Factors to Consider in Gasket Selection and Installation

25 July 2017

A correctly selected gasket performs as a key mechano-elastic component in all sorts of industrial applications. Selected according to the following factors, that sealing element absolutely prevents fluid leakage. No matter the pressure, the temperature, or toxicity of that fluid, the properly selected and installed gasket endures. Of course, if we’re to properly establish sealing proficiency, there are some important performance factors to follow, beginning with the fluid’s conveyance characteristics.

Gasket Selection: Assessing Media Characteristics

When we talk about media conveyance, the term is referring to the fluid carried in the pipes. The high or low temperature, the pressure confined inside the conduit, even the caustic nature of that liquid or gas, all of these factors require evaluation. Clearly, if the temperature climbs above 100°C (Water’s boiling point) or below 0°C (Water’s freezing point), certain dynamic media state changes occur. Aggressive steam discharges and layers of expanding ice come to mind, obviously, but these events become complicated by other fluid types and the pressure variances that exist in many industrial processing lines.

Dynamic Loading Effects: The Consequences

Chiefly, then, the gasket materials are subjected to expansion and contraction events. Already compressed by a pair of flanges and a ring of fastening bolts, the factor covered here involves strength and pliability. Mechanical strength gifts the seal with structural integrity, even when the compressible forces reach epic proportions. As for the expansion effect, the durable seal needs a measure of elastic pliability to endure under these conditions. Finally, those baking temperatures and arctic lows will bake or embrittle a gasket if the material isn’t rated as a temperature proficient gasketing substance, so do diligently evaluate this essential criteria effector.

A Study in Gasket Installation Procedures

The selection of a semi-metallic seal or an alloy-corrugated variant also relies on the application area. Is this a heat exchanger vessel? Is the usage domain a pump or valve flange? Then there are the subzero cryogenic and boiler room temperatures to gauge. Finally, when the application and the fluid medium has been accounted for, we address the installation stage. It’s here that the faces of the coupling pipe sections are inspected and cleaned. Certain surrounding equipment assemblies or pipe channels may need to be removed, perhaps due to access considerations.

When the prep work is properly concluded, the gasket is installed. A sealant paste is a potential part of the installation phase, with the compound acting as a corrosion-resistance aid and a seal facilitator. As the opposing flanges come together, ensure they align properly, then add a little lubricant to the face bolts so that the integrity of the joint is assured.

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