Original Article
  • Investigation of Tensile Behaviors in Open Hole and Bolt Joint Configurations of Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composites
  • Dong-Wook Hwang*1, Sanjay Kumar*1, Dong-Hun Ha*, Su-Min Jo*, Yun-Hae Kim*†

  • * Dept. of Ocean Advanced Materials Convergence Engineering, Korea Maritime and Ocean University, Busan 49112, Korea

  • This article is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigated the open hole tensile (OHT) properties of carbon fiber/epoxy composites and compared them to bolt joint tensile (BJT) properties. The net nominal modulus and strength (1376 MPa) were found to be higher than the gross nominal strength (1041 MPa), likely due to increasing hole size. The OHT and BJT specimens exhibited similar stiffness, as expected without bolt rotation causing secondary bending. OHT specimens experienced a sharp drop in stress indicating unstable crack propagation, delamination, and catastrophic failure. BJT specimens failed through shear out on the bolt side and bearing failure on the nut side, involving fiber kinking, matrix splitting, and delamination, resulting in lower strength compared to OHT specimens. The strength retention of carbon fiber/epoxy composites with open holes was 66%. Delamination initiation at the hole's edge caused a reduction in the stress concentration factor. Filling the hole with a bolt suppressed this relieving mechanism, leading to lower strength in BJT specimens compared to OHT specimens. Bolt joint efficiency was calculated as 15%. The reduction in strength in bolted joints was attributed to fiber-matrix splitting and delamination, aligning with Hart Smith's bolted joint efficiency diagram. These findings contribute to materials selection and structural reliability estimation for carbon fiber/epoxy composites. They highlight the behavior of open hole and bolt joint configurations under tensile loading, providing valuable insights for engineering applications.

Keywords: Carbon fiber/epoxy composites, Open hole and bolt joint tensile properties, Bolt joint efficiency, Damage behavior

This Article

Correspondence to

  • Yun-Hae Kim
  • * Dept. of Ocean Advanced Materials Convergence Engineering, Korea Maritime and Ocean University, Busan 49112, Korea

  • E-mail: yunheak@kmou.ac.kr