Most Common Raw Materials Used in Gaskets

29 April 2016

A handful of flow-determining characteristics guides the production of gaskets. Firstly, they’re fabricated to conform to a specified geometrical outline. Now, while the shape of each sealing product is an essential consideration, it’s the raw materials used in each situation that really makes the difference. Material selection affects every attribute, everything, right down to the integrity of the mechanical seal and its aptitude for handling different fluid-conducting scenarios.

Popular Polymers

PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) products are equipped with excellent mechanical properties. They don’t react to chemicals but do exhibit superior thermal insulation properties, which makes the polymer an ideal match for hot fluids. Next, Nitrile and Viton enter the common materials list. These synthetic materials are frequently used in fuel pipe seals and joint seals, the flanged pipe sandwich fillers that resist the corrosive effects of petroleum oils. Other polymers in this class include toughened engineering plastics, including members of the urethane family, materials that are designed to offset the effects of all of the negative influences covered above while adding other features. Note, these materials can be graded or fabricated as composites to add even more versatility to the polymer solution.

Carbon and Metal-Reinforced Gaskets

In fabricating materials that satisfy the rigorous demands associated with the aerospace industry and other cutting-edge domains, we turn to graphite, a material that retains dimensional stability and seal integrity when high pressures and higher temperatures are part of the mix. And, depending on project parameters, we can escalate this approach by turning to carbon fiber reinforcement, Teflon additives, Kevlar substitutes, or even stainless steel wire mesh, additives that really inject mechanical strength into the product. Suitable for cryogenic applications or just plain armoured to excel in tough industrial settings, the addition of such reinforced assets are highly beneficial when it comes to temperature extremes and huge pressure differentials.

Non-Asbestos Compressed Fiber

When specially compressed fibers are partnered with proprietary polymer linings, gaskets gain super-fortified capabilities. Able to function under huge stresses, the toughened fibers pass super-heated steam and corrosive acids with equal efficiency. Asbestos is absent from the material makeup, which is a big bonus. But do take note, the compressed fiber construct actually uses many of the materials already covered earlier in this article, including Kevlar aramids, graphite, and complementary PTFE mixtures.

The design of these sealing products starts with paper and felt, cork and foam, but gasketing technology then quickly escalates to cope with heated, pressurized, and caustic fluids.

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