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What Is The Meaning of Tight?

[+] Author Affiliations
J. Bartonicek

Gemeinschaftskernkraftwerk Neckar (GKN), Neckarwestheim, Germany

E. Roos, H. Kockelmann

University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

F. Schoeckle

Amtec Services, Lauffen, Germany

Paper No. PVP2003-1866, pp. 1-7; 7 pages
  • ASME 2003 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Analysis of Bolted Joints
  • Cleveland, Ohio, USA, July 20–24, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-1698-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Generally, sealed joints are not absolutely tight. Only a certain (finite) tightness can be reached. In this connection the following aspects are of importance: • the tightness requirement (depending on the medium to be sealed), • the suitability of the design of the joint for the intended application, • the gasket characteristics, • the strength and tightness proof, and • the required assembly bolt load. An optimized tightening capability of the gasket in a bolted flange connection is reached by means of adequate assembly bolt load and corresponding gasket deformation. The leakage channels in the body of the gasket as well as the leakage paths between gasket surface and the flanges sealing faces are closed. Depending on the required tightness and the type of medium a minimum gasket stress has to be applied during assembly. The higher the pre-deformation of the gasket during assembly the lower is the required gasket service stress for the intended tightness class. Both the required gasket stress for assembly and service condition are depending on the internal pressure and the medium to be sealed. These two gasket characteristics are to be determined by means of a leakage test. First of all, the required tightness class of a bolted flange connection has to be defined. Thereafter the flanges, bolts and the gasket are chosen (material, dimensions). On the basis of a calculation of the bolted flange connection the required assembly bolt or gasket load is determined and — if necessary — tightness and strength proof are carried out. Last but not least the defined assembly bolt load has to be applied with sufficient accuracy and limited scatter.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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