How to Calculate Bolt Shear Loading

Written by adam quinn
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How to Calculate Bolt Shear Loading
Plan for your next building project by calculating bolt shear loading stress. (old railroad track bolt image by Tom Stewart from Fotolia.com)

Shear loading or shear stress is the average force applied to a bolt by the material the bolt connects together. Single shear stress applies to a bolt that connects two materials together, whereas double shear stress applies to three or more materials held together. Shear stress on a bolt requires simple calculations and can indicate the extent of stress upon a particular bolt. If a bolt's maximum shear stress is also known, then considerations can be made regarding the type of fasteners required for your next building project.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Ruler
  • Bolt Size-It Gauge
  • Calculator

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Determine the diameter of the bolt using the gauge. Divide this number by two to obtain the radius of the bolt.

  2. 2

    Calculate the single shear stress on the bolt if it is holding together two materials that are subjected to a force in pounds. Find the area of the bolt by squaring the radius, and multiplying this number by Pi or 3.14. Divide the pounds of force applied to the bolt by the area, to obtain the average shear stress upon the bolt expressed in pounds per square inch.

  3. 3

    Calculate the double shear stress on the bolt if it is holding together three or more materials that are subjected to a force in pounds. The area of the bolt is the radius squared multiplied by Pi or 3.14. Divide the pounds of force by two and then divide that number by the area of the bolt. This is the average shear stress in pounds per square inch.

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