Design analysis of ductile failure in dovetail connections

T. Naruse, D. Mackenzie

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The static plastic collapse of ductile dovetail structures is investigated by three analysis methods: slip-line field (SLF) theory based on a sheet drawing model, finite element limit analysis, and linear elastic finite element analysis with adapted pressure vessel design stress linearization and categorization methods. A range of angles and heights are considered in the investigation. Three experimental test cases are also presented. The limit analysis results are found to give the best comparison with the limited experimental results, indicating similar collapse loads and modes of ductile collapse. The SLF solution is found to give conservative but useful failure loads for small dovetail angles but, at angles greater than 30°, the solution is not generally conservative. The pressure vessel design by the analysis stress categorization procedure was adapted for dovetail analysis and was found to give reasonably conservative collapse loads in most cases. However, the procedure requires the designer to consider a number of different stress classification lines to ensure that a conservative collapse load is identified. It is concluded that the finite element limit analysis approach provides the best and most direct route to calculating the allowable load for the joint and is the preferred method when appropriate finite element analysis facilities are available.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-306
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008


  • design analysis
  • ductile failure
  • dovetail connections
  • engineering design


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