A number of analytical and experimental studies have been conducted to study ‘strength’ and ‘sealing capability’ of bolted flange joint only under internal pressure loading. Due to the ignorance of the external i.e. axial loading, the optimized performance of the bolted flange joint can not be achieved. A very limited work is found in literature under combined internal pressure and axial loading. In addition, the present design codes do not address the effects of axial loading on the structural integrity and sealing ability of the flange joints. From previous studies, non-gasketed joint is claimed to have better performance as compared to conventional gasketed joint. To investigate non-gasketed joint’s performance i.e. joint strength and sealing capability under combined internal pressure and any applied external loading, an extensive 3D nonlinear finite element analysis is carried out and overall joint performance and behavior is discussed.

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