Gaskets incorporating polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) are one of the most common in use today where soft sealing material is needed in bolted joints. Over the years, various types of gaskets have been developed including those using skived, expanded, filled, or molded PTFE sheet. Still other PTFE gaskets have been fabricated, incorporating some type of metal insert. Although many of the key benefits (e.g., chemical resistance, application in a broad range of flange types, higher maximum temperature and stress levels than most elastomers, indefinite shelf life, etc.) remain, the performance of the gasket will vary significantly according to the type of PTFE gasket employed. These variations in accordance with PTFE gasket styles are presented and discussed with an emphasis on such criteria as relaxation, gasket tightness / leak rate, and safe reserve operating temperature. For estimating tightness and predicted leak rates, the previously reported “Fugitive Emissions Calculator” (FEC) model has been used which employs Room Temperature Testing (ROTT) data and an ASME / PVRC draft empirical equations set. Published test data have also been compiled to support conclusions concerning relative capabilities for selected PTFE gasket categories. The differences in analytical and leak rate performance criteria have been used to suggest appropriate applications for various subtypes of PTFE gaskets.

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