Most industrial manufacturing or process plants use bolted connections to transfer media from one location to another. Gaskets are often used to seal these systems as they offer high levels of leak mitigation; however, despite their nearly universal usage, testing done on gaskets has been limited. Historically, while industrial applications use gaskets at various temperatures and pressures, load retention tests have been conducted at a set temperature, time duration and compressive stress and report the result as load lost or retained. They do not account for longer time periods, the characteristics of the load loss over time or internal pressure the gasket is sealing. This current study seeks to change that. Traditional flat gaskets at thicknesses of 1/16” and 1/8” are leveraged against novel textured PTFE gaskets to compare load retention behavior across a range of styles. Different filler materials are tested as well, from aluminosilicate microspheres to barium sulfate and silica. Some design of experiments (DOE) methods are applied to characterize the factors that are most responsible for the load relaxation response of any particular type of gasket. A parameter from a previous study, efficiency, is used as an overall metric to quantify gasket performance. Furthermore, overall gasket deformation is examined to validate the statistical findings. Lastly, an empirical equation is presented that may be able to characterize gasket behavior across multiple loading and environmental conditions, as well as estimate the residual load carrying capacity of a gasket.

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