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Research Papers: Design and Analysis

Stamina of a Nongasketed Flange Joint Under Combined Internal Pressure, Axial, and Bending Loading: An Experimental Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Muhammad Abid1

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, North West Frontiner Province 23460, Pakistanabid@giki.edu.pk

David H. Nash

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G11XJ, UK

1

Corresponding author.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 131(3), 031203 (Apr 07, 2009) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3110039 History: Received May 08, 2008; Revised November 24, 2008; Published April 07, 2009

Performance of a bolted flange joint is characterized mainly due to its “strength” and “sealing capability.” A number of analytical and experimental studies have been conducted to study these characteristics only under internal pressure loading. A very limited work is found in the literature under combined internal pressure and bending loading. Due to the ignorance of this external loading, i.e., bending and axial in addition to the internal pressure loading, the optimized performance of the bolted flange joint cannot be achieved. The present design codes do not address the effects of combined loading on the structural integrity and sealing ability. To investigate joint strength and sealing capability under combined loading, an extensive experimental study of a nongasketed flange joint with two different assemblies and with different load combinations is carried out, and overall joint performance and behavior is discussed. Actual joint load capacity is determined under both the design and proof test pressure with maximum additional external loading (axial and bending) that can be applied for safe joint performance. In addition, application of combined load is also discussed in the light of equivalent pressure approach.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

(a) Flange geometry with positive taper angle; for geometry G1, θ=0.015 deg and for G2, θ=0.03 deg and (b) flange geometry showing flange parameters and dimensions also used in FEA

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Figure 2

Nongasketed flanges: (a) with O-ring groove, (b) without O-ring groove, and (c) tools used for joint assembly

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Figure 3

Strain gauging of (a) bolt, (b) side frame, and (c) pipe and flange section

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Figure 4

(a) Location and orientation of strain gauges attached at the hub-flange and (b) joint assembly showing distance between load applied, saddles, and overall length

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Figure 5

Arrangement for (a) internal pressure loading and (b) combined loading

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Figure 6

(a) Location of strains measured on flange and pipe and (b) bolt locations in the joint. A is the strain gauge attached along the axial direction and H is the strain gauge attached along the hoop direction.

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Figure 7

(a) Gap or joint opening during the application of combined loading at (a) bottom and (b) along bolt 8

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Figure 8

Stress variation under applied loading at the (a) hub center, (b) pipe, and (c) hub-flange fillet. Loading sequence applied is pressure+axial+bending.

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Figure 9

Strain variation at the hub center during loading only at load combination: (a) 23 MPa+180 kN+8.84 kN m(pressure+axial+bending) and (b) 335 kN+13.39 kN m+23 MPa(axial+bending+pressure)

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Figure 10

Strain variation at the hub-flange fillet during loading only at load combination: (a) 23 MPa+180 kN+8.84 kN m(pressure+axial+bending) and (b) 335 kN+13.39 kN m+23 MPa(axial+bending+pressure)

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Figure 11

Strain variation at the pipe during loading only at load combination: (a) 23 MPa+180 kN+8.84 kN m(pressure+axial+bending) and (b) 335 kN+13.39 kN m+23 MPa(axial+bending+pressure)

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Figure 12

Bolt stress variation at load combination: (a) 15.3 MPa+180 kN+17.42 kN m(pressure+axial+bending), (b) 335 kN+13.39 kN m+23 MPa(axial+bending+pressure), (c) 23 MPa+180 kN+8.84 kN m(pressure+axial+bending), and (d) 180 kN+8.84 kN m+23 MPa(axial+bending+pressure)

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Figure 13

Strain variation in bolts during loading only at load combination: (a) and (b) 23 MPa+180 kN+8.84 kN m(pressure+axial+bending) and (c) and (d) 335 kN+13.39 kN m+23 MPa(axial+bending+pressure). I is the inside gauge and O is the outside gauge.

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