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International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 81 (2004) 211216 www.elsevier.

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Present calculation methods dedicated to bolted anged connections


Hildegard Zerres*, Yann Guerout
Advanced Solution Engineering, Wellington House, East Road, Cambridge CB1 1BH, UK

Abstract Approved in March 2001, the European calculation standards for Bolted Flange Connections (BFC) EN 1591-1 and ENV 1591-2, developed in the framework of the Pressure Equipment Directive PED-97/23/EC-29/05/97, is an excellent alternative to the Taylor Forge method, since it provides a better knowledge of the BFC behaviour at operating conditions. Based on both leak-tightness and strength criteria, the EN1591 enables a better tightening recommendation and an improvement of the leak-tightness in view of the respect of new requirements concerning fugitive emissions limitation. In this paper, a detailed presentation of EN1591 advantages compared with the Taylor Forge method and the new alternatives rules from PVRC is given regarding the behaviour of each component of the BFC and the loads applied on the BFC. q 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Bolted ange connection; Taylor Forge method; Pressure

1. Introduction The function of a BFC is to ensure a static, tight and stable joint, even under severe working conditions. Most of calculation codes (ASME section VIII, BS5500, CODAP) do not consider the level of leakage in the BFC calculation, so far. The issue of pollutant emissions (especially Volatile Organic Compound) leads to the consideration of leakage in BFC. In the last years, PVRC (Pressure Vessel Research Council) studies proposed testing procedures to characterize the leak-tightness behaviour of the gasket (ROom Temperature Tightness test). ROTT tests enable one to determine the so-called Gb; a and Gs gasket parameters. In Europe, a new calculation standard dedicated to BFC: EN 1591 was elaborated in the framework of the Pressure Equipment Directive PED-97/23/EC-29/05/97. This standard is based on both strength and leak-tightness criteria. Mechanical and leak-tightness gasket parameters have been dened and are determined thanks to testing procedures detailed in prEN13555. Here below, the EN1591 calculation method is compared to the Taylor Forge and the new alternative calculation method from PVRC.
* Corresponding author. E-mail addresses: hzerres@sealeng.com (H. Zerres); yannguerout-ase@ dial.pipex.com (Y. Guerout). 0308-0161/$ - see front matter q 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ijpvp.2003.11.011

2. Taylor Forge method and alternatives rules proposed by PVRC [1 3] The rst calculation method dedicated to BFC was developed in the 1930s by the Taylor Forge Company based in Chicago. The so called Taylor Forge method was quickly introduced in the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code in the 1940s, and later in other national Codes such as BS 5500 in UK or CODAP in France. The aim of the Taylor Forge method is to verify the admissibility of a BFC for given calculation conditions. It is based on a mechanical calculation of the joint. The calculation is based on the axial forces balance between the bolt load, the resulting axial force due to the end thrust effect of the internal pressure and the reaction on the gasket (Fig. 1). For all the calculation conditions, the admissibility of the BFC is veried by considering integrity criteria. In assembly condition (tightening of the bolts), the gasket surface pressure must be higher than a seating pressure which is called, for example, Y in the ASME Code. For further calculation conditions, with internal pressure, the gasket surface pressure must be higher than the m value multiplied by the internal pressure. The Taylor Forge method is also based on a fundamental assumption by considering that the gasket surface pressure at all calculation conditions is the required one (Y or mp P).

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Nomenclature exponent of gasket assembly loading curve unloading compressive modulus of elasticity of the gasket at zero compressive stress (MPa) EB ; EF ; EG modulus of elasticity of the part designated by the subscript, at the temperature of the part (MPa) eG thickness of gasket (mm) FB bolt force (sum of all bolts) (N) FG gasket force (N) FQ axial uid-pressure force (N) FR force resulting from external forces and bending moments (N) gc creep factor of gasket Gb gasket property used to describe the assembly loading curve Gb equals gasket stress at Tp 1 Gs gasket property used to describe the unloading curve Gs equals gasket operating stress at Tp 1 K1 rate of change of compressive modulus of elasticity of the gasket with compressive stress L measured mass leak rate per unit diameter (mg He s21mm21 diameter) Lp reference leak rate (mg He s21 mm21 diameter) m tightening factor P internal pressure Pp reference pressure: atmospheric pressure Bolts forces are calculated in order to maintain the required gasket compressive stress (Y and mp P) on the gasket at all the calculation conditions. Then, the total required crosssectional area of bolts is determined and compared to the actual cross-sectional area of bolts. The admissibility of the anges is checked by calculating the most critical stresses, which are the longitudinal stress in hub, the radial stress in ange and the tangential stress in ange. The mechanical integrity of the BFC is checked but the evolution of the internal forces cannot be known. It means that for a given initial bolts tightening, it is not possible to a E0

