A focused effort was initiated to improve the performance of gaskets in bolted piping joints at a large manufacturing site of Eastman Chemical Company. The facility includes many miles of pipe, ranging in age from brand new to several decades old, containing a multitude of process fluids at a wide range of process conditions. In accord with the Responsible Care initiative of the American Chemistry Council, there is strong desire continually “to identify, reduce and manage process safety risks.” This led to the formation of a team to identify initiatives that will provide a better understanding of the causes of failed gaskets in bolted piping joints, and a structured approach to prevent failures. The results include educational initiatives, improvements in standards and their use, a structured approach to risk assessments of critical piping systems, and the beginning of a long-term, data-driven approach to investigate failures of gaskets in bolted piping joints and apply the knowledge gained.

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