Choosing the right material for a gasket is crucial. The wrong material can result in the gasket failing and possibly damaging a piece of equipment, halting production and even injuring an equipment operator. Here are some points to keep in mind to help you choose the correct gasket material.
Application and Function
How will the gasket be used? Understanding the application is the key to getting the right material. For example, will it be subjected to extreme temperatures, liquids, vibration, high pressure or caustic materials?
Temperature can alter a gasket’s characteristics such as its sealing properties, compression set and maximum allowable stress.
What thickness is appropriate for the application?
Hardness is measured as how much resistance to penetration a material exhibits. Hardness is tested and measured by an indenter. A material’s hardness can have a profound effect on how it performs in a specific application.
How much force or stress a material can withstand before breaking is its tensile strength. Tensile strength varies greatly between different materials. It is sometimes enhanced by reinforcing the material with fiber such as graphite fiber, wire or woven cloth.
A material’s surface finish affects its ability to create a seal. It’s an important point to consider for gaskets that much maintain a constant seal.
Elasticity is measured by how well a material returns to its original shape and size after its been stressed. It’s a crucial component to consider in gaskets that are subjected to stretching and compression.
If a gasket will be subjected to corrosive materials and fluids, it’s important to select a material with high chemical resistance.
Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA)
Choosing a material that accepts pressure sensitive adhesive, or PSA, is a good way to facilitate the manufacturing of complex assembly processes, increase production rates and cut costs.