Applications of Gaskets and Sealing Washers19 April 2016
The use of mechanical equipment is rarely a dry affair. We all know of a machine that pushes volumes of liquid or gas, know about fuel pumps and water sump pumps. Even the machines that don’t pump fluids, well, they rely on liquids, too. Lubricating agents and special coolants fill their chambered profiles, and they need special seals to keep the fluid contained. Gaskets and sealing washers are the mechanical solutions to this fluid isolating quandary. The ring of rubber or engineering plastic used to form a standard gasket sits snugly between two surfaces, aiding in the creation of a viable seal. Let’s take a closer look at gasket applications and uses for sealing washers.
There’s a good chance that gaskets are in play within any assembly of parts. Car engines, as one popular example, employ various fluids, and each liquid must stay within its flow path, even if it’s chemically active or running hot. Fuel lines and engine components use variously shaped seals, gaskets that vary wildly from the standard circular shape so that engine blocks can be sealed against cylinder heads. Super-hot coolant flows through the radiator. Oil is kept in check, and the entire package of parts functions under pressure, all thanks to numerous gaskets. Meanwhile, back at home or even under the home, gaskets fill the sliver of space between pipe flanges and flatten imperceptibly as large fasteners bond one pipe to the next. These few examples define the form as either a flexible ring or a wide sheet with special cutouts, all the better to slide large mechanical engine components together.
Introducing Sealing Washers
In describing the usage domains of gaskets and sealing washers, it’s tempting to give the spotlight to the former item and append the description with an addendum on special washers, but sealing washers are very important fastening aids. For example, the hardened ring, metal on one side and rubber on the other, is designed to be inserted between a screw bolt or screw head and a threaded hole. As the fastener tightens, it presses down on the small ring and forms a secure lock, one that stops the fastener from loosening. General applications include vibration-resistant fasteners, oil drain plugs, and construction projects, the surfaces that benefit from a strong locking action and a fluid-resistant seal.
Gaskets and sealing washers cancel vibration, provide secure fastener locking features, and stop fluids from leaking, and all thanks to the addition of a suitable amount of mechanical force as threaded fasteners tighten.
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