Gaskets play an important role in machines and other types of assemblies. They help seal the space between two or mating surfaces, preventing any instance of leakage from or into the closed gap. Without these gaskets, it would be difficult for the industries to perform critical activities continuously and safely.
While almost all assemblies are installed with pre-specified gaskets, the need to change them can be inevitable in the long run. Pre-specified gaskets may seem to still work but considering alternative gaskets could be much more recommended to the changing needs of a facility or processing plant. These gaskets may not also longer work or are failing with your current assembly or application. The need to save resources may have also come into play, opting for the industry to go for more sustainable gaskets.
So, if you intend to upgrade or change your pre-specified gaskets due to some of the previously mentioned reasons, then here are some important things that you need to consider and think about.
Before purchasing your new set of alternative gaskets, it is much recommended for you to determine the specifications of your existing pre-specified gaskets. These specifications can help you look for an alternative set of gaskets that are close to your actual needs, despite some minor but crucial changes to some of their elements. Knowing the specifications of your pre-specified gaskets also helps you compare gasket specifications from different manufacturers and pick out the ones that can fit your needs. One best way to cross-reference gaskets is through their line callout numbers.
Another thing that you must consider before upgrading or changing your pre-specified gaskets is your installation parameters. There might be times where the capabilities of your pre-specified gaskets have been restricted by the flange stress design. The different manufacturing procedures of the materials used in an assembly may likewise contribute to the limiting capabilities of the pre-specified gaskets. These installation factors and parameters may have contributed to the restrictions of the gaskets to perform their tasks. Given this fact, additional training may be required to guarantee the safe installation of new gaskets.
Knowing all application changes that have occurred within the system must also be considered in changing your pre-specified gaskets. There might be some new equipment that has been installed on the main processing line. Some insulating jackets may have also cooled or increased the temperature of the system. With these elements, your system pressure or temperature may change. And if these minor changes are not reported on the master process flow chart, most people will most likely overlook them. When installing alternative gaskets, these application changes must be considered to avoid problems.
One activity that must be done before upgrading your gaskets is to assess system elements that may change when doing the upgrade. You must know if upgrading your gaskets can truly improve the service life of your system and equipment. You must also determine the changes that these gaskets may bring to your system temperature or pressure. Changes in the process fluid or to the operating conditions must also be assessed when changing your gaskets. Narrowing down your material options, as well as reviewing the published data of your gaskets, must be done once all these elements are assessed fully. Considering these things when upgrading or changing your pre-specified gaskets can help you choose the right alternative gasket for your system. These things can also help you improve the overall functionality of your assembly as well as save significant resources.
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.
The manufacturing process of numerous industries relies on the ability of the gaskets in sealing the space between two or more mating surfaces and preventing any kind of leakage from or into the paired objects. Some of the industries that utilise different types of gaskets include power generation, chemical processing, mining, aerospace, oil & gas, food & beverage, military, and pharmaceutical.
Gaskets used to be made from asbestos as the material can resist steam, oil, water, pressure, and extreme temperatures. However, the health hazards and dangers of the said material prompted gasket manufacturers to look for an alternative and safer material. One of the materials used as a substitute for asbestos is fibre since it can directly match the abilities of the asbestos gaskets.
Fibre Gaskets Composition
Fibre gaskets, as the name implies, are made from fibre strands that are stretched and infused with a resin material. Once the strands and the resin material dry out, they form numerous sheets that can be easily moulded and shaped into gaskets.
To date, there are a wide variety of gaskets that a lot of industries use and maximise. Some fibre gaskets are made from cellulose, which can be further impregnated with rubber, insulating fibre, synthetic fibre, or vulcanized fibre. Others, however, can be made from either vegetable fibre or aramid. Most industries use gaskets out of vegetable fibres since they can be used in low pressure and low-temperature applications.
All the materials used in producing fibre gaskets have distinct strength, compressibility, and temperature ratings. These sets of properties can be enhanced by adding like cork or rubber bind into the gasket. Vulcanising the cellulose fibre material, alternatively, can make the gasket sturdy and lightweight.
The Role of Fibre Gaskets
Since fibre gaskets are made from different materials, their specific applications also vary. Fibre gaskets that are made from vegetable fibre and cellulose fibre with rubber can easily resist the damaging effects of oil, gasoline, and steam. Aramid fibre in NBR binder, on the other hand, is best used for high-temperature applications in a wide range of industries.
Just like any gaskets, fibre gaskets also prevent chemicals, oils, water, alcohol, grease, air, gasoline, and other elements from penetrating or leaving the surface of the combining objects. Their high mechanical strength and high-quality flexibility also allow them to perfectly fit components that are used in industrial, chemical, petroleum, petrochemical, and automotive industries without getting damaged. Any irregularities between mating surfaces are also fixed by the application of fibre gaskets. The materials used for fibre gaskets and their associated properties make them recommended for different sets of applications. For your fibre gasket needs, feel free to contact us at Gasketech.
Gaskets are sealing materials that can help close the gap, as well as fix any misalignment and uneven space between two or more flanges and objects. Many industries use gaskets since they can effectively prevent leaking and pressure loss that are frequently evident at the connection points of the objects. One material that is typically used in creating gaskets is rubber.
Rubber gaskets, which can be either natural or synthetic, are utilised by different manufacturing industries since they can prevent leaks of gas or liquid between two objects. Aside from leaks, rubber gaskets also protect the objects from getting damaged by elements such as moisture, dirt, and dust. Industries also use them as they can be cut or shaped into different sizes thanks to the elasticity of rubber materials.
For most electronic assemblies, manufacturers turn to rubber gaskets because of the following factors:
The Presence of International Protection Rating
The International Protection (IP) Rating or Ingress Protection Code of an electronic device or equipment usually tells its ability to prevent or shut off exterior elements like dirt, dust, and moisture from entering the enclosure or casing. Electronic assembles like phones, cameras, speakers, power supplies, outdoor lights, and even medical equipment have respective IP ratings for them to be functional under any conditions. Rubber gaskets can help some of these electronic assemblies in achieving their needed protection against liquid, dust, chemicals, and other damaging elements that may enter their components.
The Flexibility and Elasticity of Rubber Gaskets
Rubber gaskets are known for their flexibility and elasticity, which is why most electronic devices and equipment are equipped with this type of gasket. The overall composition of electronic devices varies from one object to another, and since rubber gaskets can be compressed easily, this makes manufacturers prefer them over other gasket materials. Additionally, various methods like rubber extrusion process, rubber injection moulding process, and compression moulding are all available in crafting rubber gaskets that are needed for sealing large areas of electronic assemblies.
Fitting Electronic Devices with Rubber Gaskets
Since electrical components have a different set of requirements, the needed sealing for them must also vary. Electronic devices must also operate under different conditions, which means the gaskets must be customised to effectively avert elements from entering and leaking. Fortunately, rubber gaskets can be made from different rubber types like neoprene and Viton and cutting methods. By identifying the elements that may be present on an electronic assembly, the manufacturer of the gasket can easily pick and choose the correct rubber material and process it with an appropriate cutting method. Electronic assemblies must have rubber gaskets that can protect them from damaging elements and help them prevent any instances of leaking. If you want to know more about rubber gaskets, feel free to call us at Gasketech.