Q0

gasket surface pressure at assembly condition (MPa) Qmax maximum allowable compressive stress in gasket (MPa) Qmin L minimum necessary compressive stress in gasket for assembly condition (MPa) QI L minimum level of surface pressure required for leakage rate class L after off-loading (MPa) Tp tightness parameter Tpmax a gasket property obtained by test that determines the maximum useable assembly tightness Tpmin minimum required tightness, value of Tp required to assure satisfactory leakage performance is achievable in operation for the specied tightness class XB ; XG axial exibility modulus of bolts, gasket (1/mm) YG ; YQ ; YR axial compliance of the bolted joint, related to FG ; FQ ; FR (mm/N) ZF rotational exibility modulus of ange (mm23) D symbol for change or difference DU differential axial thermal expansion (mm) h assembly efciency, the ratio of minimum to average gasket stress, which accounts for variations in bolt load and gasket stress and is dependant on the method of joint assembly uF rotation of ange due to applied moment (rad)

Fig. 1. Axial forces balance used in the Taylor Forge method.

determine the remaining bolt load and gasket reaction for the subsequent calculation conditions. m and Y parameters have been used in Industry for around fty years. However, there is no standard way to verify m and Y values or to determine m and Y values for new gasket products. Moreover, since m and Y do not consider the leak-rate of the BFC, the leak-tightness of the BFC cannot be checked. The need for increased safety and reliability and for reduced emissions explain important test programmes carried out by PVRC in the 1980s. These studies lead to the elaboration of test methods and the denition of new gasket constants Gb; a and Gs which characterize the leaktightness behaviour of the gaskets [4]. These gasket constants are determined by a ROTT test [4], which is a loading and unloading test at room temperature for a dened gasket size, internal pressure as well as dened loading and unloading steps. Tp is called tightness parameter. It represents a measure of tightness which has been dened as proportional to pressure and inversely proportional to the square root of leak-rate.   P Lp 0:5 Tp p 1 P L A new calculation method is proposed as alternative rules to traditional calculation methods based on the Taylor Forge philosophy. This new method introduces gasket

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The most critical stresses of the anges are then calculated as well as the rigidity of the anges. The integrity of the BFC is veried for all the calculation conditions taking into account more complete load conditions than the Taylor Forge method. The minimum required cross-sectional area of bolts is obtained by considering gasket constants Gb; a and Gs rather than m and Y of the Taylor Forge method. However, the evolution of the internal forces (bolts load and reaction on the gasket) for a given initial bolts tightening cannot be determined. Hence, the leak-rate, which depends on the remaining gasket surface pressure at the considered calculation condition, cannot be determined.

Fig. 2. Schematic SG Tp graph with gasket constants Gb; a and Gs:

3. EN 1591 Calculation method [5 9] In the framework of the PED, CEN TC74/WG10 was in charge to elaborate a calculation method for circular BFC in the 1990s. The German standard TGL 32903/13 has been used in the design of thousands of BFC without any leakage problems since the 1980s. That is why this standard was chosen as a basis of the new European calculation standard. The work of CEN TC74/WG10 led to the vote of EN 1591-1 and ENV 1591-2 in 2001. Part one is dedicated to the calculation method and part two contains gasket parameters values required in the calculation method. The aim of the calculation method described in EN15911 is to analyse the BFC behaviour for given load conditions and to check the admissibility of the BFC at all the load conditions for a given initial bolts tightening. The calculation method is based on an axially symmetrical mechanical model, taking into account the whole anges bolts gasket system behaviour. It is not only based on an axial forces balance, it also considers laws of rheology and deformation compatibility of the BFC components. 3.1. Loads considered in EN1591-1 mechanical model The loads treated by EN 1591-1 mechanical model are not only the bolt load, the end thrust effect due to the internal pressure and the reaction on the gasket, but also the radial effect of the internal pressure, the external forces and bending moments that may be applied to the anges and the differential axial thermal expansion between the bolts and the anges (Fig. 3). 3.2. Response of the BFC components to the loads The anges are considered as rectangular ring crosssections which remain undeformed. Flanges are treated in rotation. Shells connected to the ange rings may be cylindrical, conical or spherical. Connected shells are treated like equivalent cylindrical shells:

