Gaskets – Types, Materials & Applications

types of gaskets infographic

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.

GASKET MATERIALS

Gaskets must be able to maintain a static seal under diverse operating conditions, including at temperature and pressure extremes. Choosing the right gasket composition helps ensure that seals perform well in all required environments.

  • NON-METALLIC
    NON-METALLIC
    The most common gaskets in standard applications, non-metallic gaskets are made from materials such as rubber, Teflon, graphite, or compressed non-asbestos fiber (CNAF). They compress easily and are flexible enough to fill deformities, so they are ideal for sealing uneven surfaces. Although most non-metallic materials are not suitable for use in high-pressure or high-temperature settings, a few non-metals can withstand more extreme operating conditions. Graphite gaskets, for instance, can withstand temperatures as high as 460° C.
    NON-METALLIC
  • METALLIC
    METALLIC
    Although most applications call for elastomeric gaskets, metal gaskets are preferred for certain high-pressure applications. For instance, metal gaskets are commonly used for ring-type joints (RTJs) in oil and gas supply production. Metal RTJs are also used on valves and pipework assemblies in refineries and other processing plants. Metal gaskets seal by an initial line contact or by a wedging action as the two surfaces apply compressive force to the gasket. Metal ring-type gaskets are available with oval and octagonal cross-sections. One type of octagonal gasket includes the BX type, which is designed to seal pressure up to 20,000 psi in accordance with API 6A pressure ratings.
    METALLIC
  • COMPOSITE
    COMPOSITE
    Composite gaskets combine metal and non-metal materials to meet a range of service requirements, including a variety of temperature and pressure settings. Spiral-wound, metal-jacketed, and Kammprofile gaskets are all well-known in the composite gasket category. Compared to metal gaskets, composite gaskets are more cost-effective so long as they are handled carefully to prevent damage. Composite gaskets can be used on raised faces, male-female, and tongue-and-groove flanges.
    COMPOSITE

 

Gasket Materials Available at UIP

UIP specializes in rubber and elastomeric gaskets, including a range of FDA-grade and NSF-certified options. Options include:

RUBBER

Neoprene

Nitrile

EPDM Silicone

Csm/Hypalon®

Sbr Red Rubber

Sbr Ci

Tan Pure Gum Rubber

FKM/Viton®

Butyl

Corrugated Rubber Matting

Closed Cell Foam

FDA Grade

OTHER GASKET MATERIALS

Spiral Wound

Klingersil

PTFE/Teflon®

Graphite (Tang/Foil)

Cork

Compressed Fiber

SPECIALTY

Phenolic

NSF Certified Watersil®

NSF 61 Certified EPDM

*PSA BACKING AVAILABLE

To learn more about these options, refer to our resource page on gasket material properties. Our engineering experts can also answer your questions and provide more individualized guidance.

Aerospace

Aerospace

Many materials are used and specific material call-outs are crucial for this industry. Gaskets require certificates of conformance, including batch numbers and cure dates with full traceability.
Automotive

Automotive

Nitrile and Viton” (FKM) are commonly used materials because of their oil and fuel resistance. EPDM is commonly used for door seals, and graphite/non-asbestos materials can be used in the combustion areas of an engine. Silicone is also used for high-temperature applications.
Chemical/Petrochemical

Chemical/Petrochemical

Spiral-wound, metal graphite, and PTFE gaskets provide superior performance for highly corrosive and high-temperature applications.

Electrical

Electrical

Cork, Neoprene, EPDM, and Nitrile materials can be used for sealing and ventilating electrical enclosures, mounts, circuit board support pads, switchgears, and transformer components.
Food Processing

Food Processing

Silicone is used frequently as it is stable at high temperatures and also inhibits bacterial growth. For steam or other high-pressure applications, non-asbestos and/or graphite material may also be used. Other materials include FDA-approved elastomers such as EPDM, which offer chemical and UV-resistance, and other white food-grade rubbers.
Oil & Gas

Oil & Gas

High-temperature and high-pressure environments require special materials, including spiral-wound and ring-type designs made from non-asbestos materials.

Pharmaceutical

Pharmaceutical

Silicone and PTFE are the most commonly used materials for drug processing and conveyor belting. These materials provide a clean environment and low bacterial growth.
Pumping

Pumping

Shaft seals, valve seals, and packings are made from Neoprene and EPDM. Nitrile, Viton” (FKM), PTFE, and non-asbestos materials can also be used for more corrosive applications.
Rail

Rail

EPDM, Nitrile, non-asbestos, and Viton” (FKM) are commonly used for manway gaskets to seal against fuel, oil, and water.
Water/Drinking Water

Water/Drinking Water

NSF/ANSI 61-certified gasket material is the preferred choice in the potable water industry. Other materials used include Red Rubber (SBR) and compressed non-asbestos for wastewater services.

Custom Gaskets & Capabilities

CNC Knife Cutting

CNC Knife Cutting
CNC Knife Cutting. Designed for quick turnaround of large-scale, non-metallic materials, the CNC Knife Cutting Machine uses advanced technology to ensure precision and accuracy on single or large production runs. Utilizing our CAD System we are able to build and customize any gasket design.

Die Cutting

Die Cutting
Die Cutting. Our top-performing, versatile cutting press cuts both roll or sheet form materials with high trolley displacement speed, low energy consumption, and excellent reliability. This machinery allows us to achieve superior-quality cuts at an affordable price. Dies can be purchased locally and stored on site.

Rubber Stripping

Rubber Stripping
Rubber Stripping. Hard to find, hand-cut stripping of rubber materials in lengths of up to 50 feet. All types of synthetic rubbers are available.

Custom Designs

Custom Designs
Custom Designs. UIP delivers custom gasket manufacturing to a wide range of industries. From marine applications to electrical to appliances, we offer the cutting abilities and technology required to create the exact gasket you need for your project.

Custom Gaskets & Capabilities

  • CNC Knife Cutting
    CNC Knife Cutting
    CNC Knife Cutting. Designed for quick turnaround of large-scale, non-metallic materials, the CNC Knife Cutting Machine uses advanced technology to ensure precision and accuracy on single or large production runs. Utilizing our CAD System we are able to build and customize any gasket design.
    Progressive Die Stamping
  • Die Cutting
    Die Cutting
    Die Cutting. Our top-performing, versatile cutting press cuts both roll or sheet form materials with high trolley displacement speed, low energy consumption, and excellent reliability. This machinery allows us to achieve superior-quality cuts at an affordable price. Dies can be purchased locally and stored on site.
    Die Cutting
  • Rubber Stripping
    Rubber Stripping
    Rubber Stripping. Hard to find, hand-cut stripping of rubber materials in lengths of up to 50 feet. All types of synthetic rubbers are available.
    Rubber Stripping
  • Custom Designs
    Custom Designs
    Custom Designs. UIP delivers custom gasket manufacturing to a wide range of industries. From marine applications to electrical to appliances, we offer the cutting abilities and technology required to create the exact gasket you need for your project.
    Custom Designs

UIP International’s Gasket Expertise

Whether formed from metal, rubber, or a combination of materials, gaskets are essential for maintaining safe and hygienic equipment function.

As a premier gasket supplier, UIP takes pride in manufacturing quality gasket products that deliver the premium fluid sealing performance your business demands. As an ISO 9001:2015-certified company with strict quality control expectations, all of our products undergo rigorous quality inspections to ensure clients receive only the best.

To get started on your premium gasket project, request a quote from UIP International today.