A ring joint flanges (RTJ) is used when a metal-to-metal seal between the mating flanges is required (which is a condition for high-pressure and high-temperature applications, i.e. above 700/800 C°).
A ring joint flange features a circular groove to accommodate a ring joint gasket (oval, or rectangular). As the two ring joint flanges are bolted together and then tightened, the applied bolting force deforms the gaskets inside the flange groove creating a very tight metal-to-metal seal. To make this happen, the material of the ring joint gasket has to be softer (more ductile) than the material of the flange.
RTJ flanges can be sealed by RTJ gaskets of different styles (R, RX, BX) and profiles (example: octagonal/oval for the R style).
The most common RTJ gasket is the R style with an octagonal section, as it ensures a very strong seal (the oval section is an older type). A “flat groove” design, however, accepts both RTJ gaskets having an octagonal or oval section.