constants Gb; a and Gs instead of the traditional m and Y values (Fig. 2). Three tightness classes are dened corresponding to three given leak-rates (Table 1). A minimum required tightness: Tpmin is determined in regards with the chosen tightness class. A required gasket surface pressure is determined in order to maintain the minimum tightness Tpmin after considering the effect of internal pressure, external forces and bending moments, as well as the scattering due to the tightening device (consideration of an assembly efciency factor h). These are improvements compared to the Taylor Forge method which does not consider external loadings, neither scattering due to tightening device. However, it is still only based on the axial forces balance. It does not consider the deformations of the BFC components such as the gasket compression, the bolts elongation and the anges rotations, neither differential axial thermal expansion between the bolts and the anges. It means that the fundamental calculation assumption of the Taylor Forge method is still used. The gasket surface pressure is the required one at all calculation conditions. Here, the required gasket surface pressure is not obtained from m and Y; it is determined thanks to the gasket constants Gb; a and Gs: Using this assumption, a required bolt load is determined for each calculation condition. Then a minimum cross-sectional area of bolts is calculated and compared to the actual cross-sectional area of bolts.
Table 1 Tightness classes and corresponding leak-rates Tightness class Leak rate L (mg He s21 mm21 diameter) 1/5 1/500 1/50000

1 2 3

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From this equation, FG is determined at every load condition for a given initial tightening force. FB is deduced from the axial forces balance: F B FG FQ FR 7

3.4. Determination of the lower bolts tightening boundary The rst step in EN1591-1 calculation is to determine the required initial bolts tightening to maintain a sufcient gasket surface pressure at all load conditions. It means that both seating criterion (in assembly condition) and leaktightness criterion (in condition with internal pressure) must be fullled. Seating criterion: At tightening, the gasket surface pressure must be higher than Qmin : It leads to the determination of the required force to be applied in assembly condition to ensure seating of the gasket: FGmin : Leak-tightness criterion: for further load conditions, the gasket surface pressure must be higher than QI :QI is the required gasket surface pressure to maintain a chosen leakrate for a given temperature, pressure and maximum surface pressure applied on the gasket. The use of the compliance equation leads to the determination of the required force FGD to be applied on the gasket at assembly condition in order to maintain the required QI at all the calculation conditions I. Fig. 4 represents the leak-rate as a function of the gasket surface pressure, for a given temperature and internal pressure. Qmin values can be read during the compression phase (full line). QI values can be determined with the recovery phases (dashed lines). The required force to be applied on the gasket in order to satisfy both seating and leak-tightness criteria is obtained as follows: FG0req max{FGmin ; FGD } The required tightening force is hence deduced: 8

Fig. 3. Loads considered in EN1591-1 mechanical model.

D0!I uF D0!I

ZF M EF F

The bolts behaviour is characterized by their elongation corresponding to the traction force:   XB F 3 D0!I lB D0!I EB B The gasket is treated in compression:   2XG FG D0!I eG D0!I EG

The non-uniform compression of gasket is treated as a uniform compression applied on a calculated effective area. The elasticity modulus of the gasket EG is obtained by considering a linear dependency with the gasket surface pressure applied in assembly conditions: EG E0 K 1 Q 0 5

E0 and K1 are mechanical gasket parameters. The creep relaxation phenomenon of the gasket is also considered by applying a creep factor gc to the elasticity modulus EG : Finally, the axial thermal expansion of all the components is taken into account. 3.3. Determination of internal forces for all the load conditions From all these deformation terms, a deformation compatibility equation is established between the axial deformations of the bolts and the axial deformations at the gasket place, taking into account the anges rotation. In EN1591-1 the deformation compatibility equation is used between the initial state 0 which is the assembly condition and a subsequent load condition I. This relation combined with the axial forces balance leads to the following compliance equation: D0!I YG FG D0!I YQ FQ D0!I YR FR D0!I U 0 6

Fig. 4. Schematic Log L Q graph for a given temperature and pressure with Qmin L and QI L:

