• Identify the deformation behaviour and damage initiation and evolution in high strength steel bolted connections when subjected to fatigue loading conditions.
  • Determine the influence of different hole making processes (punching, drilling or cutting the bolt holes) on the surface condition and the residual stress state and to formulate best practices on hole making procedures.
  • Generate detailed computational models of bolted connections that can be used in optimizing HSS bolted joints, taking into account the manufacturing process and in-service loading, and, additionally, to investigate and assess the accuracy of these models by extensive experimental validation.
  • Investigate the impact of certain parameters like pre-tension, surface finish and bolt head flange geometry on the fretting fatigue of HSS bolted connections.
  • Derive relations between the static strength of a HSS bolted connection and its fatigue strength under the same loading mode.
  • Draft a practical methodology or workflow for modeling complex bolted HSS joints under fatigue loading conditions (facilitate step from single joints to multiple joint arrangements) with special attention to the trade-off between modeling effort and accuracy (i.e. using mechanically equivalent models).
  • Derive practical design rules for the dimensioning of bolted joints in applications involving fatigue of HSS materials.
  • Propose guidelines on how to transform a welded assembly into a bolted assembly that has at least the same static strength but an increased fatigue strength. Additionally, to propose guidelines on how to transform a bolted assembly of lower strength steel into a bolted assembly of high strength steel that has at least the same static strength, but an increased fatigue performance.
  • Disseminate the results in the form of technical guidelines that can be used as preparatory documents towards standardization of these type of connections.