Gaskets are mechanical seals that find use in a variety of applications to fill the space between two surfaces or objects. Their broad scope of applications includes industries such as aerospace, chemical processing, oil, military, and much more. Gaskets, like many mechanical elements, are only efficacious if the correct one is chosen for the intended project. To this point, several critical factors must be considered, all of which will be covered in this blog.
Gaskets may be composed of a diverse range of materials, including those such as fiberglass, paper, rubber, silicone, and various metals. Depending on the operating conditions, some materials may perform better than others, while some may be destroyed altogether. Metallic gaskets are generally composed of metal alloys, combining different elements such as nickel and chromium. When placed correctly, metallic gaskets can withstand pressures up to 20,000 psi, while most other materials would fail at much lower pressures. Conversely, non-metallic gaskets are more affordable options that may be implemented in a wide variety of operating temperatures and conditions. Examples of non-metallic materials include graphite, rubber, and Teflon, among others.
Next, it is important to ensure the gasket is compatible with the application's corrosion, temperature, and pressure variables. For example, if a pipe is transporting a liquid with a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius, and the gasket is not rated to withstand such heat, there could be a sudden increased risk for whole-system failure. Furthermore, a gasket operating in a marine or aviation environment should be designed to withstand corrosive elements and should be regularly checked.
After deciding upon a particular material, it is then necessary to understand the different types of gaskets that are commonly used. In this context, type refers to the structural design of the component. Some of the most common are therefore listed below:
Solid gaskets are made from a continuous piece of material, usually lacking any particular attachment points. Therefore, they must be pressed into place using an extreme amount of pressure. Due to the installation process, these gaskets are generally made from metal and are incredibly durable.
Spiral Wound Gaskets
Ubiquitous in industrial applications, spiral wound gaskets are composed of an outer and inner ring, as well as a sealing element. The two ring elements help to properly align the gasket so that any compression and pressure caused by flowing liquid may be centered appropriately, while the sealing piece helps secure the component in place.
Jacketed gaskets usually consist of a non-metallic interior and a metallic outer core. Using this design, the best of both worlds may be achieved, with the inside of the gasket featuring superior temperature resistance and the outside being able to withstand immense pressure.
These gaskets may be thought of as the inverse of the jacket gasket, containing a metal interior and non-metallic sealing points. Ideal for applications with excess movement due to thermal expansion, Kammprofile gaskets are unique specialty components.
Corrugated Metal Gaskets
Ideal for low-pressure applications, corrugated metal gaskets are considered one of the most cost-effective and resilient solutions.
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