An important part of CRG’s business is helping our customers to choose the right gasket material. Choosing the right material ensures that the finished gasket will be reliable and fully fit for purpose once in use. While every application is different, gasket material should always be carefully chosen with reference to each specific application's situation and conditions. Nonetheless, there are some universal factors that should always be considered when selecting a gasket material for any application. This blog offers some general guidance on how to choose the right gasket material.
Factor #1: Temperature
The temperatures present in an application can quickly narrow the range of the available gasket materials that should be considered. As a general rule, as an application's temperature increases, the range of suitable materials becomes more limited. More precisely, as an application's temperature approaches the maximum continuous operating temperature recommended by the manufacturer for a given material, it will be necessary to consider an alternative material.
Factor #2: Pressure
Gasket materials vary in their ability to support the pressures that may exist within an application. As with temperature, as application pressures increase, the range of suitable materials will likely narrow. In addition, pressures may not be continuous within an application and the gasket material may be subject to pressure changes that result from process cycling. Once again, good suppliers will be able to offer guidance on the best material to choose given the maximum service pressures that may exist within an application.
Factor #3: Media Compatibility
Gasket materials also have varying resistance to the different chemicals that can be present in fluids and gases. Depending upon the media being sealed, a material may or may not be a preferred choice for a gasket or seal. Some media are relatively benign while others are acidic, caustic, corrosive, toxic, abrasive, etc. Buyers should always check that the gasket material they are buying is fully compatible with the media being sealed. Reputable suppliers will be able to provide guidance to ensure that the most compatible material for a given application is chosen.
Factor #4: Application
Beyond the above three factors, application factors such as the geometry, surface area, and condition of joints and flange surfaces should be considered when choosing a gasket material. While the range of factors to be considered is large and specific to each application, examples of factors to consider are the risks to be managed, continuous versus intermittent operation, severe versus standard service, whether RFI/EMI shielding is required, the type, number and size of fastening bolts required, and the presence of any regulatory requirements (i.e., NSF-61 or Low-E).
Factor #5: Total Life Cycle Costs
While different gasket materials will have different costs, the purchase or acquisition cost of a gasket is only one aspect of the total cost. On the other hand, total life cycle costs include additional costs beyond the purchase price, such as installation costs, operating costs, maintenance costs, downtime costs, energy costs, and disposal costs. Since the initial purchase price of a gasket is only a small part of the total life cycle costs, considering all the life cycle costs is an important aspect of any gasket purchasing decision. Total life cycle costs goes to the issue of the reliability of a material - materials which perform consistently well for extended periods of time once in use will tend to have lower life cycle costs than materials which fail and need to be replaced more frequently.
At CRG, we can supply all your gasket needs. We are a full-service provider that can support all aspects of your gasket purchasing decision. Our experienced team can provide guidance on selecting the appropriate material for your application and supply high-quality gaskets made to your exact specifications.
To find out more about how CRG can service your gasket supply needs, contact our sales team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.