Ancillary exhaust system structural design for turbines typically employs a separation of responsibilities between the design and installation functions. The design expectations must be implemented correctly during the installation phase to allow long-term serviceability and success of the turbine exhaust system.

This paper will explore a case study reviewing bolt tightening of duct structural angle and plate flange joints using compressible high temperature fiberglass gasket material, as well as design suggestions for metal-on-metal duct sliding support joints to structural steel. Improper design and operation can lead to failure, downtime, warranty cost and reduced design life of the exhaust system. It is not uncommon for field installation personnel to modify key system design requirements during the installation phase; typically out of habit, perceived best practice, missed installation instructions and/or misunderstanding the system behavior. In addition, maintenance recommendations are often overlooked.

Literature provides extensive background for bolting of stationary metal-to-metal plate joints, rigid gaskets and pressure vessel joints. There is a gap with respect to structural angle and plate flange joint bolt tensioning using compressible fiberglass gaskets at low pressures and high temperatures. Much of the industry standard tightening philosophy is useful, but has not been extensively studied and written about with respect to flanges under high exhaust temperatures or for sliding joints exposed to thermal expansion.

This paper summarizes current industry practice, presents relevant test data and a case study, analyzes the effects of high thermal stresses, and recommends a tightening procedure for typical field applications of flange joints using high temperature gaskets, and the design of metal-to-metal sliding support joints.

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