Whenever you’re working with a project that needs to plug the gaps between flush surfaces, you’ll find yourself needing a reliable gasket. Even if they look simple and inexpensive enough, you’ll still have to ensure that your chosen gasket really fits your needs.
However, with an oversaturated market, it can be challenging to pick the right gasket for you, be it Fel-Pro gaskets or custom ones. Fortunately, we bring you six tips to consider when choosing the best gasket.
Choose the Appropriate Material
There are generally three categories for your gasket’s material: metallic gaskets, non-metallic gaskets, and composite gaskets. Each has different properties that are suitable for various applications.
Metal gaskets, also known as ring gaskets, perform well in high-pressure environments. Once the two flush connecting surfaces make contact, they generate an initial line contact or contain the fluid through wedging.
Metal gaskets feature an ovular or octagonal cross-section. The latter, such as the BX type, provide considerable strength under high-pressure applications.
High-tension fastening systems secure metal gaskets, making them utilized extensively in industrial oil and gas systems.
Soft gaskets, also known as non-metallic gaskets, compress between two surfaces with little stress or pressure. As a result, they are appropriate for applications in which the fluid contents have modest pressure levels and cannot force a leak channel through the gasket.
Soft gaskets are inexpensive, available in various materials and standards, and usable in low-temperature situations.
Semi-metallic gaskets, also known as composite gaskets, combine metal and non-metal materials, allowing them to produce a solid seal in various pressure and temperature situations. They are usually less expensive because they contain less metal.
Pick the Right Gasket Type
Now that you’ve determined which material is ideal for your use, you may choose the appropriate type or structure of the gasket. The most popular kinds are envelope gaskets and non-asbestos sheet material gaskets.
Envelope gaskets, or double jacketed gaskets, are hybrid gaskets that wrap the PTFE around a core insert. The key advantage of this type of gasket is that it combines the strength and qualities of the core material with the power and features of PTFE, making it corrosion and temperature-resistant.
Non-asbestos sheet material gaskets, as the name implies, are made from asbestos-free sheet materials. Aramid, fiberglass, mineral fiber, carbon, and graphite typically replace asbestos, making them the most dependable alternative for all sealing flanges and are utilized in various applications.
Consider the Fluid’s Properties, Pressure, and Temperature
Knowing the fluid’s operating temperatures, corrosion properties, and pressure level are among the first things to consider when selecting a gasket material. This is because mismatched gaskets are more likely to fail.
Each gasket material is ideally suited for a given range of fluid or ambient temperature; silicone, for example, has a significantly more extensive temperature range (-30°F to 350°F) than neoprene, which is only feasible at temperatures between 30°F and 180°F.
The enclosed fluids’ chemical composition should also decide your gasket’s material. Through frequent or irregular exposure, factors such as pH level, oil or water content, oxidation properties, and others can erode or degrade various materials.
Gaskets also behave differently based on pressure levels. If the confined fluid is overly pressured, non-metallic gaskets cannot provide significant resistance, and the fluid can force a route through the gasket’s seal.
For dependable performance, synthetic rubbers, for example, frequently have a cap of 60 psi. On the other hand, gas processing plants and other high-pressure applications use metallic gaskets.
Try Working With a Gasket Engineer
Consulting a gasket design engineer is a great way to create a custom gasket for unique applications. You can also tap them to get professional advice on the features that your system requires.
Furthermore, mass-producing a faulty gasket type might result in a failed project or unnecessary costs. Discuss your design parameters and the final product’s environmental elements with a gasket design engineer.
Pick Your Gasket Manufacturer
Choosing the correct manufacturer is critical to the material success of your project. Look for manufacturers who have made gaskets for known service industries or markets.
It is also critical to select a manufacturer with proven design, testing, and inspection skills to ensure that the finished product is dependable and high-quality.
Conduct Initial Testing
New gasket designs must be tested for various parameters to verify that the materials, specs, and style generate an appropriate and cost-effective seal. Regulatory organizations established specific standards that industrial and commercial products must follow to be sold or used.
The same organizations usually determine the tests required to certify a product’s safety. These tests determine a gasket’s ability to tolerate temperature, chemicals, pressure, and compression while maintaining a seal.
Ultimately, you should choose the gasket type and material that fit your needs.
However, safety is still the most crucial aspect to consider whether you buy a pre-made gasket or opt for a custom one. Always ensure that regulatory organizations approve the tools and materials you use.