Gaskets are fabricated to effectively join objects together as well as close space or gap between them. They likewise do not allow destructive or deteriorating elements to penetrate the mating surfaces so that machine or equipment parts will not get damaged or destroyed.
A lot of industries maximise the mentioned functionalities of gaskets, particularly on their machine or equipment. These industries include chemical processing, power generation, mining, aerospace, oil, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, and many more.
Importance of Weather Resistant Gaskets
The effectiveness of the gaskets used in the mentioned industries will still depend on the condition of their applications and surroundings. Tools, machines, and equipment that are exposed to varying weather elements and outdoor temperatures must be equipped with weather resistant gaskets.
The gaskets required for most outdoor applications must be able to resist extreme temperatures that may be present on the surroundings due to sunlight exposure or cold weather. Other weather elements such as wind, atmospheric pressure, and humidity must also be prevented effectively by gaskets so that all machines or equipment will not get damaged amidst being exposed to these elements.
Best Weather Resistant Gasket Materials
Given the importance of weather resistant gaskets, here are some of the best materials that you must find for your gaskets.
Fluoroelastomer, which is also known as Viton®, is a fluorocarbon-based synthetic rubber that can effectively withstand the damaging effects of extreme temperatures, surroundings elements, and chemicals. Even after a long time of use, gaskets that are made from this material can effectively work with temperatures that range from -10° C to 260° C. Additionally, they can also work in applications that are exposed to fuels, mineral oil or acids, and synthetic hydraulic fluids. Harmful effects of the sun, oxygen, ozone, fungus, and mould can be effectively deflected by fluoroelastomer gaskets.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene that is best known for its flexibility and resistance to chemical products, heat, and electricity. This specific material is also non-stick, which makes it great for fabricating gaskets. Gaskets made from this material can easily withstand temperatures between -200° C to 260° C, which is great for industrial processing and even commercial use. Moisture, which is one of the primary elements that initiate corrosion, cannot likewise damage and penetrate the surface of PTFE gaskets and their joined objects.
Graphite is a form of carbon that is truly strong and inert. It can also easily resist extreme temperature and pressure, making this material suitable in making gaskets. The resistance of graphite gaskets against extreme temperatures allows them to be used in applications that are exposed to weather elements. Moreover, the formation of carbon atoms on these gaskets allows them to close the gaps between the products, preventing damaging elements from penetrating key machine components. Other benefits of graphite gaskets include exceptional mechanical strength and low creep under temperature or pressure.
Getting your gaskets out of these materials can help you maintain the operations of your machine or equipment amidst different weather elements. As long as the gaskets can withstand the effects of varying temperatures and pressures, you can easily expect your activities to be done optimally without the need to maintain and repair them all the time.
Just like any other type of fasteners or sealing solutions, gaskets can become unusable after reaching their maximum lifespan. One reason behind this phenomenon is due to the material used. Gaskets can be made from ethylene propylene, butyl, nitrile, natural rubber, silicone, and many more. Some of these materials only last for around 3 to 5 years. Others, alternatively, can last up to 20 years.
The service life of gaskets tends to decrease more as they get exposed to various damaging elements. Moreover, improper storage of gaskets can also contribute to the lowered lifespan of gaskets.
Whatever type of material that is used for your gaskets, it is still important for them to be stored and used appropriately so they can reach or even go beyond their maximum service life. Here are some ways that can help you maximise their service life.
Control Light Exposure
There are gasket materials that can endure the effects of light exposure. Other gaskets, on the other hand, can wear and get damaged very quickly once they are directly exposed to strong sunlight or artificial light. And so, for safety purposes, you may want to store and use gaskets in applications that do not receive powerful light exposure. One material that must not be exposed under light is rubber.
Prevent Oxygen Exposure
Aside from light exposure, the service life of various gaskets is also affected by the oxygen that surrounds them. Rubber gaskets can disintegrate and deteriorate swiftly whenever they are exposed to oxygen and ozone, which are both enhanced as they interact with nearby electric motors, high-voltage electrical equipment, and mercury vapour lamps. A storage location that prevents rubber gaskets from being exposed to excessive oxygen and ozone levels is hugely suitable.
Maintain Relative Humidity
Wrong storage of gasket materials can also lead to their deterioration. Storage locations that are excessively moist or dry can dry out some gaskets, which subsequently make them brittle and fragile once they are used. For proper storage, the relative humidity levels must fall below 75% so that your gaskets can reach their maximum lifespan.
Temperature can also affect the overall quality and service life of gaskets. The overall physical properties of some gasket materials tend to change whenever they are stored in extremely high or low temperatures. Storage locations that have high temperatures can damage some gaskets, while other types of gaskets become unusable whenever they are stored in freezing temperatures. Keeping the storage temperatures around 25°C is optimal for the preservation of gasket life.
Avoid Storage Mistakes
The way gaskets are stored can also affect the service life of gaskets. Stacking gaskets on top of each other can compress or elongate their materials. The same effect may happen if heavy things or equipment are placed on top of them. For proper storage, your gaskets must be separated based on their size, type, material, and grade. Their storage units must also be suitable for the gasket materials to make sure that they do not deteriorate. Following these things can help your gasket obtain much longer life. To know more about preserving gasket life, just give us a call at Gasketech.