ASTM F38 provide a means of measuring the amount of creep relaxation of a gasket material at a predetermined time after a compressive stress has been applied. The methods described in ASTM F38 are designed to compare related materials under controlled conditions and their ability to maintain a given compressive stress as a function of time. A portion of the torque loss on the bolted flange is a result of creep relaxation. Torque loss can also be caused by elongation of the bolts, distortion of the flanges, and vibration; therefore, the results obtained should be correlated with field results.

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