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Research Papers: Design and Analysis

Effect of Bolt Spacing on the Circumferential Distribution of the Gasket Contact Stress in Bolted Flange Joints

[+] Author and Article Information
Tan Dan Do

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, 1100 Rrue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3C 1K3, Canadatandan_do@yahoo.com

Abdel-Hakim Bouzid

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, 1100 Rrue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3C 1K3, Canadahakim.bouzid@etsmtl.ca

Thien-My Dao

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, 1100 Rrue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3C 1K3, Canadathien-my.dao@etsmtl.ca

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 133(4), 041205 (May 16, 2011) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002924 History: Received February 25, 2010; Revised July 10, 2010; Published May 16, 2011; Online May 16, 2011

Bolted flange joints are part of pressure vessel and piping components and are extensively used in the chemical, petrochemical, and nuclear power industries. They are simple structures and offer the possibility of disassembly, which makes them attractive to connect pressurized equipment and piping. In addition to being prone to leakage, they often require maintenance while in operation in which case the bolts are either retightened as in hot torquing or untightened to be replaced. Although costly shutdowns are avoided, such maintenance work exposes the operator to a potential risk because the bolt load alteration can produce a gasket load unbalance, which results in the local gasket contact stress to drop below some critical value, causing major leak and hence jeopardizing the life of the worker. This paper addresses the issue of the contact stress level unbalance around the flange when the bolts are subjected to initial tightening. The study compares the contact stress distribution variations, an analytical developed model based on the theory of rings on elastic foundation, to those given by the finite element model and the simple beam on elastic foundation model developed by Koves (2007, “Flange Joint Bolt Spacing Requirements,” Proceedings of PVP2007, ASME Pressure Vessel and Piping Division Conference). This study is developed for the purpose of helping limit the degree of load increase in hot torquing or the maximum number of bolts to be replaced at a time and identify those flanges for which the bolt cannot be replaced in service.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Infinitesimal element model of flange

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Figure 2

Loads in a bolted flange gasketed joint

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Figure 4

Contact stress variation of 52 in. HE flange tf=89 mm, 24 bolts

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Figure 5

Contact stress variation of 24 in. HE flange Eg=2 GPa, 16 bolts

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Figure 6

Contact stress variation of 24 in. HE flange Eg=2 GPa

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Figure 7

Contact stress variation of 52 in. HE flange tf=89 mm

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Figure 8

Contact stress variation of 52 in. HE flange tf=143 mm

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Figure 9

Displacement variation of 24 in. HE flange tf=38 mm

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Figure 10

Displacement variation of 24 in. HE flange tf=48 mm

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Figure 11

Displacement variation of 52 in. HE flange tf=89 mm

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Figure 12

Displacement variation of 52 in HE flange tf=143 mm

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Figure 13

Analytical model flange rotation variation of 24 in. HE flange Eg=3.5 GPa

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Figure 14

Analytical model flange rotation variation of 24 in. HE flange tf=38 mm

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Figure 15

Analytical model flange rotation variation of 52 in. HE flange Eg=7 GPa

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Figure 16

Analytical model flange rotation variation of 52 in. HE flange tf=143 mm

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Figure 17

FE radial distribution of contact stress of 52 in. HE flange, tf=89 mm

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Figure 18

FE radial distribution of contact stress of 52 in. HE flange, tf=143 mm

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Figure 19

FE Maximum contact stress variation of 52 in. HE flange, tf=89 mm

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Figure 20

FE maximum contact stress variation of 52 in. HE flange, tf=143 mm

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