A majority of manufacturing sectors including but not limited to aerospace, automotive, appliances, military and electronic industries, utilize gasket materials in most of their production methods. A gasket is basically a special kind of sealing material that is normally made of a deformable material normally designed in the form of a sheet or ring.
Gaskets help create a pressure-tight seam between adjacent stationary components, relying on compression seals to prevent liquid emissions or unwanted gas.
Most of these seals are intended to be resistant to temperature fluctuations, pressure and in some instances electromagnetic or electrical forces.
Since they rely on compression, gaskets are normally more malleable that the components they are used to join and can conform to the shape of harder materials between which it is placed.
Gaskets come in many different specifications and as such, selecting the right gasket is an important step in any manufacturing processes. Gaskets can be formed from different materials like plastics, rubber, foams, composite substances and metal.
These components also come in many different designs, such as spiral wound, Kammprofile, jacketed and double-jacketed.
Getting the appropriate combination of material and design largely depends upon the gasket’s particular uses and the costs involved in the project.
Are Gasket Materials Necessary?
Although gaskets serve a very crucial function in sealing off joints, there are many other similar devices that could be better suited for similar tasks. An application that needs a seal that creates a barrier between internal and external elements, such as preventing a water leakage, typically requires a gasket. However, for purposes of filing small assembly gaps between different components, manufacturers could find it better to use a spacer, which is a thin wedge which is used for packing or leveling purposes.
Once you have established that a gasket is a device you need for a specific application, there are many other aspects you will need to consider in order to select a well-suited design. There are many gasket types though most of them share similar features and could be used to handle similar tasks. Some of the most popular varieties of gaskets include:
1. Jacketed gaskets
These types of gaskets combine the flexibility and efficiency of soft gaskets with the durability and resistance of an external metal coating. Single jacket gaskets normally have soft fillers with metal coverage on one face whereas the double-jacketed variation has a completely coated metal facing, offering improved pressure, corrosion and temperature resistance.
2. Solid Gaskets
These gaskets are normally formed of metal and are cheaper alternatives to their jacketed counterparts. They possess high pressure and thermal resistance properties and require a very high compression force to create a seal. These gaskets are normally effective on surfaces harder than the gasket metal itself.
3. Spiral Wound
This gasket type is normally formed through the combination of synthetic rubber with metal in a particular winding shape and often reinforced with extra layers of metal without a filler. The unique design of these gaskets yields high physical stress and thermal resistance, coupled with resilient sealing and flexibility.