Fastener preload retention is critical to ensuring overall long term joint integrity. The range of allowable gasket stress in conjunction with the acceptable bolt preloading can pose a challenge to engineers recommending proper assembly procedures. Users of PTFE based gasket materials are often encouraged to re-torque flange bolts within 24 hours of flange assembly in order to re-establish gasket stress and bolt load loss due to creep relaxation, however little is known regarding this behavior with elastomeric gaskets. This paper explores the characteristics of various elastomeric materials in raised face (non-confined) and tongue & groove (confined) flanges, benchmarked against graphite materials, and the impact that they have on sustained flanged connection reliability.

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