The best synthetic gasketing materials have plenty of company. They’re originally manufactured as single-solution rubbers and plastics, but then the chemist gets into a fine-tuning “groove.” Before long, different variants are keeping the original product company. And so it is with Viton “A,” a fluoropolymer-based synthetic elastomer. A core member of the main Viton product group, this synthetic rubber seems like it’s found a match-made-in-heaven relationship with the automotive industry.
Resists Lubricant Attack
Oily streams course all throughout a car’s internal combustion engine. Viton “A” is the go-to gasketing product here because the material incorporates a potent lubricant resistance feature. Attacked by the many oils and greases that are carried in automobile conduits, the gaskets won’t deteriorate when they’re in contact with these potentially aggressive fluids.
A Hydrocarbon Hero
Next up, the petrol, gasoline for our American cousins, used to fuel cars is based on a complex soup of combustible hydrocarbons. Like the lubricants in the engine, that fuel was created when it was processed in some faraway oil refinery. At any rate, hydrocarbons are known for their gasket-abusing aptitudes. Well, thanks to a set of qualities that clearly targets these refined fluids, Viton “A” gaskets tolerate hydrocarbons very well. Imagine a lesser rubber seal in there, one that was deteriorating because of the fuels solvent-like features. Fuel leaks cannot be allowed, which is why this fluoropolymer-based synthetic is seen as the de facto solution in car fuel systems.
Enduring the Combustion Cycle
A mistreated car issues a bang and pulls off to the side of the road. Another car is suffering, too. It’s still running, but a strangely coloured smoke trail is pouring from the exhaust pipe. Everyone knows great internal energies are being consumed everytime a car engine starts. As the car ages or gets prematurely aged by a speed-enthusiast, its gaskets become brittle. Happily, Viton “A” is a robust elastomeric product. It withstands the high temperatures and pressure differentials that spike when engines are pushed to their limits. Frankly, the gaskets in the cylinder heads and engine block should never be perceived as a machine weak link, and A-type Viton exists to reinforce that mandate.
Emissions regulations are now incredibly stringent in the automotive sector. Furthermore, there are many, many fuel variants coursing below petrol station islands. They have special additives and exotic engine cleaners. Even if a tough gasket was specifically designed to contain regular petrol streams, there’s no way the same could be said when these exotic mixes are used. Well, thanks again to Viton “A,” whatever the fuel or oil formulation, a fluoroelastomer-gasketed vehicle will continue performing at its best, with no leaks.
Clear differences divide gaskets and conventional washers. The former item uses strong materials to mechanically seal flanges. As for the latter item, washers are typically used to spread fastener loads and to counteract vibrations. That’s good to know, except sealing washers, the subject of this post, don’t quite fit into that latter category. No, this washer family shares gasketing features, but they’re not gaskets.
Reviewing Gasket Roles
A gasket is carefully placed around an opening of some type. Whether the perimeter of that opening is in an engine block or the flanges of a pressurized pipe, the seal fulfils its role as a fluid constraining device. The loop of circular or shaped material can be manufactured from some durable elastomeric material, from metal, or even from a combination of the two, but its role is still very clear. Compressive loads bear down on the seal, the material endures unimaginable fluid pressures, and that’s the job done. Sealing washers are different, even though they also possess fluid-stoppering talent.
Multipurpose Sealing Washers
Here’s a washer family that also uses a malleable surface to constrain fluids, but that’s just one of the several features we discover when using a sealing washer. In truth, they’re composites. On top of the washer, a strong metal backing spreads fastener loads. Underneath that hardened ring, a second ring, perhaps made of EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) or Silicone, delivers face-sealing strength. They’re structural accessories, which means they’re capable of anchoring a surface while they also seal that same plated object. Beyond those two key product characteristics, sealing washers also use their synthetic rubber faces to attenuate vibrations.
Some Design Differences
Gaskets are clearly designed to endure high fluid pressures, plus they’re known to assume countless geometrically complex profiles. Tough fibres and metals and synthetic rubbers are processed into layered rings, and those rings are compressed between pipe flanges. That’s a standard gasket application, but then there are engine gaskets, hydraulic seals, and more. Sealing washers stick to a tried-and-trusted circular profile. However, they’re partially exposed, so additional design parameters need attention. The alloy ring obviously must be tough and corrosion resistant, but what about the vibration and fluid stoppering rubber? Well, UV resistance is desirable here, as is ozone resistance and a general aptitude for staying strong when weather extremes push the sealing faces hard.
Gaskets differ from sealing washers in several ways. It’s important to know those differences, to know which product is bound for which application. Stronger by nature, gaskets seal pipe flanges, mechanical housings, and more. They’re strong and durable, but that’s their sole purpose. Sealing washers are fastener accessories, plus they provide fluid sealing strength and a feature that addresses mechanical vibrations.