Choosing the Gasket that’s Right for You
Choosing the right gasket can be a daunting task. They are essential to protecting your internal materials from external materials. Gaskets come in many shapes and sizes. Selecting a gasket that will make your piece operate at maximum efficiency is an important task, so be sure to do your research and get the customized piece that fits your needs.
Is a Gasket What You Need?
You might think you need a gasket, but another product may fit your need better.
A spacer, or “shim” might be what you are looking for if you are trying to fill small assembly gaps between components. There are narrow wedges used for packing or leveling purposes.
O-rings are another consideration when looking to create a barrier around an area with leakage potential. They are similar to gaskets, but they are made almost exclusively of synthetic rubber or plastic polymers with elastomeric properties, and are produced solely in ring form. They also have a high pressure resistance and are known for their round or square cross-sectional configurations.
What Should You Look for in a Gasket?
Now that you’ve decided a gasket is the best choice to fit your application, the next step is to understand the different types. Gaskets can be made and reinforced with different types of materials, which enhance the product in different ways. Here are some of the most common and popular gaskets.
Metal Gaskets: These types of gaskets can be made from a wide array of metals: steel, brass, copper, nickel, aluminum, or stainless steel. They are best for projects that have high thermal levels and pressure. Although it does take a lot for it to form a seal, and it is not very flexible, it does a great job once it is in place.
Rubber and Plastic Gaskets: These are by far the most popular gaskets in production. They have very tight seals while remaining easy to install. They also can undergo high temperatures without losing form.
Silicone Gaskets: Silicone Gaskets have the highest resistance to extreme temperatures. They come in many shapes and sizes and their seals can be created very easily.
Let’s take a look at the four main types of gasket specifications that serve unique purposes.
- Jacketed Gaskets: These gaskets are either single or double jacketed in metal, which improves resistance to pressure, temperature and corrosion.
- Solid Gaskets: These gaskets are made of metal and are comparatively cheaper than jacketed gaskets. While they have very durable thermal and pressure defenses, they are harder to seal than other gaskets and are not effective on all surfaces.
- Spiral Wound Gaskets: This gasket is made of either rubber or plastic and is swirled into a spiral. These are best suited to withstand high temperature situations or high amounts of physical stress. They are used most frequently for piping, pumping, and heat exchange systems.
- Kammprofile Gaskets: These gaskets are made of malleable material which creates a seal unlike any other. It has a combination of metallic and nonmetallic materials. It’s made to withstand high amounts of physical stress while still remaining flexible. It is a very reliable gasket, especially for heat exchange systems.
Now that you have selected a gasket you think might be right for you, it’s important to evaluate it under different pressures. It is essential to test your gasket for its capacity for tolerating compressive loads. Use a hot compression test to gauge your gasket’s ability to withstand certain weights and temperatures.
Test its chemical resistance against corrosive properties of the fluid it will be working with. Some may be resistant to oil, but are not to be used with oxidizing fluids. ePTFE is perfect for all uses in the 0-14 pH range, but cannot handle molten alkali metals and certain elements. Make sure you know what liquid you’ll be dealing with when looking to find a gasket.
Overall, your process in selecting a gasket should be to identify the environment and conditions it will be working in, select the right material, weigh the construction factors, evaluate resistances and abilities, and test performance.
The final step is to contact the right manufacturers to provide you with what you need. For a wide and customizable selection of gaskets, hoses and other items, contact Pioneer Rubber and Gasket to get a quote for whatever you might need.