Industry Related Challenges – Bolted Flanged Joint Leaks
Improper anchoring of piping systems, movement, thermal expansion, and misalignment are all common issues in a fluid transfer application. Expansion Joints help compensate for misalignment, movement (vibration), and improper anchoring. They can prolong the life of a piping system and help prevent system shutdowns.
Bolted flanged joint leaks have always been an industry challenge. They happen when the material contained in a piping system escapes through gasket pores or around the gasket and flange face; typically, when the load pressure falls below the minimum recommended seal pressure.
Most common causes for leaks are:
- Embedded Relaxation: Unavoidable but can be compensated for when the correct
gasket product is used
- Gasket & Bolt Creep: Typical with plastic gasketing materials; also unavoidable
- Improper Installation/Over Torquing: Can distort and damage gasket materials.
Always use a cross pattern sequence and follow recommended torque values when installing gaskets.
- Thermal Expansion: As temperatures rise and fall in an application, gasket materials will
expand and contract. It’s important to note that gasketing materials aren’t fully elastic and after repeated cycles, it will reduce the gasket load causing a flange to leak.
- Relationship between gasket material and fluid system