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Standard ASME B16.5 Flanges: Bolt Tightening and Target Loads

By Walther Stikvoort |

Using the approach outlined here, piping engineers can select the most appropriate bolt-tightening technique based on pressure class and flange size, and calculate the required torque or tool pressure if hydraulic tensioning tools are used In the majority of industrial plants, flanged connections are used in metallic piping systems (Figure 1). The applied flanges comply with ASME B16.5 [1]. Achieving a proper preload in the bolts of a gasketed, bolted-flanged joint during joint assembly is considered crucial for its optimized performance. To realize this, various bolt-tightening techniques are available for the flange fitter. Applying appropriate tightening depends on bolt size and pressure class of the flange proper. In addition to other aspects with regard to bolted joints and their sealing performance, the appropriate and prudent choice must be made of the tightening tool and the bolt load that must be realized during assembly. This article is intended as a practical guideline for piping mechanical engineers and focuses in particular on two specific aspects, namely: A selection chart that provides a demarcation between various tightening methods of bolts in standard flange connections An algorithm that enables the engineer involved…
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