Does the use of heat traced lines affect a gasketed joint?
Heat traced lines pumping materials which are solid at ambient temperature can present a number of problems for gaskets:
1. The bolts are usually hotter than the flanges since the heat is applied from outside the pipe. This causes the bolts to expand more than the pipe, which lowers the compressive stress on the gasket.
2. Any line which is shut down will freeze solid. When the line is reheated on start-up, there is occasionally a plug of solid material blocking a section of the pipe. The heating may cause some areas of the material to liquefy and then expand. The expansion can create extremely high pressures inside the joint if the solid plug is blocking a section of the line.