Gaskets are found in a myriad of applications ranging from cars to industrial machinery. The term gasket can be used to describe any seal or grommet that holds two things together. Usually made from rubber, plastic, metal, and other materials, gaskets are made to suit any one of your needs. As gaskets can do more than just create a secure seal to prevent leakage, this blog will cover their wide range of applications
A gasket, also called an O-ring or washer, is intended to seal the gap between two mating surfaces. Gaskets are available in many shapes and sizes, but in a majority of applications, flat gaskets are used. They serve as the most common type and have a cross-section that is circular in shape. Cylindrical gaskets, on the other hand, have diameter sizes ranging from ¼ inch to 3 inches. Meanwhile, tubular gaskets look like long tubes with varying diameters at each of their ends.
Like other pieces of mechanical hardware, gaskets are subjected to a variety of quality assurance assessments, such as hot compression tests. This test determines the heat that the gaskets can handle without experiencing excessive damage or failure. Despite such evaluations, they are also checked for leaks, pinholes, and cracks in the sealant. The final stage in the manufacturing process consists of an in-depth examination of the product, ensuring that all aspects meet standard regulations before it leaves the facility.
Since the term seal is used alongside gasket, many people confuse gaskets with seals, often using these terms interchangeably. While they have similar purposes, there is one major difference. Seals protect at least two moving parts and are usually composed of flat and round washers like the ones found in faucets, whereas gaskets are typically made of two static seals, allowing two static, non-moving parts to be locked together. As such, gaskets are often made to fit a specific static application.
The gasket material chosen will have a great effect on your application; thus, you should select a material that offers good flexibility, low density, and high tensile strength. Additionally, it should have incredible resistance to chemicals and internal pressure, as well as durability. It is also beneficial for the material to have excellent adhesion properties with itself and everything it comes in contact with. That being said, the ideal gasket will protect against corrosion, abrasion, vibration, impact, and fluctuating temperature extremes.
Gaskets can be found in many industrial applications including food processing, petrochemical, plumbing, machinery, and gas. Put more simply, if anything needs sealing, it probably uses a gasket. There are many different types of gaskets, some of which are made of metal, plastic, silicone, or glass fiber reinforced polymers. Regardless of the material, they are all required to fit snug against their mating surface, so there is no air leakage around them. In the next section, we will cover three of the most widely used types.
Developed by Charles Goodyear around 1844, synthetic rubber gaskets are made from natural or synthetic materials and serve as one of the oldest forms of sealing technology. Rubber gaskets are found in the automotive, food & beverage, industrial, and medical sectors.
Invented by the Dr. William H. Dow Corning Company in 1953, silicon gaskets are durable and resistant to chemicals like acids, alkalis, oils, solvents, water, heat, radiation, and ozone, making them ideal for food processing applications.
EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) gaskets are similar to their silicon counterparts, with the exception that EDPM gaskets often contain additional ingredients including fillers, plasticizers, stabilizers, antioxidants, flame retardants, and more. As such, they find use in many automotive parts, industrial products, medical devices, toys, footwear, construction, and electronics.
Other Common Types
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