Over many years much effort has been made to develop design codes for pressure vessels, pipe-work, flanges and so on to design a system of high structural integrity. In-spite of the efforts the reliability of the system can be adversely affected for many reasons. Poor construction practices, incorrect selection of components such as gasket, improper quality of bolts and surface treatment, incorrect tooling, wrong application, underestimated joint size due to incorrect loading consideration, incorrect use of code, lack of thought to plant use, or a change of use during the life of a plant may make a joint unsuitable. The list is not exhaustive and not all the possible causes of failure may become apparent during commissioning. Failure of a pipe joint means the achievement of a leak rate below a certain maximum limit or the gross failure of the pipeline in which structural integrity is lost. So the high reliability of a system can be obtained if the right joint is selected for an application and factors that affect the reliability should be considered carefully. A very limited work has been done for the risk assessment of bolted pipe joints. At first, the most comprehensive work is done by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) regarding risk assessment of pipe joints. In addition, Webjorn and Thompson have also performed comparative reliability studies for these joints. Both DNV and Webjorn concluded that compact flange joints show better functional safety than conventional gasketed flange joints. Thomson concluded that both the joints are of high integrity and perform well in excellent service under appropriate installation and maintenance conditions. All above studies have been performed based on information and observations. Present author has performed detailed failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) in the light of above-mentioned studies, idustrial surveys, analysis, experimental work and subsequent observations. The aim of the study was to increase the reliability knowledge about the gasketed and non-gasketed flanged pipe joints and thereby to increase the basis for finding the optimal pipe connection based on general observation and experimental studies performed.

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