Why Knowing the Kind of Gasket Material for Your Industrial Equipment Pays Off

21 February 2019

Gaskets, especially those used on industrial equipment, prevent fluid leaks. The sealing rings are fitted between pipes. They’re also installed between pipes and their fittings. On hoses, in pressure vessels and fuel tanks, on fluid processing equipment, all of these fluid-networked parts require gaskets. To all intents and purposes, the seals are mechanically durable, but that one leak-stoppering feature isn’t enough, not on an industrial equipment line.

Heavy Industrial Energies Propagate

Suppose you’ve talked to a system designer, and that expert builds industrial equipment frameworks. The equipment and pressure vessels are the building blocks that contain near unimaginable energies. And those forces aren’t static. Temperatures rise when catalysts cause state changes. Valves alter pressures while other components aid liquids during their vaporization cycle. High temperatures and higher pressures press hard against the internal surfaces of the equipment. Put simply, while it’s true a mechanically sound gasket will withstand kinetic energy, other energy forms can cause damage.

Stressing Gasket Material Importance

And you haven’t even heard the engineer talk about chemical attacks. Potentially, after adding chemical attacks to the mix, the number of gasket-weakening factors in play goes through the roof. It’s hard to find a gasket material that’ll stop multiple process forces, although resilient PTFE seals are a fine option. Even then, compressive forces can introduce Teflon creep. Elsewhere, Neoprene and Nitrile based rubber rings defeat most oils and fuels. Finally, for harsher chemicals, higher pressures, and great temperature extremes, there are metal inserts and/or compressed graphite rings, which come with their own lists of performance pros and cons.

Solving Fluid Adversity Issues

External influences are easy enough to assess. If the pipes and fittings are installed outdoors, a matching set of gaskets must be UV resistant and weatherproof. However, when scores of dynamic fluid factors flow in a pipe, things get more complicated. Still, pipes and storage units don’t typically create new form-impacting forces, not by themselves. Switching over from a simple storage line, industrial equipment is added to the system. Now there are pumps and heat exchangers, plus a dozen other active assemblies in the line. To handle these aggressive streams, the equipment designer upscales everything, including the gasket materials.

Incidentally, an oil resistant gasket won’t stop every type of oil. Likewise, a Teflon seal won’t stop every acid, nor will it resist every caustic chemical. You see, there are hundreds of different chemical reagents and oily substances in use on various industrial facilities. Even the finest gasket material can’t deliver absolute sealing performance, which is why you need access to material data sheets and fluid formulations before choosing a gasket. Poring over those sheets of literature, gasket selection accuracy pays off handsomely.

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