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FB0req FG0req FR0

It leads to a rst tightening boundary: the lower boundary. Unlike the PVRC calculation method, the force applied on the gasket at all the load conditions can be determined with EN1591-1, thanks to the compliance equation. Since the leak-rate depends on the gasket surface pressure, it is necessary to know the gasket surface pressure for all the load conditions to ensure that the chosen leak-rate criterion is satised. The second step in EN1591-1 calculation is the calculation of load ratio to check the mechanical integrity of the BFC at all the load conditions I. The load ratio of the gasket enables to limit the compression of the sealing component. The gasket surface pressure must remain lower than the gasket parameter Qmax : The load ratio of the bolts provides a limitation of the traction as well as a limitation of the torsion when bolt tightening is performed using a torque. The anges load ratio limits the rotation of the ange ring cross-sections. The load ratios of the anges are obtained by limit load analysis applied to the system ange ring cross-section and connected shell. The maximum load ratio is reached when the tangential stresses repartition in the ange ring is such that the nominal design stress is reached in the whole thickness of the ring [6]. The load ratio calculation leads to the determination of the upper tightening boundary, above which one of the load ratios is unacceptable at one load condition. Finally, EN1591-1 considers the scattering of bolt load due to the tightening device. It enables to check that on one hand, the maximum bolts tightening due to scattering is lower than the upper boundary, and on the other hand the minimum tightening due to scattering is higher than the lower boundary (Fig. 5). 3.5. Gasket parameters The EN 1591-1 is based on both leak-tightness and strength criteria. The knowledge of the leak-tightness and

the mechanical behaviour of the gasket is necessary to perform EN 1591-1 calculation. Mechanical gasket parameters E0 and K1 : unloading compressive modulus of elasticity of the gasket at zero compressive stress (MPa) and rate of change of compressive modulus of elasticity of the gasket with compressive stress gc : creep factor of gasket Qmax : maximum allowable compressive stress in gasket (MPa) Leak-tightness parameters Qmin L : minimum necessary compressive stress in gasket for assembly condition (MPa) QI L : minimum level of surface pressure required for leakage rate class L after off-loading (MPa) ENV 1591-2 provides tables with gasket parameters values. CEN TC74/WG8 has elaborated prEN13555 which denes testing procedures in order to determine all the necessary gasket parameters to perform EN 1591-1 calculations. Testing procedures dened in prEN13555 have been evaluated within the European research project, Pressure Equipment, Reduction of Leak-rate: gasket parameters measurement. A wide range of gasket types from EN 1514 standards has been tested in the framework of this project. The tests results will be used to update the existing ENV 1591-2. Thanks to EN1591-1, it is possible to analyse the BFC behaviour for all the load conditions. As a consequence, it is possible to determine a bolts tightening which satises both leak-tightness and strength criteria.

4. Conclusion BFC calculations with the Taylor Forge enable checking the admissibility of the BFC for the calculation conditions. The alternatives rules proposed by PVRC are more complete than the Taylor Forge method since they consider external forces and bending moments in the calculation, as well as the scatter of the tightening device. Moreover, it is based on gasket constants Gb; a and Gs instead of m and Y values. However, the deformations of the BFC components are not taken into account. As a consequence, the remaining gasket surface pressure in operation cannot be determined. On the other hand, the new European calculation standard edited in 2001 is based on a mechanical model which includes the deformations of the BFC components. Thanks to a compliance equation, the internal forces can be determined for all the load conditions. The admissibility of an initial bolts tightening is checked based on

Fig. 5. Allowable tightening range and consideration of the scattering due to the tightening device.

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H. Zerres, Y. Guerout / International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 81 (2004) 211216 Bolted Flange Gasket Constants and Design Rules, Safety Harbor, FL; 2002. Committee of European Normalisation TC74 WG10EN 1591-1, Flanges and Their Joints Design Rules for Gasketed Circular Flange Connections: Calculation Method. Brussels, Belgium: CEN; 2001. Committee of European Normalisation TC74 WG10FD CR 13642, Design Rules for Gasketed Circular Flange Connections: Background Information. Brussels, Belgium: CEN TC74 WG10; 2000. Committee of European Normalisation TC74 WG10ENV 1591-2, Flanges and Their JointsDesign Rules for Gasketed Circular Flange Connections: Gasket Parameters. Brussels, Belgium: CEN; 2001. Committee of European Normalisation TC74 WG8prEN 13555, Flanges and Their Joints: Gasket Parameters and Test Procedures Relevant to the Design Rules for Gasketed Circular Flange Connections. Brussels, Belgium: CEN; 2002. Zerres H, Lemauviel L, Perez M, Scliffet L. Comparison between the Analysis of the Mechanical Behaviour of Bolted Joints by the Finite Elements Method and by the European Approach. San Diego, CA: PVP; 1998.

both leak-tightness and strength criteria, combined with the consideration of the scattering due to the tightening device.

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