The stress analysis of dovetail attachments presents some challenges. These stem from the high stress gradients at the edges of contact. They also stem from the nonlinearities accompanying conforming contact. Even with two-dimensional analysis, obtaining converged peak stresses is not trivial. With three-dimensional analysis, convergence can be expected to be more difficult to achieve because of the added computational costs of refinement in three dimensions. To meet these challenges, this paper describes a submodeling procedure with finite elements. The submodeling approach features bicubic surface fits to displacements for submodel boundary conditions. The approach also features a means of verifying these boundary conditions have converged: This is crucial to obtaining accurate converged peak stresses. The approach is applied to a three-dimensional test piece used to simulate a dovetail attachment. This application leads to converged three-dimensional stresses. These stresses serve to quantify the sort of increases in contact stresses in attachments due to three-dimensional effects.

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