In today’s global economy, the materials used to make gaskets and seals, as well as the finished products themselves, can be sourced from vendors in a multitude of countries. While sourcing these materials and products from offshore vendors can result in cost savings, buyers must be wary that they are not compromising quality and safety when they do so.
Using cheap imported materials that do not meet strict manufacturing quality standards can result in the unexpected failure of a gasket or seal, product contamination or environmental damage, or harm to personnel and equipment. In this blog, we offer tips for when it makes sense to consider using imported materials and how to ensure that quality and safety will not be compromised when such materials are used.
Tip #1: Only choose imported materials from a vendor whose quality has been assured.
There have been cases where offshore vendors have falsified technical data sheets, misleading buyers about the properties and quality of their materials. There have also been examples of gaskets sourced from China where the material was found to contain asbestos and other contaminants. Using these products in manufacturing processes, can have disastrous consequences for production personnel and consumers alike.
To avoid being misled by vendor claims of quality and performance, choose imported materials from vendors whose quality has been vetted. At CRG, any imported materials we offer to our customers have been carefully evaluated and tested by our quality assurance personnel. In addition, we personally visit and audit the production facilities of all offshore vendors whose materials we choose to carry. This rigorous qualification process assures our customers that they will not be sacrificing quality or performance when they choose an imported material option.
Tip #2: Be selective in the applications for which you consider using imported materials.
Non-critical applications, such as general service gasketing which can often be serviced with standard material blends, are usually the best match for imported materials. Applications whose demands require the use of gaskets and seals made from specially formulated or proprietary compounds are probably better serviced with materials produced by domestic manufacturers.
Similarly, applications which call for gaskets and seals made from a particular material specification or grade, such as NSF/ANSI 61 for potable water or AASHTO (American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials) for highways and transportation, will be better served by domestic materials that have been certified for compliance to these specifications by the appropriate bodies and agencies.
Tip #3: Deal with a vendor who can offer both domestic and imported material options.
As the foregoing makes clear, there are some sealing applications for which it makes sense to consider using imported materials. Given this fact, buying gaskets and seals from a reputable supplier who offers both domestic and imported material options can allow you to choose the material that best fits your needs.
At CRG, we offer a wide range of domestic and imported material options for producing finished gaskets and seals. Domestic materials we carry include grades such as FDA-approved, NSF/ANSI 61 certified, AASHTO, and others. These materials are made by leading manufacturers such as Teadit, American Biltrite, Interface Performance Materials, and others. As noted above, all imported materials we offer have undergone testing by our internal quality assurance department. By offering both domestic and imported materials, CRG is able to provide our customers with a range of performance and cost options from which to choose for servicing their particular application.
If you are looking for gaskets and seals, CRG is your one-stop source of supply. With over 30-years’ experience, we have the materials and the production capabilities to satisfy your needs. All gaskets and seals we manufacture are produced on the latest CNC equipment under controlled conditions in our facility certified to ISO 9001:2015. Our portfolio of domestic and imported materials allows us to meet your requirements without trading off performance for cost. For more information on how we can help with your gasket and sealing needs, please contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.