An improved mathematical model is proposed for predicting the residual clamp load in gasketed bolted joints, taking into consideration gasket creep relaxation behavior, bolt stiffness, and joint stiffness. The gasket creep relaxation behavior is represented by a number of parameters which has been obtained experimentally in a previous work. An experimental procedure is developed to verify the proposed model using a single-bolt joint. The bolt is tightened to a target preload and the clamp load loss due to gasket creep relaxation is observed over time under various preload levels. The experimental and analytical results are presented and discussed. The proposed model provides a prediction of the residual clamp load as a function of time, gasket material and thickness, bolt stiffness, and joint stiffness. The improved model can be used to simulate the behavior of creep relaxation in soft joints as the joint stiffness effect is considered. Additionally, a closed form solution is formulated to determine the initial clamp load level necessary to provide the desired level of a steady state residual clamp load in the joint, by taking the gasket creep relaxation into account.

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