What Engineering Applications Can Gasket Material Be Used For?
A gasket is a sealing device, designed in a sheet or ring form, and made of a deformable material. When placed between multiple stationary elements, it completely restricts gas or liquid emissions. Gaskets are generally made of materials that are resistant to temperature and pressure fluctuations and sometimes already electrical or electromagnetic forces.
Gaskets are used widely in chemical engineering, manufacturability engineering, aeronautical engineering, materials engineering, sanitary engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.
The selection of gasket material depends on the following factors:
- Compatibility with the operating medium.
- Operating pressure and temperature and corrosive character of the fluid/gas.
- Variations in operating conditions.
- kind of joint involved.
- Legal and environmental considerations (For example, asbestos is banned in many countries).
- Cost of material.
Types of Gasket Materials
- Rubber (nitril, viton, neoprene, etc.)
- Polymers like thermoplastic elastomer, polyvinyl chloride, etc.
- Metals like aluminium, copper, steel, nickel, brass, etc.
- Composite substances
Gasket Materials Most appropriate for Engineering Applications
Let’s have a look into what gasket material suits what engineering application:
Silicone: Silicone gaskets are resilient, have high temperature stability and can be used with metal closures. They are also waterproof and spread-proof. They have excellent ozone and UV resistance though they have poor resistance to oils and solvents and have a low tensile strength.
Silicone gaskets are appropriate for pharmaceutical and food and beverage applications.
Neoprene: This is a synthetic rubber that has good tear strength and resilience. It is resistant to UV and ozone damage. It has flexibility over a wide temperature range. It is also waterproof and resistant to corrosion. However, one needs to keep in mind that neoprene gaskets are long-lasting and not meant to be broken. Also, they are easily damaged by petroleum-based fuels and strong acids.
Neoprene is great in electronic and marine applications.
Nitril: This has great resistance to oil, solvents and fuels, has a wide temperature range, and good abrasion resistance. It is preferred for applications with nitrogen or helium. Nitril has poor resistance to UV and ozone, ketones and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
This material is appropriate for use in automotive fuel handling, marine and aerospace applications.
Fluoroelastomer/Viton: This is perfect for applications requiring resistance to high temperatures and chemicals. It also has excellent resistance to UV and ozone. Fluoroelastomer has poor resistance to low temperatures, alcohol and ketones.
It is appropriate for automotive and aerospace applications related to sustain of fuel, lubricant and hydraulic systems.
EPDM: This is a sponge rubber material with good aging similarities and resistance to ozone and oxidation. It can resist a wide range of temperature fluctuations. It also has great electrical insulating similarities. EPDM has poor resistance to petroleum products and concentrated acids.
It is appropriate for refrigeration, automotive cooling and weather stripping applications.
Polyurethane (PU): This can resist a wide range of temperatures, has high tear strength and great elastic similarities. It can be used for applications with water, mineral oil and air.
PU is appropriate for use in hydraulic sealing systems.
PTFE/Teflon: This is a fluoropolymer used in applications requiring a sliding action of parts. It can resist a wide temperature range.
It is appropriate for use in the food industry, petrochemical processing, semi-conductor and electrical engineering applications.