The present paper investigates the influence of several design parameters on the frictional response at the underhead in a bolted joint, involving high strength socket-head screws: M8 class 14.9 with black oxidization coating. The experimentation deals with different underhead materials (Steel, Aluminium), lubrication conditions (dry, lubricated) and repeated tightening operations. The awareness of the actual friction coefficients, depending on the current operating parameters, is a useful tool, to support the most proper design of a bolted joint. The experimental campaign has been run by a testing rig for friction coefficient estimation, complying with the recommendations by International Standard ISO 16047 and the automotive Standard VW01131-1 in order to consider the effect of the tightening speed normally adopted in the automotive field. The axial preload generated upon tightening induces a high pressure on the remarkably small underhead surface of the utilized high strength socket-head screws and is therefore likely to affect the tribological response. Consequently, some differences may be expected with respect to the tribological behavior of screws belonging to lower strength grades. This is particularly true, when tightening is done without bearing lubrication, and through several repeated assembly-disassembly operations. The collected data have been processed by the tools of ANOVA and F-Test, in order to assess the significance of each factor, as well as related interactions.

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