Gaskets based on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) are used extensively in bolted flanged connections, especially in difficult chemical process plant applications where blowouts due to excessive bolt load loss are of major concem. The determination of their service temperatures requires the characterization of their short- and long-term creep relaxation resistance. An experiment-alanalytical procedure has been developed to determine a recommended service temperature for PTFE-based gaskets. Based on an improved version of the Hot Blowout Test (HOBT) in which thermal cycling has been incorporated, the procedure quantifies the short-term hot relaxation resistance, and the margin of safety against an in-service blowout. The improved HOBT test provides an excellent tool for the selection of blowout-resistant PTFE gaskets for difficult service.
Currently, the procedure estimates the cooldown load loss due to the thermal contraction difference between the gasket and the flange, based on a rough estimate of the gasket thickness and the coefficient of thermal expansion and their vanation with temperature. The proposed procedure provides not only a better estimation of the gasket thickness but also accounts for thermal ratcheting and the temperature lag between flange and bolts.
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