Best Practices for Gasket Installation

23 November 2020

Gaskets are meant to provide the proper sealing of two mating surfaces or components. Therefore, they must be installed optimally. With proper installation, the gaskets can easily prevent leakage on the involved components even under varying levels of compression. 

The installation of gaskets normally involves a thorough cleaning, inspection, alignment of flanges, lubrication, and many more. If you intend to install gaskets for your select components, here are some of the best practices that you should know and follow.

Proper Cleaning and Inspection

The flange surface must be free from any foreign material or gasket debris. Therefore, you must clean any material that can be found in the sealing face, flange serrations, fasteners, and others with a brass wire brush. Avoid the use of the grinder, hammer, and chisel in removing the foreign material.

As for the inspection, you must ensure that sealing face should not have any dents, dings, mars, or pitting that can cause some issues once the new gasket is installed. If there is a presence of these elements, then repairs might be required. But once it is already defective, then you must replace them right away. 

Confirming Gasket Properties

Before installing the gaskets, you must make sure that they have the correct dimensions for your specific applications. You must take note that the inner diameter of your gaskets should not be smaller than the flangeā€™s inner diameter. If you want to simplify the centralisation of the gasket, then you may want to slightly cut the bolt holes. And just like your flange surfaces and other components, your gaskets must also be free from any defects and issues to ensure that they can be installed flawlessly.

Aligning the Flanges Correctly

An effective seal is only possible if the flanges are aligned properly. And with proper alignment of flanges, you can expect to obtain a uniform maximum gasket load that can create the best seal for your components and systems. One thing to remember when aligning the flanges is to avoid the use of a pry bar or screwdriver. Numerous tools can help in the linear and rotational alignment of flanges.

Installing the Gaskets Accordingly

Once the flanges are set and the gaskets are inspected, the gaskets can now be installed to the flanges. You can start the installation by inserting the gasket between the dry flanges and ensuring that it is centred between them. The use of joint compounds or release agents is not recommended for gasket installations unless state otherwise by the gasket manufacturer. Without any recommendation from the manufacturer, the application of joint compounds or release agents can easily cause chemical attacks on the gaskets, which can compromise their core properties and service life.

Lubricating Load Bearing Surfaces

Lubrication is integral to the functions of gaskets, which is why they must be lubricated optimally. Lubrication can help in both the assembly and disassembly of the gaskets. In choosing your lubricant, you must consider the temperature, particle type, and size. The use of high-quality lubricant can easily make the installation successful, especially when the bolt is tightened. The right way of applying lubricant is to spread it evenly to the thread, nut, and washer load-bearing surfaces. Alternatively, the lubricant must not be applied to the gasket or sealing surface.

Once these steps are followed, you can now install and tighten the bolts. You must, however, consult the gasket manufacturer to know the recommended torque values.

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