Gaskets – Types, Materials & Applications
Despite their simple construction and installation, gaskets are critical components for protecting mechanical systems. Not only do gaskets prevent leaks into or out of systems, but they also minimize wear, dampen noise, and maintain a more hygienic environment.
At UIP, we manufacture a wide range of stock and custom gaskets designed to meet varied industrial requirements. Whether your application involves high temperatures, strong vibrations, or strict sanitation standards, UIP can deliver precision-cut gaskets for your needs.
What is a Gasket?
Gaskets are thin components that form a pressure-tight seal between two surfaces. They take the form of rings or sheets that fit between a variety of joints and mating surfaces. Gaskets are available in a wide range of materials to suit varied industrial needs, with common options including rubber, cork, metal, foam, paper, and more.
Gaskets are typically used to prevent liquids or gases from leaking out of a system. They are designed to resist fluctuations in pressure and temperature as well as electrical or electromagnetic forces, ensuring a durable seal across environments. In addition to preventing leaks, gaskets are also useful for dampening vibration, reducing sound, and sealing against contaminants.
Although gaskets form tight seals, they are not appropriate for all sealing applications, and they should not be confused with O-rings or other general-purpose seals. Gaskets are meant to be used in static settings and provide the best seal under compression. Applications with moving parts such as motors, engines, and rotary shafts require more versatile sealing components.
How Do Gaskets Work?
Gaskets are designed to fill deformities and connect two specific mating surfaces. These surfaces create a compressive force that seals the gasket into place. Once fitted, this compression allows the gasket to maintain its seal despite changing conditions.
Types of Gaskets
Gaskets come in several varieties, each with its own performance characteristics.
- Solid Gaskets. Typically formed from metal, solid gaskets are preferred for their high thermal and pressure resistance. To achieve appropriate compressive force, solid gaskets must be softer than the mating surfaces. Additionally, because of their stiffness, these gaskets require more force to remain in place.
- Jacketed Gaskets. Jacketed gaskets are named for their metal coating, which may cover one side (single jacket) or both (double jacket). These gaskets combine the flexibility of an elastomeric gasket with the resilience of a metal coating, making them a durable option for applications with high temperatures or pressures. Double jacket gaskets, in particular, are highly resistant to corrosion, increasing resilience even further. Variants include corrugated jackets and french-style jackets.
- Spiral-Wound Gaskets. Spiral-wound gaskets are the most common type of composite gasket, comprising three components: an inner and outer ring, a filler material, and a winding material. The winder material is a stiff material such as a metal, while the filler is softer, often graphite or PTFE. Spiral-wound gaskets are known for their flexible, resilient seals that hold up to a range of pressure and temperature settings. These components are especially popular in piping, plumbing, and heat exchange systems.
- Kammprofile Gaskets. Kammprofile gaskets are highly temperature and pressure-resistant, combining a stainless steel core with a softer filler material. This combination yields a strong yet flexible seal suitable for a range of heavy-duty applications.
Within these categories, gaskets can feature varied materials, thicknesses, and shapes. The professionals at UIP can help you select a stock gasket or design a custom option, depending on your application requirements.