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Contact modelling of friction interface between threaded fastener and joint

Master thesis project

Functional area: Atlas Copco, Tightening technique
Recruiting manager: Erik Persson
Phone: +46706199425
Email: erik.persson @se.atlascopco.com


The target for this diploma thesis is to build a simulation model for the contact between a threaded fastener and joint. Apply forces, run the model and evaluate the results in correlation to experimental data.


When tightening a screw, the variation in friction will affect the force acting on the joint, especially when tightening using torque as control parameter. Since friction is such an important factor when aiming for a certain clamping force, it is of interest to simulate the contact and friction in the screw head and joint, and in thread interfaces. This will lead to a possibility of gaining deeper knowledge of friction characteristics when tightening, and how the dynamic friction relates to different coating/material and screw geometries. At the end, understanding friction will make it possible to influence the quality of the assembly.


The mission for this investigation is to build a finite element model of the contact region of a threaded fastener joint including applied forces and boundary conditions. Different friction models are to be evaluated in correlation to experimental results.


In order to be able to contribute to this project the student shall be a highly motivated and creative person. The person shall have skills within:

• Analytical methods including the Finite Element Method (FEM)
• Mechanical design
• Relevant knowledge in tribology

Education requirement

• Mechanical engineering

Level of thesis project

• Master thesis

How to apply

About Atlas Copco Industrial Technique

Atlas Copco’s Industrial Technique business area provides, through a global network, industrial power tools and assembly solutions, including tightening, bolting, riveting, adhesive dispensing, quality assurance products, material removal, software and service. The business area innovates for sustainable productivity for customers in the automotive and general industries, maintenance and vehicle service. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Sweden, Germany, United States, United Kingdom, France, Japan and Hungary.

About the Atlas Copco Group

Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers through its innovative compressors, vacuum solutions, generators, pumps, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2017, Atlas Copco (excluding Epiroc) had revenues of BSEK 86 (BEUR 9) and about 34 000 employees.