This paper consists of a study of the loading requirements of gaskets in bolted joints, with the object of developing a rational basis for design of such joints. Starting with an analysis of gasket conditions for tightness, the gasket factor m is defined, and its variation with initial gasket stress and gasket width is predicted. These trends are confirmed by a survey of the available literature data.

In a bolted joint, gasket stress becomes a function of the elastic constants of the system. Equations are derived to predict gasket and bolt stresses resulting from application of internal fluid pressure, and typical elastic recovery curves for an asbestos gasket are presented. Consideration is given to the effect of gasket creep in a bolted joint, and to the problem of distribution of bolt load, for which an approximate theory is derived.

On this basis, defects in the ASME Code are pointed out, and a tentative new design procedure is proposed. Finally, a summary of data which should be obtained for use with the new design procedure is given.

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