What are Heat Exchanger Gaskets?

11 May 2020

A lot of industries utilise gaskets in preventing leakage of liquid and gases between two or more parts. These gaskets are typically used in different assemblies since they can easily fill the gap between two or mating surfaces. Their ability to hold and withstand high compressive loads without leaking and breaking makes them suitable for numerous industrial applications. 

One of the assemblies that maximise the abilities of gaskets is heat exchangers. 

Definition and Common Use of Heat Exchangers

A heat exchanger is a device that transfers heat between two or more fluids without mixing them or subjecting them into direct contact. The fluids on this device may be separated by a solid wall so that they do not get mixed up. Some applications of heat exchangers include refrigeration, air conditioning, automobile engines, power stations, chemical plants, energy production facilities, space heating, sewage treatment, and many more. 

Factors to Consider for Heat Exchanger Gaskets

Heat exchangers can be difficult to seal since they require special gasketing attention for proper safety and maximum efficiency. Some factors that could affect the application of gaskets are the following:

  • Heat Exchanger Design: The complicated designs of heat exchangers can directly affect the performance of gaskets. The use of gaskets that are too wide for a heat exchanger can cause insufficient gasket stress. Too much bolt load on your heat exchanger, on the other hand, can cause excessive gasket stress. 
  • Gasketing Assembly: Incorrect installation of the gasket in your heat exchanger may cause some serious issues. Incorrect or insufficient tightening of the bolt can result in an inaccurate torqueing procedure. If you exceed the temperature limit of your gasket, then it can cause some problems to the device. Alternatively, the nuts must run fit over the entire length of the bolt thread for better gasket assembly. Threads must also be long enough so that the nuts can reach the metal faces.
  • Metal Faces Condition: Several elements of flange faces must be checked when installing heat exchanger gaskets. The texture of the flange surface must be assessed so that the gasket can fill in specific areas. Flange faces must also be parallel. Bolts must be tightened properly and that their load should not rely upon to pull flanges together. Any damages or dirt on the metal faces must also be repaired or removed.
  • Gasket Material: Gasket material can also affect the performance of heat exchangers. Reusing old gaskets can be dangerous for your heat exchanger as their safe sealing abilities are long gone now. Any rapid deterioration of gaskets means that their materials are incompatible with the fluid found on the heat exchanger. Excessive use of jointing compounds may also cause your gaskets to extrude from the faces. Any protrusion of gaskets into the flow path of the liquid can cause turbulence in addition to flow restrictions. Erosion might also happen due to fluid exposure.

Best Shape and Materials for Heat Exchanger Gaskets

Heat exchanger gaskets can be manufactured in different sizes, shapes, and materials. Most of the time, heat exchanger gaskets are made from metal or alloy that has a thickness of 0.4 mm. Other materials that can be used in creating heat exchanger gaskets are synthetic rubber, metal-jacketed asbestos, and graphite foil.

Gaskets for heat exchangers can be manufactured with or without bars. Double-jacketed heat exchanger gaskets are created with integrated bars. A radius can be found between the bars and an internal diameter of the gaskets. Gaskets with welded bars, on the other hand, are created to eliminate the crack problems in the radius area.

With the right shape and materials for your gaskets, your heat exchanger can perform well without worrying about any problems and issues during its operations. For more information about heat exchanger gaskets, feel free to contact us at Gasketech. We are a manufacturer and supplier of gaskets, sealing washers, extrusions, and mouldings for all industries.

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