Gaskets in bolted flange joints experience creep when used for long periods of time. Since gaskets are often used at elevated temperatures, the clarification of their high-temperature creep behavior is essential. Relaxation of bolted flange joints is caused by creep in the gaskets, and may result in leakage of internal fluids. Therefore, the ability to predict relaxation in bolted flange joints due to the effects of creep in gaskets would allow the lifetime of the gaskets to be estimated and thus prevent leakage of internal fluid. In the present study, the creep behavior of non-asbestos sheet gaskets and the relaxation behavior of these gaskets in bolted flange joints at room/elevated temperature were investigated using four-inch flanges. The test conditions were 180 °C for 360 hours (approximately 2 weeks). The test samples were four types of non-asbestos sheet gaskets, two types of compressed fiber sheet gaskets and two types of PTFE sheet gaskets. The differences in creep behavior between the two types of compressed fiber sheet gaskets and between the two types of PTFE sheet gaskets were clarified. The creep strain at the end of the test was always larger than that just after reaching the test temperature for all gasket materials. On the other hand, the creep strain in the PTFE sheet gaskets just after reaching the elevated temperature was approximately equivalent to the total creep strain after the test has been completed. Thus, the creep behavior of each test gaskets was clarified under aging. In addition, the time for replacement of gaskets was estimated using the relaxation behavior in bolted flange joints by defining the time to reach the minimum design seating stress of the test gasket.

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