Effect of Tightening Speed on Clamp Load Distribution in Gasketed Joints
An experimental study is presented in order to determine the effect of tightening speed on clamp load distribution in a gasketed steel joint. Two gasket materials are considered, namely, Styrene Butadiene Rubber and Flexible Graphite. Flange tightening is achieved using a multiple spindle fastening system that has speed and torque controls; the fastening system is also capable of performing simultaneous tightening of all fasteners using other advanced control modes such as torque-turn or torque-to-yield strategies. Two tightening patterns are investigated, namely, simultaneous tightening of all bolts and individual tightening of one bolt at a time following a star pattern. The tightening speed in this study ranges from 1 rpm to 100 rpm. Clamp load loss due to the combined effects of gasket creep relaxation and elastic interaction is investigated.