Most industrial manufacturing or processing plants use bolted connections between pipes that transfer media from one location to another. Gaskets are often used to seal these systems as they offer elevated levels of leak mitigation; however, despite their nearly universal usage, the current understanding of gasket mechanics at the meso-scale is still limited. Contemporary gaskets feature viscoelastic materials, fillers, textures, and are fabricated at various thicknesses. They are used in a wide range of thermal, mechanical, chemical, and temporal conditions. The current work characterizes polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) gaskets made with several different filler materials and having vastly different geometries. The chemically inert properties of this material and its relatively superior load retention properties make it appropriate for use in gaskets that are expected to retain load over hundreds of hours. As the degree to which certain factors influence gasket performance is still relatively unknown, several Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) studies are conducted to discover to what extent certain factors influence gasket load retention. Using a novel efficiency parameter (η) that compares experimental behavior to the behavior of an ideal gasket, these studies describe the impact of factors such as gasket texture, thickness, filler material, flange temperature, and the internal pressure of the flange. Additionally, component scale gasket behavior during service conditions is investigated via Finite Element Modeling. This model simulates the viscoelastic load retention behavior of these gaskets with a high degree of accuracy by using a Prony series approximation of Burger's model to characterize the viscoelastic properties of the material. A material database is used to verify and correct the model using experimental data. This collection contains data from gaskets of various textures, thicknesses and filler materials. Parameters for this model are obtained by using regression fits on a large number of data sets in the database and averaging the values of the parameters across the multiple tests. The collection of these research activities establishes a new framework that future engineers may use to characterize and even design new gaskets.


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Graduation Date





Gordon, Ali


Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering; Mechanical Systems Track




CFE0008902; DP0026181





Release Date

December 2021

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)