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research-article

Thermo-Mechanical Evaluation of the Performance and Integrity of a HDPE Stub-End Bolted Flange Connection

[+] Author and Article Information
Imad Barsoum

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Petroleum Institute, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, UAE
imad.barsoum@ku.ac.ae

Zuheir Barsoum

Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Division of Lightweight Structures, Royal Institute of Technology - KTH, Teknikringen 8, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
zuheir@kth.se

Didarul Islam

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Petroleum Institute, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, UAE
didarul.islam@ku.ac.ae

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043844 History: Received November 20, 2018; Revised May 21, 2019

Abstract

In the current study the integrity of a manhole structure made of a 78" HDPE stub-end, steel ring and blind flange, sealed with a compressed non-asbestos fiber (CNAF) gasket is investigated by means of a parametric FEA. A coupled thermo-mechanical non-linear model is built, which allows modelling the complex thermal and mechanical loads and their interactions present during operation of the manhole. The temperature-dependent elastic-plastic HDPE material behavior and the temperature-dependent non-linear response of the CNAF gasket are accounted for in the model. Factors influencing the performance and integrity of the manhole such as stud-bolt pre-torque level (Tb), internal pressure (Pi) and outer temperature (To) are considered. Based on the results, the integrity and performance of the structure is assessed in view of a leakage through-gasket criterion and a yielding of the HDPE stub-end criterion. The FEA results reveal that both Tb, Pi and To significantly influence the performance (i.e. leakage) of the gasket and the integrity (i.e. yielding) of the HDPE stub-end. At 40 C it is possible to find a safe operational window for a range of Tb and Pi values where no leakage through the gasket or yielding of the stub-end occur. However, as temperature is increased this safe operational window decreases considerably, and at 80 C safe operation cannot be guaranteed and leakage, yielding or both simultaneously, will lead to loss in performance and integrity of the manhole structure.

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