Things to Consider When Choosing Gaskets for Industrial Piping Systems

27 August 2018

Heavy-duty industrial piping systems require equally robust gaskets, so says engineering science. Look deep, the larger than life tubular conduits are conveying higher volumes, which are held at stunningly high pressures. Meanwhile, acids and harsh chemicals are attacking the pipe seals. To keep these forces safely in check, an aptitude for optimizing a chosen gasket, one designed to counterbalance these challenges, is considered a gold standard engineering strength.

Considering Torque Parameters 

Mechanics don’t throw new tyres on cars and begin indiscriminately tightening the ring of fasteners until they seem tight. Likewise, gasket installation procedures require special approaches. Torque charts are viewed and studied. Sequential bolt tightening patterns are applied all around the pipe flanges. Frankly, industrial piping is off-the-scale massive, so the adoption of these two load distributing practices will make sure the flange faces couple evenly with the interceding gasket.

Designed to Match Known Fluid Characteristics 

And just how many seal impacting forces are in play? Pipe geometry and dimensions are inherent, of course, so large cross-sectional areas incur larger fluid volumes. Then there are the properties of the fluid medium, which will directly influence gasket design. Low temperatures aren’t as material-abrasive as higher thermal loads. Still, ultra-low temperatures will cause brittleness and seal fractures. Then there are super concentrated acids and caustic chemicals to address. At the end of the day, industrial piping systems require gaskets that can handle extreme mechanical loading effects. Moreover, they must incorporate a material build that won’t fail when one of the above fluid characteristics tries its abrasive best to break down the selected gasket.

A Three-Factor Guide to Industrial Gasketing 

Material design is essential when we’re working with systems of industry-capable piping. However, material density isn’t the only relevant metric, so let’s skip up another rung on the gasketing applications ladder. Material suitability, as evaluated during the fluid medium management phase, is impacted by mechanical extremes, so traditional elastomeric solutions may not be enough. Composite material, fluoroelastomers, and fibrous substitutes operate alongside special laminates and metals to solve such issues. Factors one and two, therefore, are the material and mechanical features of the chosen gasket. Factor three, the dimensions of the seal, calls into action torque and bolt fastening patterns.

As a fourth gasket design and selection factor in industrial piping systems, we add Man’s influence. Preventative maintenance programs dovetail with gasket performance studies to assess the seal’s capabilities in specific operational case studies. This way, gasket design engineers can fine-tune their product families and ingrain the best possible fluid-restraining parameters into those essential flange sealing rings.

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