threaded fasteners, loosening, vibration, loosening curve, critical condition, influencing factors


Loosening of threaded fasteners is a key failure mode, which is mainly caused by the slippage and friction behaviors on the thread and bearing surfaces, and will affect the integrity and reliability of products. Numerous scholars have conducted research on the loosening of threaded fasteners; however, comprehensive reviews on the loosening of threaded fasteners have been scarce. In this review article, we define loosening as a loss of preload and divide it into non-rotational and rotational loosening. The causes and mechanisms of non-rotational and rotational loosening are summarised. Some essential topics regarding loosening under transverse vibration have also attracted significant attention and have been investigated widely, including the loosening curve, critical condition of loosening, and influencing factors of loosening. The research carried out on these three topics is also summarised in this review. It is believed that our work will not only help new researchers quickly understand the state-of-the-art research on loosening, but also increase the knowledge of engineers on this critical subject. In the future, it is important to conduct more quantitative research on local slippage accumulation, and the relationship between local slippage accumulation and rotational loosening, which will have the potential to comprehensively unravel the loosening mechanism, and effectively guide the anti-loosening design of threaded fasteners.

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