mechanical connectors was equal to 6mm and shear strength was equal 1kN. Adhesive layers were modeled by using cohesive elements for which maximum shear stresses and fracture energy were specified. The layer thickness was assumed to be equal 0.1mm and it was initially removed from the areas where mechanical connectors were placed.
Two types of joints were analysed in the study: the single lap joint with lap dimensions 40x40mm as well as the double lap joint with lap dimensions 40x20mm, from which it results that theoretical strength of both connections should be the same.
The prestressing of connectors was introduced by the force 1.5kN. For all pure - mechanical joints and for single lap joints positive effects were obtained. For double lap joints additional prestressing did not significantly affect for their strength.
The influence of distribution of mechanical connectors was additionally analyzed by consideration of three configurations, where the rows of rivets were located at distances of 5, 10 and 15mm from the lap edge. The maximum increase of the load capacity by 24% was achieved for single lap joint as well as 35.7% for double lap joint.
The obtained numerical results indicate the positive effects of additional pressure and allows for practical suggestions how to correct and optimize spacing distance of mechanical connectors in hybrid joints to get better mechanical response.