This paper describes two important factors that must be considered during the selection of heat exchanger gaskets for petroleum refinery service. These factors are the assessment of the expected level of gasket stress relaxation and the ability of the gasket to resist the radial shear mode of gasket failure. The latest techniques for obtaining the necessary data to evaluate the gasket being considered are detailed. A summary of some generic results of recent tests, for some of the most commonly employed gasket types, is also presented.

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