Gaskets are small mechanical seals, used in various industries and domains to secure different systems aimed to transport liquids. Whether you are dealing with a domestic water leak or you need to make sure there is no imperfection in a machine you use in a specialised fabric, a qualitative gasket can get you out of trouble. The main system used by this small yet vital piece is compression – it fills irregularities, ensuring seamless connection between various parts belonging to the same structure. Generally, gaskets are made by manufacturers such as Ontario Gasket
by cutting thin pieces from a large sheet.
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How many types of gaskets are there?
According to the material they are made of, their function and their domain of application, gaskets can be divided into multiple types of categories. There are rubber gaskets (used for pipes, heat exchangers or manways), non-asbestos gaskets (resistant to chemicals) and cork gaskets (suitable for oil or fuels). In addition to this, as far as application is concerned, gaskets can be used for sealing (against liquids), anti-vibration or mountings.
What are gaskets made of?
Since gaskets are so versatile, they are made of several materials, depending on the industry and purpose they are going to be used for. Another relevant criterion manufacturers need to take into consideration is the liquid they protect, as well as the size and shape required. This way, gaskets will borrow the particularities of the materials they are made of, such as thermo resistance, adherence or resistance to chemicals. Rubber gaskets are the most common ones: this substance is both soft and durable, consisting in compounds such as neoprene, natural rubber, EPDM or nitrile. Another popular material is a combination of compressed fibre and elastomer bindings, used to create non-asbestos gaskets. These have multiple applications, especially because besides oil and water, they are also resistant to acids or steam. Natural cork mixed with elastomer bindings is also used by manufacturers, since the resulting gaskets are extremely flexible and durable. For this reason, these are used in applications related to oil, fuel or solvents.
All in all, what you should understand is that regardless their type, purpose or material, gaskets play a crucial role in multiple industries, from telecommunication to aerospace or prototyping. This is due to the fact that they are the most reliable components that can be used, together with seals, to isolate parts and make sure liquid transfer is done without the risk of leaking or spilling.