A mathematical model is proposed for predicting the residual clamp load during creep and∕or relaxation in gasketed joints. An experimental procedure is developed to verify the proposed model for predicting the gasket relaxation under a constant compression, gasket creep under a constant stress, and gasket creep relaxation. To study gasket creep relaxation, a single-bolt joint is used. The bolt is tightened to a target preload and the clamp load decay due to gasket creep relaxation is observed over time under various preload levels. Experimental and analytical results are presented and discussed. The proposed model provides an accurate prediction of the residual clamp load as a function of time, gasket material, and geometric properties of the gasket. A closed form solution is formulated to determine the initial clamp load level necessary to provide the desired level of a steady state residual clamp load in the joint, by taking the gasket creep relaxation into account.

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