The analytical analysis of cylinder head gasket proposals can be developed by studying known functional gaskets. The pressure/load distribution in such gaskets can be determined and a finite element model can be constructed to represent such a gasket. Properties of gasket materials can be measured that reflect the actual loads and conditions experienced by the gasket in actual applications. Through analytical simulation of the engine operating condition further reductions of the sealing load distribution can be studied. As this method gets more refined, the extent of cylinder head gasket testing can be reduced.