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Can RTJ Gaskets Be Reused?
RTJ gasket manufacturers rarely recommend reusing their products, and there are valid reasons for that. For effective sealing to take place, the gasket has to be deformed into the flange surface. And reusing would mean inefficient sealing in most cases. Reusing a gasket is also explicitly not recommended in the ASME PCC-1. Flexitallic mentions two reasons why they do not support the reuse of their gaskets. To begin with, the sealing is impaired this way. And secondly, if the gasket is plastically deformed, it leads to the soft hardening of the metal surface. And that can ultimately damage the grooves.
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How Are Ring Type Joint Gasket Made?
Ring joint gaskets are solid metal gaskets made by heating, forging and machining materials. These are made from soft iron, steel stainless steel (as seen in the stainless steel ring joint gaskets) and such. Although, exotic alloys and other materials like nickel are also used to make them. The gaskets are softer than flange grooves so that upon sealing, the gasket is deformed, not the grooves. These are also made free from tool marks and have a maximum surface finish. The major manufacturers follow the ASME B16.20 and API6A standards when manufacturing these gaskets.
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Basic RTJ Gasket Types
There are primarily three RTJ gasket types, R, RX and BX. Style R gaskets can be either oval or octagonal, based on the cross-section. These are meant for flanges with standard ring grooves, and the octagonal kind offers better sealing. The RX Style RTJ Ring Gasket is pressure energized, i.e it will utilize the line pressure to create the seal. While they are similar in shape to the R type, a non-symmetrical octagonal cross-section is what makes the difference. BX Style gaskets can handle higher pressure than the other types and have a square cross-section with beveled corners.
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What Is O Ring Gasket Surface Finish?
Surface finish refers to the nature of the surface defined by its lay, surface roughness and waviness. Even though microscopic, irregularities on an O-ring gasket can determine its efficiency. Proper definition, measurement and control of surface finish are important for a reliable and long-lasting seal. Surface roughness is measured in Ra. The surface finish of R and RX Style ring type gasket shall not be higher than 1.6 µ.m. The BX gaskets are to have a surface finish of less than 0.8 µ.m.
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Minimum Seating Stress Of Flexitallic Ring Type Joint Gaskets
For a Flexitallic gasket ring type joint, the seating stress is the least amount of compressive stress needed for sealing. The internal pressure is considered negligible. An O-ring gasket joint functions on the basic principle of squeezing the grooves into the flange face. A minimum seating stress must be applied for the gasket material to flow into the irregularities of the gasket surface. A more compressible gasket needs less seating stress than one that is denser. The total force needed for the material to flow is proportional to the area of the gasket being used.