A gasket is a sealing component that ensures a tight seal between two metallic or non-metallic surfaces. Manufacturers use different materials, including foam, copper, rubber, metal, paper, or cork, but this component is flexible. Due to its flexibility and sturdiness, it sees use in various industrial applications. Industries of almost all types use mechanical gaskets, including petrochemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and water industries. There is also a question of which type of gasket material is best for which industrial application. It depends on the characteristics of the gasket material, application, and capability to withstand an industry’s environment.
For a gasket to be effective and provide a proper seal, it should be adequately compressed, ensuring that pressure and watertight seal exist between two components. Also, gaskets exist in industries where there are tons of moving parts. The gasket protects them from rubbing against each other, avoiding damage caused by friction. If you want to know about the different types of gaskets and their application, you have come to the right place. Below, in this article, are different types of mechanical gaskets and their applications:
- SPIRAL WOUND GASKETS
A spiral wound gasket has a semi-metallic construction, consisting of a stainless steel strip wound in a V-shape and a filler material such as PTFE or graphite. Also present on this type of gasket is an outer guide ring used for controlling compression and centering the gasket. Because of the outer guide ring, there is little to no chance of contaminant creep due to overtightening.
For usage in harsher environments, this gasket may come with an inner ring that protects the filler and windings from outside contamination.
Due to its sturdiness and reliability, this type of gasket is ever-present in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries dealing with high pressure, temperature, and chemical contamination. A spiral wound gasket’s ability to recover from and adjust to such a change in the environment makes it the best choice. In the UK, for instance, cruise liners and Military sectors prefer buying non-asbestos and spiral wound gaskets from Specialist Sealing Products as the products hold sturdiness and reliability.
- KAMMPROFILE GASKETS
A kammprofile gasket consists of a stainless steel core with concentric grooves on both sides and a sealing material. This sealing material is of either graphite, PTFE, aluminum, or silver. They do not require a sealing layer to provide a pressure-tight seal but are prone to causing flange surface damage due to high sealing loads. However, to ensure that you can achieve a tight seal between two components, it is wise to include a sealing layer.
Industries that use kammprofiles gasket include the petrochemical, chemical, oil, and gas industries. They exist in industrial environments that deal with high-pressure carbon and superheated steam, such as heat exchangers and pipelines. The ultimate goal of a kammprofile gasket is to provide increased safety under harsh conditions.
- METAL JACKETED GASKETS
As the name suggests, these gaskets consist of an outer metallic shell and a non-metallic or metallic filler. The filler provides the gaskets with sturdiness, while the metal jacket gives the gasket temperature, corrosion, and pressure resistance. Various types of metal jacketed gaskets exist in the market today. For example, you can buy a double metal jacketed gasket consisting of two outer metal jackets, which enclose the filler material, providing it double the sturdiness and resistance to harsh environmental conditions.
However, the components you wish to should seal have a smooth surface to achieve a pressure-tight seal. Industrial applications of metal jacketed gaskets include heat exchangers, valves, and pumps. It is down to their sturdiness and their ability to hold up under high temperatures and pressures.
- RUBBER GASKETS
Rubber gaskets are the most common type of gasket and exist in a wide variety of industries, especially ones that deal with pipelines. Various types of rubber gaskets provide different benefits depending on their use case. However, all these types have one common feature: they remain cumulative and irreversible when exposed to high heat. Some different materials used to manufacture rubber gaskets include sponge, foam, Neoprene, silicon, and EPDM.
Industrial applications include use in heat exchangers, pipelines, valves, and motors, and shafts. This type of seal is also long-lasting due to its resistance against corrosion, high temperatures, stains, and challenging weather conditions.
- ARAMID FIBER SHEET GASKETS
A strong form of fiber, aramid fibers, is lightweight and heat resistant. They have exceptional sturdiness when woven tightly. They also consist of an elastomeric binder, which provides strength, increased mechanical properties, and torque retention. A wide variety of aramid fiber gaskets are available in the market nowadays. They are relatively inexpensive compared to other mechanical gaskets and provide the versatility required in an industrial environment. They can handle pressures and temperatures ranging from 500-1000 Pascals and 200-700 Fahrenheit.
Aramid fibers made from nitrile binders see use in food processing, oil and gas, water treatment, and boiler applications. Due to the presence of nitrile, it provides the gasket age-resistance and improved mechanical properties.
- ELASTOMERIC MOLDED GASKETS
Sometimes known as pressure-fit gaskets, elastomeric molded gaskets are custom-made and designed for use where you need to seal two components together just like you would with the help of an o-ring. They do not require any glue or adhesive to install, making them self-adjusting and adaptable.
Industrial applications include ruggedized equipment such as analytical instruments, diagnostic devices, and other sturdy gadgets.
- CORK GASKETS
Manufactured using cork, this type of gasket is cut into various shapes to seal different components. Components sealed with a cork gasket offer high compressibility and flexibility due to the properties of cork. It typically sees use in industries that regularly deal with oil, solvents, and fuel. Also, to increase compressibility and flexibility, even more, manufacturers mix cork with other types of materials such as silicone or rubber.
Sealants are a crucial part of every industry out there. Some people might say that using sealing compounds such as silicone is a quicker solution. However, nobody wants to be deal with two moving components joined together permanently, making removal during maintenance an absolute nightmare. Whenever a seal ars out, you can easily replace it with a new one without a hassle. In the end, when installing new seals or replacing old ones, use a scraper and cleaning solvent to ensure that you remove any remnants left behind by the old one or to ensure that the surfaces are clean. If you do such a thing, you will be good to go.