Losing Load in a Gasketed Joint? Here’s What You Can Do About It.

There are many reasons why load can be lost in a gasketed joint. Maintaining the desired load can be a challenge at times for a variety of reasons. Today we’re going to cover some of these reasons.

Before we get into it, we want to make sure all of our readers are on the same page and understand what we mean by ‘losing load’. Load is the amount of force (pressure) placed on flanges by applying torque (tightening the bolts) to create the proper seal with the gasket. When you ‘lose load’, your bolts do not retain the torque values applied to them and the gasket will no longer seal properly.

Losing Load

Here are a couple of reasons why you could be losing load, which may help you troubleshoot any issues.

1. Material has creep/relaxation.

Most compressible materials have some level of this which should be considered in the assembly.

2. Improper material selection

Materials exhibit different characteristics in assembled conditions. Be sure to understand the parameters to select the proper choice.

3. Insufficient load

Volts are not torqued sufficiently.

4. Bolt incorrect

Bolts may be undersized or an improper grade for the load required.

5. Environmental exposure or thermal cycles

They can cause materials and hardware to lose load due to compression/recovery, creep/relaxation, bolt stretch/yield, etc.

Find Something That Works

The inability to achieve a proper seal due to loading issues can be a very frustrating issue to resolve. Using some of the information provided above can be a good starting point for you to resolve any of these issues. If troubleshooting seems to point back to a poor gasket material selection or a design flaw that cannot be fixed, talk to your trusted gasket material supplier. They should be able to offer a few suggestions on materials that may be better suited for your application.

What is the root cause of most of your loading issues?Corseal product comparison

Should I Put A Ring On It? (Your Gasket, That Is)

Have you ever been faced with the decision of whether your gaskets are going to need a ring or not? Maybe you’re still in the design stage and are merely asking the question, or you may be experiencing test failures and you’re wondering if a ring is going to be a solution for you. Beyoncé once famously told us “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it”. Fortunately, your decision is going to be based on data and not emotion, and it’s also comparatively much less expensive and (hopefully) not a life changing decision for you.

Don’t worry…we’re here to help guide you in your decision making process. Here is a list of reasons why you might find a need to put a flange ring on your gasket.

Why You May Need A Flange Ring

1. There is internal pressure (such as combustion pressure) that needs to be contained.

2. The gasket material needs to be protected from the internal fluid or pressure or high temp exposure that might degrade it over time.

3. There are loading issues with the bolting such that a metal-to-metal loading will better retain bolt torque values.

4. A burn path needs to be avoided. The ring will provide a barrier to this potential for a burn path to work its way through the gasket body to create a leak path.

In case you’re now wondering, here are a few examples of gaskets that use rings: cylinder head gaskets, turbo system exhaust gaskets, high pressure fluid port gaskets, etc.

It’s Pretty Simple

The data doesn’t lie. If you are seeing (or believe you will see) any of these factors in your design, your best bet is to redesign/design your gasket with a ring. Although it will add cost to your design, it is going to ensure performance – and that is what we all want. Don’t be afraid of added cost up front…think of all the money you’re going to save later when your application doesn’t fail.

If you have any questions about your design and what you might be seeing, please don’t hesitate to ask!

For those of you familiar with Beyoncé’s song “Single Ladies”, we apologize for putting that song into your head the rest of the day. We’ve been singing it to ourselves since we wrote this!Request a Call

7 Ways to Protect Against Gasket Blowouts

The fall guy…defined by the Urban Dictionary as “a person who is left with the blame for a crime, regardless of whether they were involved or not”. In our world, the fall guy is the lowly gasket. Too many times, gaskets tend to be an afterthought in the design process, BUT the gasket (or the material) is the first to be blamed if there are ever any problems in the application. If you are currently designing (or may ever design) an application that has gasketed joints, or are currently in the middle of troubleshooting (or may ever troubleshoot) because of a leak in a joint, this week’s post is for you!

Over the years, we have just about seen it all. We’ve been a part of varying stages of design projects….at times we’ve almost been a part of the design team, lending our expertise to help ensure success once the gasket is cut, and other times we come in at the tail end to suggest a material that will meet your exact specifications. We’ve also been the firefighters…driving in on our big red truck with hoses spraying (ok, not really…) to offer a gasket material solution when everything else you’ve tried isn’t working. Blame it on the design of the joint, blame it on the design of the gasket, blame it on the material, blame it on the rain….regardless, there are potential problems lurking everywhere and we’re here to help you navigate some of those issues. Everyone’s time (and money) is valuable and we want you to be educated and aware of what can be done to minimize your chances of a gasket blowout.

What You Need To Know

Protecting your product launch and the application from the damage a gasket blowout can cause is your #1 priority in design (or redesign). Nobody wants a gasket to be the reason a project can’t launch as planned. Like we mentioned above, your gasket may be the culprit, but the issue might also be something else entirely. Here are 7 things to consider to help protect your application from gasket blowouts.

  1. Material choice: Designers must use caution to select a material that is suited for the operating conditions, including temperature, pressure, fluid resistance, durability (for handling), durability (in service), aging characteristics, and other factors.
  2. Temperature: Consider the peak exposure, and choose material capable of withstanding that level of exposure.
  3. Pressure: Sealing joints that are holding back high pressure need to have a gasket with reinforcement to provide radial strength. Be sure to choose reinforced material for high pressure joints.
  4. Flange loading: Flanges are critical pieces of the bolted joint. Consideration must be given to: flange flatness, surface finish, stiffness, material (expansion), preparation, and others.
  5. Assembly: Joints must be assembled properly to recommended torque values and sequence. Often with compressible products, a second round of final torque once operating temperature has been achieved is also helpful to maintain load over long term service.
  6. Protection: Some gaskets exposed to extreme conditions can benefit by additional protection which shields the gasket body from destructive conditions. Heat flow, fluid erosion, and other “wear effects” can be protected against by flange rings, embossments, coatings, and other protective measures.
  7. Thickness: Generally speaking, the thinnest gasket you can use is the best choice. Thickness gets increased to compensate for flange conditions or other factors. Thinner gaskets have less chance for blowout than thick ones since the load is concentrated over less volume, providing higher shear strength to prevent blowout.

Go Forth

We love a good gasket blowout picture – send us yours and we just might feature it in an upcoming article.

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