The primary purpose of a gasket is to seal a fluid and prevent it from leaking. Gaskets are used to create a static seal between parts and they basically serve as a physical barrier against the fluid that blocks leakages and conserves the immediate environment. Any parts irregularity can become a leakage path and gaskets should have the ability to act as a seal that fits the irregularities perfectly and blocks those paths. Gaskets and O-rings are compressible materials that will prevent the passage of liquid when placed between two stationary parts due to their flexibility. In order to achieve this effect, the material or combination of materials the gasket is made of needs to have certain properties such as water resistance, resilience and compressibility. It is important to note that depending on its use, a gasket may require to offer superior protection and be resistant to heavy load or high temperatures. Manufacturers of O-rings in Ottawa are very clear on this aspect, so the process of developing gaskets is a long one, not to mention that it is full of trial and error.
In order to prevent liquid from leaking, the sealing material must also be able to fill any irregularity perfectly and resist to extrusion. What is more, the gasket will need to perform its task under operating conditions. Choosing a gasket will depend on numerous factors such as material and type, as well as its use. Gaskets developed for the Ottawa aerospace industry must offer superior protection against leakage. The most popular and common gasket materials are elastomeric materials, fibrous materials and metallic materials.
– Elastomeric materials are the most common and they are not considered the highest quality choice. They are actually more like entry level and act as a binder. Depending on the material composition, the commercial quality may differ. Butyl rubber is an elastomer that offers excellent resistance for instance to gas permeation. This material is also suitable to protect against mild acids and esters.
– Fibrous materials are suitable for sealing flanges in numerous working conditions. The most popular fibrous material used to create gaskets was asbestos until its disastrous effects on health were discovered. Nowadays, carbon fibre and glass are used as seals in high temperature conditions.
– Metallic materials number carbon steel, aluminum, copper, titanium and various alloys.
Gaskets are classified depending on construction into three categories: soft, semi-metallic and metallic. While soft or non-metallic gaskets are composite materials with numerous applications, semi-metallic and metallic gaskets have limited uses and are generally required in specific situations. Semi-metallic gaskets are made from a combination of materials and a sheet of metal to reinforce the system. They are more expensive, as they are created to work under extreme conditions such as low and high temperatures, as well as high pressure. Metallic gaskets are also used under high pressure and temperatures and to seat them one requires a very heavy load. This is why they are not suitable in any domain.
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