Designing Full Face Gaskets for High-Temperature and High-Pressure Applications

25 August 2023

Create a tight and secure seal on your industrial equipment with full face gaskets from Gasketech. Consider key factors to attain complete coverage and sealing.

Full face gaskets are sealing devices often used to create a tight, secure, and reliable seal between two mating surfaces. These gaskets are widely used in industrial settings where sealing performance is vital, especially in high-temperature and high-pressure applications. Once installed, they can prevent leakage of fluids or gases in piping systems, pressure vessels, pumps, and other industrial equipment. But before they can be effective on these applications, they should be designed properly to optimise their performance and ensure their longevity.

When designing full face gaskets for high-temperature and high-pressure applications, the following factors should be considered thoroughly.


The choice of gasket material is crucial for high-temperature and high-pressure applications. The selected material should have excellent heat resistance, chemical resistance, and compression set resistance so that gaskets will not deform or degrade. The gasket material must also withstand the expected bolt load without exceeding its maximum stress limits. Common materials used for full face gaskets in these applications are graphite, polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE, aramid fibre, and metal alloys like stainless steel.

Thickness and Compression

The thickness of the gasket also plays a crucial role in its ability to withstand high-pressure conditions. Thicker gaskets offer better resistance to compression and can maintain a tight seal under high loads. However, the gasket should not exceed the maximum allowable compression since it may lead to leakage or damage. The compression ratio should be calculated to achieve the desired sealing performance.

Surface Finish and Flatness

The surfaces in contact with the gasket must be properly finished and flat to ensure a reliable seal. Scratches, roughness, unevenness, or other imperfections can affect the sealing performance of the gasket. The gasket should be able to accommodate surface irregularities and provide a tight seal across the entire contact area. Proper surface preparation and machining are essential to acquire the necessary surface flatness and finish.

Bolt Load and Gasket Stress

The bolt load applied to the gasket directly affects its sealing performance. Therefore, the gasket should be designed to handle the applied load and distribute it evenly across the sealing area. Proper bolt tightening procedures must also be done to achieve the recommended gasket stress. Over-tightening or under-tightening the bolts can lead to gasket failure or leakage. 

Thermal Cycling and Expansion

In high-temperature applications, thermal cycling and expansion are common challenges that can affect the performance of the gasket. The gasket material should have good thermal stability and low thermal expansion properties to accommodate temperature fluctuations without losing its sealing ability. The gasket design should then allow for thermal expansion and contraction to minimise the risk of gasket failure due to thermal stress.

Designing full face gaskets for high-temperature and high-pressure applications requires careful consideration of material selection, thickness, compression, surface finish, bolt load, and thermal cycling. By addressing these key considerations, engineers and manufacturers can develop full face gaskets that meet the specific requirements of the previously stated applications, providing a robust and effective sealing solution.

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