Following the low leakage performance of flat face flanges, neither Appendix 2 nor Appendix Y of the ASME code which describes the design rules of flanges, are reliable to assess load changes when full face gaskets are used. The prediction of the tightness of these connections relies very much on the level of precision of the gasket contact stress during operation. However, determining this stress is complex, due to the many geometric and material parameters involved. This paper analyses the behaviour of bolted joints with full face gaskets. It presents an analytical approach to evaluate the operating flange rotation, gasket load and contact stress that may be used for leak prediction. The method is based on the gasket-bolt-flange elastic interaction, including flange rotational flexibility. The proposed model is supported by comparison with numerical FEA of different size flanges.

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