The Effect of Flange Flexibility on the Response of Gasketed Bolted Joints Subjected to External Forces
The response of a gasketed, bolted joint to an external load is understood to be effected by all components involved in the joint. The analysis involves the equilibrium of the gasket compressive force with the bolt tension force and the forces external to the bolted joint. Geometric compatibility is maintained when the change in the stretch of the bolt caused by an external force is equal to the change in compressed thickness of the gasket. When the flanges are treated as nondeformable, the classical joint diagram analysis indicates that externally applied loads, which unload the gasket, increase bolt tension. In this paper, the effect of flexible flanges is included in the analysis of simple gasketed bolted flanges. The results show that bolt tension response can deviate significantly from the rigid flange behavior. In certain situations where flanges have a relatively high level of flexibility, external joint forces that unload the gasket also unload the bolt.