Synthetic Fiber Gaskets: Material Structure and Uses

21 September 2017

Synthetic fiber gaskets are imbued with specially tailored properties. A long list of man-made materials fills this category. They resist corrosive fluid attacks from specific acid strains, food types, or chemical compounds. Mechanically sound, the material structure of a calendered synthetic fiber is designed to withstand flange compression extremes and to handle large temperature fluctuations. With that being said, maybe we should take a closer look at this manufactured material.

What Are Synthetic Fibers?

Picture synthetic fibers as man-made materials, as the plastic and glass-based filaments that are built with a toughened molecular backbone. Fluoropolymer bonds and strong thermoplastic linkages create gasket sheets that deliver superior physical properties and custom-manufactured fluid handling traits. PTFE is a popular source for these synthetic strands, but there are many proprietary products, brand names that contain unique material characteristics. Cut by die cutting equipment, these synthetic filaments can be tailored to fit any conceivable sealing application.

Examining the Manufacturing Process

Special blends of rubber and aramid act as a structural framework for the exotic strands. They bind together to form long sheets, at which point they’re die stamped into synthetic fiber gaskets. Again, this process varies from one manufacturer to the next, but a binding agent is regarded a critical part of the manufacturing phase, for it bonds those toughened filaments in place. The sheets are loaded with a blend of graphite, glass, PTFE, and other synthetic filaments. The exact mix ratio is managed by the manufacturer so that the artificial material specifically accommodates a preordained fluid medium.

Synthetic Fiber Gaskets: Assorted Applications

If a data sheet filled with operational conditions impedes the adoption of a natural gasketing material, then synthetic fiber gaskets are on hand to take up the slack. Calendered and bonded to rubber or cork, these manufactured material seals serve the aerospace and automobile industry as fuel and lubricant-resistant seals. They exhibit excellent dimensional stability, even when the flange fastening pressure bears down with great compressive strength. A minor change in the formula, a substituted graphite base or man-made felt binding agent, is enough to alter a fluorocarbon stranded gasket group and its subgrouped product lineage so that the next iteration in the product inventory seals a solvent based fluid or a caustic chemical compound.

Every property assigned to a group of synthetic fiber gaskets is alterable. Controlled by the manufacturing process, the Teflon-strengthened bonds and their brand-determined siblings are endowed with a superior compressibility feature, plus a finitely adjustable filament base, one that can be intelligently adjusted to withstand any material type, pressure, or temperature variance. After the artificially manufactured strands are bonded to rubber or cork, the calendered sheets are readily cut up into ranks and rows of dimensionally stable gaskets.

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