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Research Papers: Design and Analysis

On the Effect of External Bending Loads in Bolted Flange Joints

[+] Author and Article Information
Abdel-Hakim Bouzid

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  École de Technologie Superieure, 1100, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3C 1K3, Canadahakim.bouzid@etsml.ca

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 131(2), 021201 (Dec 09, 2008) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3006895 History: Received February 24, 2007; Revised December 24, 2007; Published December 09, 2008

Most current flange design methods use an equivalent pressure to treat bolted flange connections subjected to external bending loads. This oversimplified approach together with the lack of a proper assessment of the actual affected tightness make these methods inadequate for modern flange design. The substitution of the external applied moment by an equivalent pressure is excessively conservative and not realistic since it assumes that the achieved tightness is that of a gasket unloaded entirely to a minimum stress whereas in reality only a small section of it is, the rest of it is actually at a much higher stress. The successfulness of a valid analytical approach in yielding to an acceptable solution resides in its ability to account for the circumferential distribution of the gasket contact stress and its effect on leakage. This paper presents an analytical model based on the flexibility of the flange to treat flanges subjected to bending loads such as those produced by external moments and misalignments and capable of integrating leakage around the gasket circumference. The bolted joint sealing performance in the presence of such loads is evaluated using the new Pressure Vessel Research Council (PVRC) gasket constants Gb, a, and Gs, obtained from room temperature tightness (ROTT) tests. The analytical results including leakage predictions are validated by comparison to those obtained numerically by finite element analysis and experimentally on different size flanges. The overconservatism of the equivalent pressure is demonstrated.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Bolted flange model

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Figure 2

Bolted flange models

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Figure 3

Loading gasket sections

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Figure 4

Tightness of the different gasket sections

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Figure 6

NPS 4 class 150 bench unit

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Figure 7

NPS 112 class 300 joint subjected to bending

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Figure 8

NPS 4 class 150 joint subjected to bending

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Figure 9

NPS 8 class 300 joint subjected to bending

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Figure 10

Variation of load with bending moment for NPS 8 class 300

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Figure 11

Variation of flange rotation with bending

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Figure 12

Radial distribution of contact stress at tension side of NPS 112 class 300

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Figure 13

Radial distribution of contact stress at tension side of NPS 4 class 150

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Figure 14

Radial distribution of contact stress at tension side of NPS 8 class 300

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Figure 15

Leakage in NPS 112 class 300 joint

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Figure 16

Leakage in NPS 4 class 150 joint

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Figure 17

Leakage in NPS 8 class 300 joint

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