The seal on a metal-to-metal gasketed joint is effected by the imposition of bearing stresses, shearing stresses, or a combination of the two at the interface of the gasket and its mating seating surface. The required initial load to establish this seal for a given leak rate is greatly influenced by the gasket geometry and the type of sealing stress inherent to it. The retention of the seal under operating conditions is affected by the ability of the gasket to maintain contact with its mating surfaces through “springback” from the initial bolt-up deformations until the pressure loading is sufficient to take over. Theoretical investigations using the finite element method have been employed to determine suitable gasket geometry. Test data obtained from a full scale model are presented for comparison with the predicted values.

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