Strength simulations of tension bars for heavy lifting
Abstract: Proplate, a world leading company, is expert on volume-based cutting and machining of both ordinary steel as well as stainless steel. One of Proplate’s mayor products is tension bars, which is a component made to balance high forces and give stability to structures such as cranes, buildings, bridges and much more. Proplate builds their tension bars in different high strength steel materials, purchased from SSAB, and sells them worldwide. Proplate would like to market themselves better and wishes to produce a catalogue for the maximum load that can be applied to their tension bars, as competitors Pretec and Macalloy, already have for their tension bars. The purpose of the project has been to investigate the tension bars and the maximum load they can withstand before failure. The tension bars have been modeled in the CAD-program Creo Parametric, and then sent to the finite element method program ABAQUS to analyze their structural strength. Three different types of tension bars, and a fourth tension bar (called the walnut-strap) used as a connecting element between some of the tension bars, were investigated. They were modeled with sprints, to hold several tension bars together, and with a construction called loader, to simplify the model load application step. The three different types of tension bars have been analyzed as individual and also when connected to other tension bars. Some tension bars could be directly connected to each other with sprints, and some used the walnut-strap to connect other tension bars to each other. The project was limited to fatigue analyses, which is an important factor to control. This could instead be a great continuation of the project. The results from the strength analyses show that the stress is higher at the surfaces around the hole at the end of each tension bar, and the maximum load the tension bars can withstand depends on this area. The length, thickness and orientation of the tension bar has been varied, and the maximum load that each model can withstand has been listed. The length and direction of the tension bars did not influence the result for singular tension bars, but the thickness did. Both the length and the thickness of the tension bars did influence the result when multiple tension bars where connected to each other. Tables have been derived which shows the absolute maximum load that the tension bars can withstand. Proplate can use the tables in their catalogue, and they can also put a safety factor on the models to make them safer. Another part of the study was to investigate advantages and disadvantages with if the sprints, the connecting element between the tension bars, were replaced with screws instead. The result describes the yield strength needed for the screws and how the structures would behave compared to the current structure. A larger investigation into the effect of using screws may be one way to continue the work after this project, together with other investigations of, for instance, the use of compression bars.
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