Gaskets provide seals for pipe components and mechanical assemblies. Custom Gaskets from the reputable Gorilla Gasket firm maintain the seal between components and ensure efficacy and consistent performance under various conditions.
What Is A Gasket?
A gasket is a flat device designed to seal two large mechanical parts together. They come in various forms, from the basic O-rings to others that have complex customizations with different opening shapes. Irrespective of their shape or design, gaskets seal pipes, preventing leaks effectively. They also help to maintain specific levels of compression in a system and dampen vibration and sound.
There are various gasket materials that function based on distinct principles. However, the most important information is that gaskets are made from a more distortable material than the parts they seal. The material could be a metal that yields to lower pressure or an elastomer capable of regaining its shape after being stretched. As such, when gaskets are placed, they mold into the irregularities on the surface to form a glue-tight seal.
Types Of Gaskets and Gasket Materials
There are different styles of gaskets to suit the various industries where they are used. Their different opening combinations, thicknesses, and shapes enable them to fit perfectly between any two surfaces. Gaskets can be made of fiber, felt, cork, rubber, or another material depending on the type of mechanical system in question.
- Rubber Gaskets
These are some of the most common types of gaskets yet they are the most diverse. Some contain die-cut components especially if you need to seal thinner sheets. But, some common 3D gasket designs necessitate extruding or rubber molding processes. For example, thickly layered gaskets that are used to seal bell jars are made using rubber molding instead of die-cutting. Generally, gaskets that contain non-uniform or aberrated elements may require extruding or rubber molding.
Please note that rubber is a combination of elastomers with varying physical characteristics, instead of just a single material. While shopping for rubber gaskets, you should consider temperature resistance capabilities and any inevitable corrosion so you choose a suitable rubber.
Some common types of rubber gasket materials include:
- Food-grade gaskets (FDA approved)
- Butyl rubber gaskets
- Silicone gaskets
- Neoprene gaskets and
- Natural rubber (gum) gaskets, among others
Techniques Used To Manufacture Custom Gaskets
- Die-cut gaskets
Die-cutting is a flexible gasket manufacturing technique preferred for its precisely cut openings for an almost perfect fit.
- Rotary cutting
A cylindrical die cuts through the material to make gaskets as the machine rotates.
- Steel rule die-cutting
This is the most common method of attaining your desired gasket shape. You work with the supplier to determine the shape and size of the final gasket. After that, they create a steel template that will be a striking image of the product and feed it into the die-cutting machine. This machine will punch the plastic, rubber, or other gasket material into the shape of the steel model. You can make a few or high volumes of gaskets effectively with this method.
- Kiss cutting
Kiss cutting is used for gasket designs that require adhesive backing. The adhesive backing is sometimes necessary to reinforce the seal. With this technique, the die punctures the top layer, facilitating the easy peeling off of adhesive gaskets from their backing.
Although die-cutting is the go-to technique for complex gasket configurations and opening shapes, it can also be used to recreate more basic gasket designs effectively. Also, most die-cutting techniques are compatible with almost all gasket materials; thus, you can achieve various physical properties, including high-temperature resistance and shielding. However, this shouldn’t worry you too much. A gasket manufacturer worth their salt will determine the most suitable technique to attain your required shape, material, and use specifications.
Die-cutting is widely known for creating and recreating the following types of gaskets:
- Foam gaskets
- Cork rubber gaskets
- Silicone sponge gaskets
- Electrical enclosure gaskets
- Kapton gaskets, among others
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Custom Gasket And Filler Materials
- Surface finish – The surface finish and gasket material must be compatible. Otherwise, the seal will fail.
- Bolt load – if your gasket material is unsuitable or the bolt load is extreme, you may experience leaks in your system.
- Joint design – you must consider a gasket’s joint design before anything else. That is because if the force holding both surfaces together isn’t strong enough to resist the system’s hydrostatic pressure, the flanges may separate.
- Media – the gasket material you choose should be able to withstand corrosive attacks from the media in contact with it.
- Pressure – internal pressure in piping can compromise a gasket if it is manufactured from weak materials.
- Temperature – high and low temperatures can have adverse effects on the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of a gasket.
Custom Gaskets Vs. Seals
It is not uncommon for people to confuse seals with custom gaskets. Both items serve one purpose, but they are entirely different. Both seals and gaskets create a barrier between two surfaces to prevent leaking. However, seals shield two or more moving parts. This works even when only one of those parts is moving. Seals are commonly made with round and flat washers, similar to the ones you’d find in a faucet.
A gasket comprises two static seals that facilitate the blocking together of two static, stationary parts. As such, gaskets are often molded to be compatible with a certain static use. Also, some custom gaskets are malleable enough to be compatible with any position and maintain it as long as you don’t move the parts against each other.
Gaskets have high tensile strength, low density, and handy flexibility. The premium ones are durable and resistant to internal pressure and chemicals. They are also strongly adhesive with anything they touch and themselves. The perfect gasket will seal and protect your application from corrosion. However, you must consider temperature extremes, impact, vibration, and abrasion to ensure you aren’t buying a gasket that won’t serve your needs. Luckily, gasket manufacturers like Gorilla Gasket are ready to help you get the right custom gasket for your needs.