The quantities of leak rate through sealing systems are subjected to strict regulations because of the global concern on radiative materials. The maximum tolerated leak is becoming a design criterion in pressure vessel design codes, and the leak rate for an application under specific conditions is required to be estimated with reasonable accuracy. In this respect, experimental and theoretical studies are conducted to characterize gasket and packing materials to predict leakage. The amount of the total leak is the summation of the permeation leak through the sealing material and the interfacial leak generated between the sealing element and its mating surfaces. Unfortunately, existing models used to predict leakage do not separate these two types of leaks. This paper deals with a study based on experimental testing that quantifies the amount of these two types of leaks in bolted gasketed joints and packed stuffing boxes. It shows the contribution of interfacial leak for low and high contact surface stresses and the influence of the surface finish of 0.8 and 6.3 μm (32 and 250 μin) resulting from phonographic grooves in the case of a bolted flange joint. The results indicate that most leakage is interfacial, reaching 99% at the low stress while interfacial leak is of the same order of magnitude of permeation leak at high stresses reaching 10−6 and 10−8 mg/s in both packing and gaskets, respectively. Finally, particular focus is put on the technique of precompression to improve material sealing tightness.
Evaluation of Interfacial and Permeation Leaks in Gaskets and Compression Packing
Manuscript received August 3, 2018; final manuscript received October 1, 2018; published online January 24, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Jovica R. Riznic.
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Aweimer, A. S. O., and Bouzid, A. (January 24, 2019). "Evaluation of Interfacial and Permeation Leaks in Gaskets and Compression Packing." ASME. ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci. January 2019; 5(1): 011013. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4041691
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